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CIVILWRIGHTS Logo
Akin Salawu
Ren Dara Santiago
James Tyler
Jerome A. Parker

Anti-racism play series

CivilWrights is free and open to all with RSVP.
::: You must create a FREE account to register :::

10-minute shorts

This short play festival features a range of subjects, perspectives and content within BIPOC realities, which explores the current and ongoing anti-black political and social climate, followed by conversations about our current landscape and creating a more inclusive American Theatre.

CIVILWRIGHTS: Part I

February 22nd – 28th

Part I premiered on January 17th. In honor of Black History Month, it can be viewed February 22nd – 28th.

CIVILWRIGHTS: Part II

March 21st at 6PM EST

Part II will be presented on Sunday evening, March 21st at 6PM EST, featuring a 30-minute play, SHOT: CAUGHT A SOUL, by Gloria J. Browne-Marshall, which explores racism through the prism of police shootings.
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CIVILWRIGHTS: Part III

April 25th at 6PM EST

Part III will be presented on Sunday evening, April 25th at 6PM EST, featuring a 20-minute musical, DON’T STAY SAFE.  Book and lyrics by Cheryl L. Davis, and Music by Douglas J. Cohen.
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Part I - premiered on January 17th. In honor of Black History Month, it can be viewed

February 22nd - 28th

All presentations of CIVILWRIGHTS are followed by a Town-Hall style panel discussion.
CivilWrights is free and open to all with RSVP.
CivilWrights is free and open to all with registration.
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NewYorkRep develops and produces new plays and musicals that inspire and compel social change by telling stories that expose the travesty and beauty of our humanity. By illuminating social and ethical questions through art, we strive to create provocative theater that promotes empathy, compassion, and inclusion.
NewYorkRep is a 501(c)(3) organization.

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NewYorkRep (Gayle Waxenberg, Co-Founder, Executive Director), in association with Rashad V. Chambers and Five Ohm Productions, presents CivilWrights, a ten-minute play series. A response to the national crisis on systemic racism, four playwrights of color have written 10-minute mini plays on racism.  This short play festival, a first in a series, will feature a range of subjects, perspectives and content within BIPOC realities, which explore the current and ongoing political and social climate around all forms of racism.  Each series will be followed by a Town Hall style talk-back to foster conversation about equality and also create a more inclusive American Theatre.

PART I

Those Wishing

By James Anthony Tyler
directed by Stevie Walker-Webb
featuring Ebony Marshall-Oliver& Jacob Daniel Smith

In the midst of the Minneapolis protests that ensued after the murder of George Floyd, Oliviette and her son LeVante reason the best course of action to find Nate, LeVante’s younger brother who has been missing for 3 days.

N%#&R of the Month

By Akin Salawu
directed by Kevin R. Free
featuring Scott Ahearn, Madsie “Rachel” Flynn, Gabriel Lawrence & Namakula

The morning another grand jury declines to press charges for another murder of an unarmed black man, the Fellows at the progressive Reid Foundation face their own racial reckoning.

Animals

By Jerome A. Parker
directed by Jerome A. Parker
featuring James Edward Becton, David Gow & Jessica Myhr

Memorial Day. 2020.  Worlds, eras and spirits collide when a bird watcher's commune with nature is suddenly disrupted.

Where we at.

By Ren Dara Santiago
directed by Bobby Roman
featuring Jared Wayne Gladly & TJ Weaver

Two folks chillin over a recreational vice of choice dive into the existential nature of identity, relationships and life.

PART II

The play will be followed by a Town Hall discussion with the playwright and panelists including Jeffrey Schlanger, Deputy Commissioner for Risk Management, NYPD; Jennifer Epps-Addison, Network President & Co-Executive Director, Center for Popular Democracy/Center for Popular Democracy Action; and Lauren Footman, Director of Outreach and Equity at the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence.

