Friday, June 27, 2014

Wanda's Picks June 27, 2014

Guest 1. Ayodele "WordSlanger" Nzinga, Ph.D., joins us to talk about the August Wilson Century Cycle, part 7, Two Trains Running, which is opening this August, 2014.

Ayodele Nzinga is a multi-talented West Coast based art visionary, who in the tradition of the Black Arts Continuum uses performance as a method of inter-intra group communication. In 2000, Nzinga became the writer in residence and the resident dramaturge at The Prescott Joseph Center For Community Enhancement. This has resulted in over a decade of theater seasons, a troupe in residence, and a summer theater camp for youth. The troupe, The Lower Bottom Playaz, founded by Nzinga in 1999, is enjoying growing acclaim, while mounting, and traveling two-three productions per season. A bright and consistent energy on the cutting edge of the East Bay performance scene, Nzinga aka The WordSlanger, is a tour-de-force Spoken Word artist. Her latest published work appears in Black Magnolias and The Pan African Journal of Poetry.

Guest 2. Arielle Julia Brown (Project Director/Founder) speaks about Love Balm for My Spirit Child--- A choreo-play based on testimonies from Bay Area mothers whose children were lost to gun violence, directed by Edris Cooper-Anifowoshe, opens at Brava! For Women in the Arts, Theatre Center in San Francisco, 2781-24th Street at York, July 11-20, 2014 shows Fri-Sat 8 p.m.; Sun 3 p.m. Tickets are: $10-25

Ms. Brown (Project Director/Founder) is a playwright, arts administrator and facilitator currently based in the SF Bay Area.  As a facilitator, Arielle has taught and directed performance workshops for adults and youth of all ages throughout the Bay Area with such organizations as, Intersection for the Arts, Destiny Arts Center, Streetside Stories, Guerilla Performance Group at Eastside Arts Alliance and the Alameda County Juvenile Justice Center.    Arielle is the Artistic Director of The Love Balm Project, a Bay Area theatre workshop series and performance that explores the testimonies of local mothers who have lost children to systemic violence. Workshop and performance iterations of The Love Balm Project have been presented at or in partnership with 7Stages Theatre, Theatre of Yugen, The MilkBar, Eastside Arts Alliance, La Peña Cultural Center, San Francisco Playhouse The Triangle Lab (A joint program of Intersection for the Arts and Cal Shakes) and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Arielle is a 2013-2014 SF Playground company playwright.  She is a 2014 Artist Investigator in residence at The Triangle Lab.  Arielle is a 2013-2014 SF Emerging Arts Professionals Programming Chair. Arielle’s work has been supported by Theatre Bay Area, The Triangle Lab ( supported in part by The James Irvine Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and MetLife Foundation and Theatre Communications Group) and CalHumanities. Arielle’s theatre work is rooted in peacemaking on both local and international levels. Arielle began doing international theatre work at 7Stages theatre in Atlanta, Ga. Arielle is a core member of Theatre Without Borders.  Her  international theatre experience includes work in Senegal and East Africa. Arielle received her B.A. from Pomona College where she studied Theatre and Africana Studies.

Actors/Artistic Collaborators
Ayodele Nzinga is an Actor/Artistic Collaborator in the work, so she joins us as well.

Guest 3. American Experience presents: Stanley Nelson's Freedom Summer

Stanley Nelson (Producer/Director/Writer) is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, MacArthur “genius” Fellow and member of the Academy of Motion Picture Art & Sciences. Nelson is the director of 12 documentary features, including Freedom Riders, Jonestown: The Life and Death of People’s Temple and The Murder of Emmett Till. He is also co-founder and executive director of Firelight Media, which provides technical education and professional support to emerging documentarians. With seven of his films having premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and multiple industry awards to his credit, Nelson is acknowledged as one of the premiere documentary filmmakers working today. Nelson is currently in production on a series of three films he will direct, one on the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense and another on the beneficiaries of the Atlantic slave trade, as part of a new multi-platform PBS series entitled America Revisited. The film, along with Nelson's earlier, Freedom Riders is up for viewing on the website:

4. Closing Guests: Michael Gene Sullivan and Velina Brown speak about the San Francisco Mime Troupe’s 2014 premiere, The Ripple Effect— opening July 4th at San Francisco's Dolores Park

Velina Brown (SFMT Collective, Actor, Performance Booker) has been a principal actor for the Mime Troupe in such shows as Social Work, Escape to Cyberia, Coast City Confidential, Soul Suckers from Outer Space, Killing Time, Damaged Care, City for Sale, Eating It, 1600 Transylvania Avenue, Mr. Smith Goes to Obscuristan, and Showdown at Crawford Gulch. She was Veronique in Veronique of the Mounties, she's played Condoleeza Rice three times, and was both an actor and Contributing Lyricist on GodFellas and Making a Killing. Velina's most recent shows with the Troupe include For The Greater Good: Or the Last Election, Red State, Too Big to Fail, and Posibilidad, Or Death of the Worker for which she won Best Principal Actress by the Bay Area Critics Circle. You may have seen Velina earlier this year in Theatre Rhino's lovely A Lady and A Woman. Other credits include A.C.T., Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Denver Center Theatre Company, Word for Word, Lorraine Hansberry Theater, Thick Description, SF Playhouse, Theatreworks as well as film (Bee Season with Richard Gere, A Many Splintered Thing with Chris Evans and Milk with Sean Penn) and television (Party of Five, Nash Bridges,Trauma, Final Witness). Velina also is the founder and owner of the "Business of Show Biz," which offers career planning consultations and workshops for theater artists. She also writes a popular column of the same name for Theater Bay Area Magazine. In 2012 she was honored as one of the magazine's "35 Faces," artists who've made significant contributions to the Bay Area theater community. For more info and to hear samples of Velina's music:

Michael Gene Sullivan (SFMT Collective Actor/Resident Playwright), joined the Troupe as an actor in, has since performed in, written, and/or directed over twenty SFMT productions. As an actor, Sullivan has also appeared in productions at the American Conservatory Theater, Denver Center Theater Company, Magic Theatre, Theatreworks, Lorraine Hansberry Theater, SF Shakespeare Festival, Berkeley Repertory Theater, and San Jose Repertory Theater. Michael has also directed for the Mime Troupe, SF Shakespeare Festival, African American Shakespeare Company, Mystic Bison Theater, and Circus Finelli. In 1992 he became a contributing writer for the SF Mime Troupe, and the Resident Playwright in 2000. His scripts for SFMT include GodFellas, Red State (2008 nominee, Best Original Script, SFBATCC), and Too Big To Fail (2009 nominee, Best Original Script, SFBATCC and Posibilidad, or Death of the Worker. He is also the author of "Did Anyone Ever Tell You - You Look Like Huey P. Newton?", his award-winning one person show, and 1984, his critically acclaimed stage adaptation of George Orwell's dystopic novel. 1984 opened at the Actor's Gang Theater under the Direction of Tim Robbins in 2006, and has since been published in English and Catalan, and has been performed in Europe, Asia, Australia, South America, and has had several tours of the USA.

His script "Recipe" won the Israel Baran Award, and will premiere at Central Works in Berkeley, October, 2014. Michael is also a blogger for the political website, The Huffington Post.

Music: Avery Sharpe’s Ain’t I a Woman “Son of Mine;” Keb’mo’s Someday We’ll All Be Free; clips from S. Nelson’s Freedom Summer

Show link:


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