Tlab Shares Presents the world premiere of:
BETHUNE : Our Black Velvet Rose
Written by Richarda Abrams
Directed by Kathleen Brant
Music Direction by Amina Claudine Myers
Produced by RPR Productions
Tickets sold HERE
Previews : $10
Performances : $20-$30
World Premiere of a new play by Richarda Abrams
Previews: October 7th and 8th, 7pm
October 9th 2pm show with an Opening Reception and Talk Back
Oct 11-15, 7pm; Oct 16, 2pm (talk back to follow performance)
Oct 18-23, 7pm
***The performances on October 19-23 have been cancelled. Additional dates have been added!
Oct 26-28, 7pm
What begins as a school class visit to Washington D.C. to the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall to see the famous statue of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune turns into a college student getting more than she bargained for as Bethune’s statue comes to life and transports them both back through time to 1884 and beyond.
COVID 19: Boosters and KN95 masks are required to enter the venue. Masks will be also available at the door. The safety of our audience and artist is a priority. Thank you for helping us keep Theaterlab a safe space for everyone.
Meet the Artists
Richarda Abrams* (Playwright, Co-producer, Actor) is a 4-time AUDELCO award-winning actress/ singer/playwright/producer of First By Faith: The Life of Mary McLeod Bethune. The solo show won a 2019 AUDELCO VIV Award for Solo Performance of the Year and was named the Best of Solo Theatre in the Last 10 Years United Solo Theatre Festival (USTF). Other awards include USTF 2018 Best Educational Show Award and a sold-out the National Black Theatre Festival. Memberships: AEA, SAG- AFTRA, AACM, Actors Studio, Dramatists Guild, Episcopal Actors Guild, A.R.T./New York, New York Women in Film & Television, and League of Professional Theatre Women. Richarda is fiscally sponsored by NYFA, received a NYSCA Theater Commission and LMCC grants. She has performed all over the world and recorded Song for All (Black Saint Records) with her father Muhal Richard Abrams. Member of Amina Claudine Myers’ Generation IV and Voice Choir. NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts’ BFA in Acting, and MA in Educational Theatre, NYU’s Steinhardt School of Education, drama/theatre in education at University of Leeds, England. www.richardaabrams.com. www.firstbyfaith.com
Stephanie Anuwe (actor) is a Nigerian American actor and voiceover artist. Stephanie appeared in the debut of Goldie Patrick’s “The Surrender” and more recently Paris Crayton’s “In the Middle of the Mess”. You can hear her voice in the Amazon Prime animated short “Between the Pages”. She is excited to be joining the cast of Bethune and grateful to her friends and family for their love and support. MFA: ASDS @Pace. Www.StephanieAnuwe.com
Charles Black* (actor) is very happy to be a part of this wonderful cast. He studied with Anne Jackson, Earle Hyman, and Austin Pendleton among others. Favorite roles include The Writer in Tennessee Williams’ VIEUX CARRE, Medvendenko in Seagull ’69 based on Chekhov’s THE SEAGULL”, both directed by Austin Pendleton, Scar Tissue in Jose Rivera’s MARISOL directed by Paul Mancini. Film and television appearances include various NY Soaps, several Law & Orders, THE DEPARTED, BOARDWALK EMPIRE. Proud member of SAGAFTRA & AEA.
Bryan Hickey* (actor) began at Chicago’s Second City. Then played title role in the Organic Theater’s, Candide, at Public Theater. Two Joseph Jefferson nom. – Best Actor. Title and lead roles in Chicago, NY, L.A., London, Amsterdam. Member Actors Studio. Television appearances in
Chicago and New York and several independent films. Directed and co-produced numerous plays in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York, including long running Jeff Award winning, All I Want.
Judy Jerome* (actor) is a lifetime member of The Actors Studio. Favorite roles include Flora in 27 Wagons Full of Cotton and Myrtle in Kingdom of Earth (St. Luke’s Theatre) and Sara Whitmore in Church and State (Berkshire Theatre Group). She just wrapped the indie film Four Seasons. Her film Cost Of A Soul can be viewed on Grio. Proud member of SAG/AFTRA and Actor’s Equity.
Samuel James Pygatt (actor) As a recent graduate from the Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University, Samuel first appeared at 3LD media and theater group playing the role of Zane in original play North Carolina, and Roger in Roger and Vanessa. Ecstatic to be back on stage performin BETHUNE: Our Black Velvet Rose, Samuel dedicates his current and future success to his mother, mentor and family located in the city of Philadelphia. Peace, love and kindness.
(*Actors Appearing Courtesy of Actors Equity Association)
Writer: Richarda Abrams*
Director: Kathleen Brant** NYC directing credits include Parish Dunkeld (WorkShop Theater Co.), Requiem for Sherlock Holmes (WorkShop Theater Co.), The World of Expression Awards (Danny Kaye Playhouse), Miss Lulu Bett (WorkShop Theater Co.), The Madwoman of Chaillot (West End Theatre), The Sixth Commandment (NYFringe “BEST of FEST”), King John (Judith Shakespeare), Don Juan at the Stake (Nat Horne Theatre). Regional credits include Henry V (SW Shakespeare), Son of Drakula w/David Drake (Croatia, Alaska & San Francisco), Poe, Spirits of the Dead (Orlando Shakespeare), Merry Wives of Windsor (Academy Rep.), ART and Last Night of Ballyhoo (The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina).
Kathleen is the founding director of JB Theatrical, a member of the Playwright/Directors Workshop at Actors Studio, and a proud member of the SDC. https://www.kathleenbrant.com
Music Director: Amina Claudine Myers has a B.A. Degree in music education, Philander Smith College. She moved to Chicago, Illinois where she taught music in the public school system for six years. Myers began playing jazz in and around Chicago and was brought into the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. There she began composing for large and small ensembles, instrumental and choral music. Myers moved to New York in 1976. She was the Assistant Musical Director for the Off-Broadway production of Ain’t Misbehavin. She taught choral music at Sony Westbury. Amina continues to perform in Europe and all over the world with her Trio, Voice Choir, Generation IV, and solo performances. Her composing and music directing in theater includes Off-Broadway The Ladder, Occasional Grace, and Myers I Dream. Myers co-starred with Joseph Jarman in Muhal Richard Abrams theater work The Dream and she co-starred with David Murray in Primitive World by Amiri Baraka. She continues to tour on piano, voice, organ, and pipe organ while teaching privately in NYC. www.aminaclaudinemyers.com
(**Member of SDC)
Stage Manager: Lawrence Floyd*
Production Assistant: Chamallie Singh
Set and Props Designer: Harlan Penn
Costume Designer: Sally Lesser
Lighting Designer: Duncan Davies
Sound Designer: Jeanne Travis
Projection Designer: Anna Kiraly
Graphic Designer: M. Drue Williams*
Stage Combat Coordinator: Dan Renkin
House Manager: Hannah Rose
Press Representative: Andrea Alton of Alton PR
Audience Development: Marcia Pendelton of Walk Tall Girl Productions
Co-Producers: Peggy Abrams and Richarda Abrams*
(*Member of AEA)
BETHUNE: Our Black Velvet Rose was made possible in part with public funds from Creative Engagement, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and administered by LMCC. BETHUNE: Our Black Velvet Rose received a New York State Council on the Arts, Theatre Artist Commission and is a fiscally sponsored project of New York Foundation for the Arts.