Black Footnotes: Documentary Play At Nuyorican Poets Cafe

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Rebel Theater Company and the Nuyorican Poets Cafe present the world premiere production of Black Footnotes, a documentary play with music that chronicles the lives and achievements of African-American scientists.

The play, which was written by Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj, highlights four scientists: Dr. Eliza Anna Grier, a former slave who became the first African-American female doctor in Georgia; Dr. Geraldine Pittman Woods, a leading African-American scientist in the study of neuroembryology; Dr. Jane Cooke Wright, who is known as the Mother of Chemotherapy; and Dr. Evelyn Boyd Granville, one of the first African-American women to receive a PhD in mathematics and one of the first women to work at NASA.

Told in music and memory, their courageous story hurdles from present to past; tragedy to triumph. This production features 34 actors, most of them women of color.

"Black Footnotes, at its core, is a tribute to four of the thousands of important black women whom history has forgotten," said producer Adam Mace. "It's an honor to tell the world about their courage, love, journey and success."

"Black Footnotes echoes the Cafe's creative history and renews our dynamic collaboration with Rebel Theater Company," said Daniel Gallant, Executive Director of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. "This play celebrates women of color who broke boundaries and emerged as pioneers, much as the artists of color who founded the Cafe and established its traditions were pioneers and innovators."

The Nuyorican Poets Cafe has long nurtured innovative and experimental work by diverse artists from communities that have been traditionally underrepresented in the theatrical, musical and literary fields. Rebel Theater is the Cafe's first-ever resident theater company, and Black Footnotes is the first production of Rebel's second season at the Cafe.

This residency program resonates with the Cafe's focus on championing exceptional artists of color who exist outside the mainstream. Both the Cafe and Rebel focus on the creation of new work by and about African-American, Latino American and Native American individuals.

Rebel and the Cafe also reinterpret many classic works of theater, literature and music from the viewpoint of disenfranchised communities. Rebel Theater Company's other two productions at the Cafe this season will be R+J in Dixie, an adaptation of Shakespeare's play in which an interracial couple struggles during the American Civil War; and The Trail of Tears, which tells the story of the genocide visited against Native Americans in the American West (co-produced with the Eagle Project, and featuring Native American actors and activists). Black Footnotes was commissioned through the Ensemble Studio Theatre Alfred P. Sloan Project and received a developmental reading at AMAS Musical Theatre. Black Footnotes opens Sunday, February 1st and runs through Saturday, February 14 (12 total performances) at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe (236 East 3rd Street, between Avenues B and C in Manhattan).

Evening performances start at 7PM; matinee performances start at 3pm. Admission is $20 in advance and $25 at the door. $15 tickets are available for students and seniors at the door.

Tickets are available at www.nuyorican.org (or via the shortcuthttp://tinyurl.com/NuyoFootnotes).

This production is made possible in part by support from the Alfred P. Sloan project.

 

ABOUT THE PRODUCTION TEAM: Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj (Writer/Director/Choreographer) is an Indo-Caribbean American artist, educator, and activist. He was hailed by the New York Times as "one of the most talented directors in New York these days."

Rajendra is the founder and Artistic Director of Rebel Theater Company. He also founded the children's arts group Be.Do.Fly! and River Voices, an African American and Latino playwriting festival in collaboration with Arkansas Repertory Theatre. Maharaj is the former Associate Artistic Director of Syracuse Stage and the Lark Play Development Center, and an alumnus of Lincoln Center Directors Lab and TCG Young Leaders of Color.

Maharaj is the recipient of grants, fellowships, and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Theater Communications Group, Time Warner Diverse Voices Fund, the Van Lier Directing Fellowship, and the AUDELCOs.

He worked as an assistant director on the Tony Award-winning Broadway revival A Raisin in the Sun and on ABC's All My Children. Maharaj has been featured in American Theatre Magazine, Yale Review, New York Times, The Star Ledger, Chicago Sun Times, Ebony, and Variety. Adam Mace (Producer/Fight Director) is a Director, Playwright and Educator.

He is the Associate Producing Artistic Director of Rebel Theater and the founder and Producing Artistic Director of Mount Carmel Theatre Company. Directing credits include: Othello The Panther, Jesus Christ Superstar and Company. Adam is an accomplished teaching artist; he teaches drama and leadership skills to NYC urban youth and has had residencies with The Leadership Program and Rising City Arts.

Adam recently launched ¡Rockamole! Productions, a new media production company, with Skylar Apter. www.AdamMace.com Daniel Gallant (Producer) is the Executive Director of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, as well as a writer, producer, actor and teacher. He previously served as the Director of Theater and Talk Programming at the 92nd Street Y's Makor and Tribeca centers. He has produced theater and music events at venues including Summerstage, Town Hall, Brooklyn Museum, Joe's Pub, Abrons Arts Center and the DR2 Theater.

His work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Crain's New York, the Daily News and the New York Post; on MTV, NBC, NY1, CBS, Univision, the BBC; and in anthologies from Vintage Books and Applause. Musical Director: Christian Lee Branch Assistant Director: Najah Muhammad

Over the last 40 years, the Nuyorican Poets Cafe has served as a home for groundbreaking works of poetry, music, theater and visual arts. A multicultural and multi-arts institution, the Cafe champions the use of spoken word and music as means of social empowerment for minority and underprivileged artists. Our community of spectators, artists and students is a reflection of New York City's diverse population. Allen Ginsberg called the Cafe "the most integrated place on the planet", the Wall Street Journal says the Cafe is a "a thriving arts center with partnerships across the city" and John Leguizamo says the Cafe "put the street on stage... Made our lives real, our emotions real."

Rebel Theater Company was founded in 2003 by Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj, Terry Costantino, Nick Pietre, and Winston Bachelor. The company gives voice to marginalized communities and is deeply committed to exploring the full beauty and diversity of the American experience. Rebel Theater resists the old traditions of the American theater and compels conversation through art.

Under the artistic direction of Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj, Rebel Company partnered with the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in 2013; since that time, the company has garnered rave reviews, as well as multiple AUDELCO and New York Innovative Theatre Award nominations for its productions.

REMAINING PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE

Wednesday, February 4th at 7:00PM

Friday, February 6th at 7:00PM

Saturday, February 7th at 7:00PM

Sunday, February 8th at 3:00PM

Sunday, February 8th at 7:00PM

Monday, February 9th at 7:00PM

Wednesday, February 11th at 7:00PM

Thursday, February 12th at 3:00PM

Thursday, February 12th at 7:00PM

Saturday, February 14th at 3:00PM

The production runs for 90 minutes with no intermission.

TICKET PRICES $20 online; $25 at the door; $15 for students and seniors at the door

TO PURCHASE TICKETS: Visit www.nuyorican.org or use the shortcut tinyurl.com/NuyoFootnotes

DIRECTIONS The Nuyorican Poets Cafe (located at 236 East 3rd Street, between Avenues B and C in Manhattan) is a short walk from the 2nd Avenue Station of the F train and the Essex/Delancey Station of the J/M/Z trains.

For more detailed directions or other information about the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, visitwww.nuyorican.org or call 212-780-9386

 

 

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