Constellation to open ‘Moon Man Walk’ both in person and streaming

A sweet, soulful tale by award-winning playwright James Ijames that goes to the moon and back.

Following the successes of Children of Medea and The Last Five Years, Constellation Theatre Company will present James Ijames’s Moon Man Walk as the third production in Season 14: Electric Impulses. Moon Man Walk marks Constellation’s official return to in-person programming after a year-and-a-half-long hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To foster a safe and accessible theatergoing experience for all, Constellation will offer both in-person and streaming options.

ABOUT THE SHOW

James Ijames’s sweet, soulful, and often surprising tale follows Spencer, an aspiring writer who returns to his boyhood home in Philadelphia after the sudden death of his devoted single mother, Esther. There, he stumbles upon a letter that shatters the elaborate fantasy Esther had concocted concerning the whereabouts of her son’s estranged father. With the help of Petrushka, a free-spirited woman he meets on the way to the funeral, Spencer embarks on a magical journey through time and space to confront the mysteries of his past. As it transports us to the moon and back, Moon Man Walk reminds us that even in the darkest corners of the universe, love and light persist.

Premiering in 2015, Moon Man Walk marked the inaugural production of the Orbiter 3 Playwrights Collective in Philadelphia, of which Ijames (pronounced I’ms) is a founding member. The Philadelphia Weekly said of that production, “James Ijames’s gorgeously-written play dwells in the loneliness of being an only child to a working single mother, the barriers we let down when genuine love wants in and the enduring power of the mother-son relationship, one of the most magical things in life.”

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT

James Ijames. Photo by Beowulf Sheehan.
James Ijames. Photo by Beowulf Sheehan.

James Ijames is a Philadelphia-based performer and playwright whose works include The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington, Moon Man Walk, WHITE, Kill Move Paradise, The Threshing Floor, and Osiris: Redux. His plays have been produced by Flashpoint Theater Company, Orbiter 3, Theatre Horizon, Wilma Theater, The National Black Theatre, Definition Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Ally Theatre Company, and Shotgun Players and have received development with PlayPenn New Play Conference, The Lark, Playwright’s Horizon, Clubbed Thumb, Villanova Theater, Wilma Theater, Azuka Theatre and Victory Garden. Ijames is a 2011 Independence Foundation Fellow, a 2015 Pew Fellow for Playwriting, the 2015 winner of the Terrance McNally New Play Award for WHITE, the 2015 Kesselring Honorable Mention Prize winner for ….Miz Martha, a 2017 recipient of the Whiting Award, the 2019 Kesselring Prize Winner for Kill Move Paradise, and a 2020 Steinberg Award Winner. He is the Assistant Professor of Theatre at Villanova University and the Co-Artistic Director of the Wilma Theater.

ABOUT THE CAST

The cast of ‘Moon Man Walk’: Jonathan Del Palmer (Spencer), Jasmine Joy Brooks (Petrushka), Renee Elizabeth Wilson (Esther/Nurse/Flight Attendant), Patrick M. Doneghy (Astronaut, Funeral Guy/Flower Guy/Kesi).

Jonathan Del Palmer makes his Constellation debut in Moon Man Walk as Spencer, the self-professed “mighty Man-Boy” who undergoes a transformative journey after the death of his mother. Prior to the start of the pandemic, Palmer starred as Grif in the regional premiere of another Ijames play, Kill Move Paradise, at Rep Stage in Columbia, MD. Other local credits include Theater Alliance: Day of Absence; 1st Stage: The Member of the Wedding, columbinus; Rorschach Theatre Company: Sing to Me Now.

Constellation newcomer Jasmine Joy Brooks stars opposite Palmer as Petrushka, the vibrant and outspoken woman who pushes Spencer to search for the truth about his father. Brooks has performed in Venus Theatre’s productions of The Powers That Be: A Rock Opera and Renee Calarco’s #solestories and in The Gulf at Peter’s Alley Productions.

Also making her Constellation debut is Renee Elizabeth Wilson in the role of Spencer’s beloved mother Esther. Wilson was most recently seen in Mosaic Theatre Company’s celebrated production of Native Son. Other local credits include Mosaic: Milk Like Sugar; Folger Theatre: Nell Gwynn; Studio Theatre: Kings, Skeleton Crew; Nu Sass: The Veils.

Finally, Constellation welcomes back Patrick M. Doneghy, who appeared as Old Man Strong/ Hot Blades Harry in CTC’s 2016 production of Doneghy takes on multiple roles in Moon Man Walk, portraying Spencer’s father Kesi as well as a mysterious astronaut, a well-meaning funeral home employee, and an eccentric florist. Doneghy was most recently seen in Keegan Theatre’s productions of Hands on a Hardbody and As You Like It.

ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM

Angelisa E. Gillyard

Angelisa Gillyard leads Moon Man Walk as Director and Choreographer. Constellation is thrilled to welcome back Gillyard, who served as the stage manager and assistant director for its inaugural production, A Dream Play, nearly 15 years ago. Gillyard’s local directing credits include Rep Stage: LOVE/language; Theater Alliance: Day of Absence; Ally Theatre Company: Welcome to Sis’, #poolparty; Montgomery College: Twilight, Los Angeles: 1992. Angelisa has also choreographed musicals, plays and operas for The In Series, Ally Theatre Company, and DC metro area high schools and colleges. She is in her final year as an MFA Directing candidate at Catholic University.