PANELISTS

GLORIA J. BROWNE-MARSHALL is an alumna of the MFA playwrights’ program at Sarah Lawrence College. Her plays include My Juilliard; Killing Me Softly; Jeanine; Waverly Place; Mercy Killing; A Waltz Through Dark Places and have been produced in New York City, Chicago, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Baton Rouge and Philadelphia. Gloria is a writer, professor of constitutional law at John Jay College (CUNY), civil rights attorney, Supreme Court correspondent and author of many books, including “Race, Law, and American Society: 1607 to Present” and “The Voting Rights War.” Her forthcoming book is “She Took Justice: The Black Woman, Law, and Power.” Her poem “white privilege” appears in Esthetic Apostles Journal. Founder/Director of The Law and Policy Group, Inc., a 501(3)c nonprofit, she publishes “The Report on the Status of Black Women and Girls(r).” Gloria is a recipient of a Pulitzer grant.A universal woman, Gloria is working on a debut novel of historical fiction “Camilla” set in a northern slave town as well as “Freeman” a present-day action/drama screenplay. Her play-in-progress “CLASS” is about today’s racial battle over the American Dream. She thanks God for life and the liberty to do this work. Gloria is blessed to have such a great cast and the opportunity to tell untold stories. Stay well. Vote!!!

JEFFREY SCHLANGER - DEPUTY COMMISSIONER FOR RISK MANAGEMENT, NYPDThe Risk Management Bureau measures the performance of police officers and identifies officers who might be in need of enhanced training or supervision. Employing a data-driven approach with information taken from lawsuits, misconduct complaints, and internal probes, the NYPD can quickly monitor patterns of potential misbehavior and take necessary corrective action as part of an early intervention system. The bureau also assesses whether the department's training and policies are effective or are in need of revision. The bureau works with the city's inspector general and other government. Jeff is a leading authority on institutional change management, with more than four decades of experience at the highest levels of law, law enforcement, independent investigations and monitor ships. His experience includes conducting independent investigations, monitoring police departments, banks, and other major institutions, and blending those skills with a risk management process to promote reform, continuous improvement, and integrity assurance. Jeff is an attorney and holds a federal security clearance at the TS-SCI level.

JENNIFER EPPS-ADDISON - NETWORK PRESIDENT & CO-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR CENTER FOR POPULAR DEMOCRACY/CENTER FOR POPULAR DEMOCRACY ACTION Jennifer leads CPD’s racial justice campaigns and works closely with its network of local affiliates.  Jennifer boasts over 20 years of community organizing experience, advancing systems-change campaigns for economic and racial justice. Prior to joining CPD, Epps-Addison was the Chief Program Officer for the Liberty Hill Foundation, a social justice foundation in Los Angeles that funds grassroots community organizing campaigns for social change. Epps-Addison is the recipient of the 2013 Edna Award from the Berger-Marks Foundation, which honors an outstanding young woman each year for her leadership in fueling social change. She was named an 'Activist to Watch' by Bill Moyers. She earned her BA in Political Science and Women's Studies and her JD from the University of Wisconsin. Prior to her return to organizing, Jennifer was a trial attorney in the Wisconsin State Public Defender's Office. Jennifer sits on the board of directors for the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center, United For Respect, Be A Hero PAC and Step Up Louisiana.

LAUREN FOOTMAN - DIRECTOR OF OUTREACH AND EQUITY AT THE COALITION TO STOP GUN VIOLENCE AND EDUCATIONAL FUND TO STOP GUN VIOLENCE Before joining the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Lauren has had a diverse career trajectory, having worked in human resources, corporate responsibility, and nonprofit sectors. During her career, she has gained experience in talent management, implementing diversity and inclusion programs, and coalition building. Moreover, she has worked with local and national organizations on civil rights, and gun violence prevention, working at the intersection of policy, community organizing, and philanthropy. Lauren prides herself on being to foster collaboration among her corporate and nonprofit affiliations, as these institutions understand that society benefits when their efforts are aligned and well resourced. In her current role, Lauren works to empower and amplify impacted communities by providing them the tools and resources to cultivate safe and sustainable communities. Due to her professional and civic endeavors, Lauren has received various awards including being honored by local news media outlet Billy Penn as a part of their “Who’s Next” series, as one of “17 Community Leaders and Activists Using Their Platforms for Social Good in Philadelphia.” In 2019, Lauren was recognized by Philadelphia Magazine as one of 38 changemakers disrupting the status quo in Philadelphia; she was also awarded Activist of the Year by the Rad Awards and was recognized by Philadelphia Tribune as a Top 10 Under 40.Lauren received her bachelor’s degree from Bryn Mawr College and her master’s degree in Organizational Dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania.

