Producing Artistic Director Carolyn Griffin is pleased to announce that MetroStage will open the 2015-16 season with the Rolling World Premiere of UPRISING by Atlanta playwright Gabrielle Fulton as part of the Women’s Voices Theater Festival, Sept 17-Oct 25, 2015. Thomas W. Jones II will direct and choreograph, and William Knowles will music direct.
Set in the aftermath of John Brown’s Raid on Harper’s Ferry, UPRISING explores self-determination and sacrifice through the lens of a free black community during secession-era America. When Sal discovers Ossie, a hypnotic revolutionary hiding in the field, her life is turned upside down by her strong attraction to him and his revolutionary mission and its impact on her commitment to the well-being of her young son, Freddie.
Inspired by the true story of Osborne Perry Anderson, the only African American participant in John Brown’s Raid to survive, and the tales of the playwright’s cotton picking great-grandmother, UPRISING explores notions of freedom and sacrifice, family and community.
Thomas W. Jones II has a long history with MetroStage as a playwright, lyricist, director and choreographer. Jones has written and directed Harlem Rose, Three Sistahs, Two Queens, One Castle, Bricktop, Cool Papa’s Party, Pearl Bailey…by request, Ladies Swing the Blues, and most recently, Bessie’s Blues, as well as directing Gee’s Bend for which he received a Helen Hayes nomination.
Music Director William Knowles is also a mainstay at MetroStage having music directed Bessie’s Blues, Gee’s Bend (Helen Hayes Nomination), Bricktop, His Eye is on the Sparrow, All Night Strut, Ella Fitzgerald: First Lady of Song, and Cool Papa’s Party (Helen Hayes Award).
Both Jones and Knowles have recently directed and music directed Anne & Emmett, by Janet Langhart Cohen, which MetroStage presented last spring and is now on tour in Indianapolis, Chicago, and NYC.
Playwright Gabrielle Fulton is an Atlanta based playwright and filmmaker who was the National New Play Network’s Playwright-in-Residence at Horizon Theatre in 2012. UPRISING was presented at the Alliance Theatre as part of the inaugural Reiser Atlanta Artists Lab. It was produced July 2015 at Horizon Theatre as the first Rolling World Premiere, continuing at MetroStage as part of the Women’s Voices Theater Festival this fall. Her plays include Carrying the Mother Load, Sweet Dill, Redemption’s Road, MILF, The Seed Planter, Jill Fell Down, Death of Lightning Bugs, and Shape of Faith. Her short film Ir/Reconcilable was an official selection at the American Black Film Festival in NYC and was honored as a finalist in the HBO Short Film Competition. It starred Jasmine Guy, Dick Gregory and Crystal Foxand was selected for the 2015 Atlanta Film Festival.
The Cast includes:
Cynthia D. Barker (Sal), an Atlanta based actor, originated the role of Sal in UPRISING. She was also seen in Elemeno Pea, Third Country, and Shakin the Mess Outta Misery at Horizon Theatre. In Georgia she has performed at Georgia Shakespeare, Theatre in the Square, Alliance Theatre and True Colors. She also appeared in the film Ir/Reconcilable, written by Gabrielle Fulton, as well as Rectify (Sundance TV) and Tyler Perry’s House of Payne.
Anthony Manough (Ossie) has performed at MetroStage in Cool Papa’s Party (Helen Hayes nomination Outstanding Supporting Actor), Bricktop, Ladies Swing the Blues, and Gee’s Bend (HH nomination for Outstanding Ensemble). Currently living in L.A., he has appeared on Broadway in The Lion King and Jesus Christ Superstar. This past year he performed in The Lonesome Traveler at 59E59 in NYC, and this summer he originated the role of Ossie in UPRISING at Horizon Theatre in Atlanta.
Enoch King (Bo-Jack), an Atlanta based actor, originated the role of Bo-Jack in UPRISING. He has been seen in Santaland Diaries, Every Tongue Confess, and Sheddin at Horizon Theatre. He has also appeared at Actors Express, True Colors, and Theatrical Outfit. He played the role of Emmett Till in Janet Langhart Cohen’s Anne & Emmett, performed at MetroStage last spring and now touring to Indianapolis, Chicago, and NYC.