Constellation’s Managing Director J. Guban will serve as Scenic & Lighting Designer. Guban has created 42 scenic designs and 40 lighting designs for Constellation, receiving seven Helen Hayes Nominations for Outstanding Lighting Design (The Wild Party, Avenue Q, 36 Views) and Set Design (Little Shop of Horrors, The Arabian Nights, Journey to the West, 36 Views).

Constellation welcomes Costume Designer Austin Blake Conlee, who recently graduated with an MFA in Costume Design from the University of Maryland. Conlee’s designs have been seen on the stages of University of Maryland, Cumberland County Playhouse, Hattiloo Theatre, Germantown Theatre Company, the University of Memphis, New Moon Theatre Company, and Opera Columbus.

Sound Designer Kevin L. Alexander returns to Constellation, having previously worked as the Sound Engineer for both Little Shop of Horrors and Alexander’s sound designs have been heard in productions at Rep Stage, NextStop Theatre Company, Theater Alliance, Adventure Theatre MTC, and New Repertory Theatre in Watertown, MA.

Properties Designer Amy Kellett’s work has been seen on stages across the DC area including Theater Alliance, Rep Stage, Synetic Theatre, Pointless Theatre Co., and Spooky Action Theater.

Jenny Male, who served as the Intimacy and Fight Director for last season’s The 39 Steps, returns as Intimacy Director. Male’s Intimacy and Fight Direction work has appeared at Rep Stage (where she is the Resident Intimacy and Fight Director), Everyman Theatre, Adventure Theatre, Single Carrot Theatre, Maryland Opera Studio, Baltimore Shakespeare Festival, Ozark Actors Theatre, Tecumseh!, Maryland Lyric Opera, Arts Collective, and Red Branch Theatre Company.

Moon Man Walk opens live stream August 12, 2021, at 8 PM and in person August 15 at 7:30 PM. In-person performances are August 14 to 22 at CulturalDC’s Source Theatre, 1835 14th Street NW, Washington DC (between 14th and T). In-person tickets are $10-49 plus fees. Video On Demand is available August 27 to September 12. Patrons who purchase a Video On Demand ticket will receive a link to stream the filmed production anytime during the virtual run. Patrons will have a 72-hour window in which to enjoy the show. Video On Demand tickets are $20 per household plus fees. Tickets may be purchased by calling the Box Office at (202) 204-7741 or online at ConstellationTheatre.org.

RUN TIME: 90 minutes with no intermission.

COVID SEATS: A limited number of $10 tickets for each performance are available for purchase on Constellation Theatre’s website to those who have been financially affected by the pandemic. Additional fees apply.

DISCOUNTED TICKETS: Constellation will give away a pair of complimentary tickets for every performance using a digital lottery, which may be entered on the theatre’s website until up to 48 hours before each performance. Groups of 4 or more are eligible for a 25% discount on regularly priced tickets. First responders, active or retired military personnel, teachers, and students are eligible for a 50% discount on regularly priced tickets. Additional fees apply. Please visit www.ConstellationTheatre.org/special-offers for discount codes and more information.

COVID-19 SAFETY PLAN: As we welcome audiences back to Source for the first time in 18 months, Constellation is committed to creating a safe and enjoyable experience for all. As announced on August 5, Constellation has united with 12 other DC-area theaters to require that all audience members wear masks and provide proof of vaccination to attend indoor performances. For a comprehensive overview of our policies, visit ConstellationTheatre.org/covid-safety-plan.

ABOUT SEASON 14: ELECTRIC IMPULSES

With Moon Man Walk, Constellation Theatre Company is delighted to welcome audiences back to Source for the first time since March 2020. To foster a safe and accessible theatergoing experience for all, Constellation will offer both in-person and streaming options for the remaining two shows in Season 14: Electric Impulses. As previously announced, audiences will be able to tune in from their homes to watch the Live Stream Opening Night performances of Moon Man Walk and Mysticism & Music. Then, each production will have a limited in-person performance run at Source. After the in-person run concludes, a Video On Demand version of each show will be available to stream through Constellation’s website.

Season 14 brings electrifying energy, striking visual design, and intimate performances to theatergoers all over the world while keeping our artists and audiences safe. Other shows in the season include:

Mysticism & Music
an original story created by Tom Teasley, Chao Tian, Allison Arkell Stockman and A.J. Guban Live Stream Opening Night: Saturday, October 23, 2021 at 8 PM In-Person Performances: October 23 – November 7
Video On Demand: November 2 – 21, 2021

Captivating music, movement, and spoken word merge in this world premiere piece inspired by sacred texts and ideas from around the world. Following their Helen Hayes Award-nominated collaboration on 2019’s The White Snake, the award-winning musical duo of Teasley and Tian will compose and perform a propulsive new soundscape powered by a cross-cultural fusion of exuberant percussion and Chinese dulcimer. Singers and dancers join this multidisciplinary group of collaborators to take you on a transcendent journey, awakening your senses with spectacular sound, imagery, and light.

Production video will be captured and edited by Blue Land Media, based in Arlington, VA. Founded in 2000, Blue Land Media works to make a difference by connecting people, sharing ideas, and telling stories through the power of video and digital media. www.bluelandmedia.com.

ABOUT CONSTELLATION THEATRE COMPANY

Constellation Theatre Company tells big, powerful stories in an intimate space. Constellation sparks the curiosity and imagination of the people of greater Washington, DC, with world-class entertainment that features visual spectacle, dynamic movement, live music, and passionate acting ensembles. Drawing from the genres of fantasy, farce, and epic adventure, Constellation transports audiences to new and exciting worlds where the action is larger than life.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here