Roz White (Lottie and Miss Mary Ellen) has been seen in Bessie’s Blues, Ladies Swing the Blues, Three Sistahs (three times), Two Queens, One Castle, Pearl Bailey…by request, Josephine Tonight, Ella Fitzgerald: First Lady of Song, and Gee’s Bend (Helen Hayes nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress and Ensemble) at MetroStage. Regionally she has performed at Indiana Rep, St Louis Black Rep, Jomandi, Horizon Theatre, and Coconut Grove Playhouse. She was in the national tour of Dreamgirls (Effie). Recently she has played the role of Mamie Till in Janet Langhart Cohen’s Anne & Emmett, performed at MetroStage last spring and now touring to Indianapolis, Chicago, and NYC.
Doug Brown (Charlie Pick) has appeared at MetroStage in The Island (1991 and 2015) and Mooi Street Moves. Last season he was also seen in Two Train’s Running at Round House Theatre. He has also performed at Folger, Woolly Mammoth, Ford’s, Studio, and The Kennedy Center. Regionally he has performed at Milwaukee Rep, Syracuse Stage,Cleveland Playhouse, Cincinnati Playhouse, and Actors’ Theatre of Louisville. This season he will be seen in The Gospel of Lovingkindness at Mosaic Theatre.
Peter Boyer (Whistle, Hopper) has performed at MetroStage in A Broadway Christmas Carol as both Scrooge and The Man Who Isn’t Scrooge for three seasons and will be returning this November for a fourth. He has played both Scrooge and The Man Who Isn’t Scrooge. He has been seen at Wayside Theatre in Groucho: A Life in Revue; at the Baltimore Shakespeare Festival in Taming of the Shrew, and The Comedy of Errors; at Ford’s Theatre in Parade, Shenandoah, and 1776 and at Olney in 1776 and The Sound of Music. He was most recently seen in Greater Tuna at Compass Rose Theatre playing 10 characters.
David Cole (Tuneman) plays the blues guitar in UPRISING. He has played guitar for many MetroStage productions including ROOMS a rock romance, Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, Pearl Bailey…by request, Bricktop, Cookin at the Cookery, and Bessie’s Blues. His group is called David Cole and Main Street Blues and his latest CD is Urban Blues. www.Davidcolemusic.com.
Jeremiah Hasty (Freddie) is experiencing his first professional production at MetroStage. His PSAs include one for the Poison Control Center, he did a Red Cross babysitting training video for USDA, and his face is on the shuttlebus and website for the National Harbor. Jeremiah is a fourth grader at St. Ambrose School in Cheverly, MD where he plays basketball. He has been represented by Linda Townsend Management for the past five years.
Djob Lyons (u/s Bo-Jack) was last seen at MetroStage in Bessie’s Blues. He has performed with artists in NYC, LA and DC and on Broadway, off-Broadway and in Washington DC at the Ira Aldridge Theatre and with the Washington Savoyards. His television credits include House of Cards, West Wing, and The Wire. He has danced for the album releases of Jennifer Lopez and Ricky Martin.
Naomi LaVette (u/s Lottie and Miss Mary Ellen) originally from Atlanta, recently relocated to Washington DC. She has worked extensively in film/theater and radio. In Georgia she has performed at Horizon Theatre in Shakin the Mess Outta Misery (Suzi Bass nomination), Alliance, Aurora and True Colors. She performed in The Donny Hathaway Story at the Yale School of Drama, and has been seen on ABC, A&E, Lifetime and TBS television.
Designers are: Robbie Hayes, set and projections; Janine Sunday, costumes; Alex Keen, lights; Roni Lancaster, and Thom Jenkins, sound. David Elias is the Production Stage Manager.
UPRISING was produced at Horizon Theatre in Atlanta this summer as part of a Rolling World Premiere. Atlanta cast members Cynthia D. Barker, Enoch King, and Anthony Manough are reprising their roles here at MetroStage. The Atlanta production was recently nominated for the Suzi Bass Award in the following categories: Outstanding World Premiere, Outstanding Sound Design (Thom Jenkins), Outstanding Lead Actress (Cynthia D. Barker), and Outstanding Featured Actor (Enoch King).
There is a free parking lot and fine dining nearby. The theatre is handicap accessible.
The press release is by Producing Artistic Director Carolyn Griffin.