PART III

Part III will be presented on Sunday evening, April 25th at 6PM EST, featuring a 20-minute musical, DON’T STAY SAFE.  Book and lyrics by Cheryl L. Davis, and Music by Douglas J. Cohen.

WRITERS

CHERYL L. DAVIS (BOOK & LYRICS) received the Kleban Award as a librettist for her musical Barnstormer about Bessie Coleman, the first Black woman flyer. Her musical Bridges was commissioned and produced by the Berkeley Playhouse and was a finalist for the Richard Rodgers Award. Her play Maid’s Door was produced at the Billie Holiday Theatre, received seven AUDELCO Awards and was a finalist for the Francesca Primus Prize. She is co-librettist on an adaptation of Scott Joplin’s opera Treemonisha for the Volcano Theatre Company in Canada which is scheduled to receive its world premiere in 2021. She is a freelance writer for “Law & Order: SVU” and her episode “Garland’s Baptism by Fire” first aired on April 2, 2020.

DOUGLAS J. COHEN (MUSIC) Awards: 2010 Fred Ebb Award, two Richard Rodgers Awards, Jonathan Larson Grant, Drama Desk Award nominee. With collaborator Cheryl Davis: Bridges (Richard Rodgers Finalist, Prospect’s Ignite Series @ Times Center; Berkeley Playhouse, Amas workshop), Barnstormer (Lark Theatre Bare Bones, 2008 NAMT Festival, Red Mountain Developmental Production). Off-Broadway: The Evolution of Mann (co-writer Dan Elish @ The Cell Theatre); No Way to Treat a Lady (Hudson Guild Theatre and York Theatre Company); The Gig (MTC Stage 2, Goodspeed, five NYMF Awards); Children’s Letters to God (Off-Broadway, Lamb’s Theatre); The Big Time, book by Douglas Carter Beane (NYMF and AADA productions, recent McCarter Theatre concert starring Santino Fontana, Debbie Gravitte, Will Swenson, Laura Osnes, Jackie Hoffman); Boozy (The Culture Project, directed by Alex Timbers). Other musicals: The Opposite of Sex (Williamstown), Glimmerglass (Goodspeed, 2000 NAMT, Spirit of Broadway). douglasjcohen.com

TEAM

IRIS BEAUMIER (FRANKI) is a proud New York City native and Carnegie Mellon alum. TV/film credits include "Modern Love" (Amazon), "Blindspot" (NBC), "Alternatino" (Comedy Central), and Mariannes Noires (Round Room Image), a documentary about Afro-French womanhood screening in the U.S. and abroad. Most recently she played the title role in The Dark Star from Harlem: The Spectacular Rise of Josephine Baker at La MaMa (2020 *Viv” AUDELCO Best Lead Actress Award). She's also performed in Ragtime, Godspell (Theatre Aspen), Outside of Eden (New Ohio), and Dr. Rees Ziti’s Pageant for a Better Future (ArsNova ANTFest). @iris.beaumier irisbeaumier.com

LATOYA EDWARDS (TAYLOR) Born in St. Andrews, Jamaica, Latoya is an actress and singer based in New York City, who loves “The Office” and anything blue raspberry flavored. Most recently she performed as Wummie in the American premiere of Chris Urch’s The Rolling Stone, directed by Saheem Ali, at Lincoln Center. Previously, she performed as Ama in the NYC encore run of Jocelyn Bioh's School Girls; or, the African Mean Girls Play, directed by Rebecca Taichman, at the Lucille Lortel Theatre.

NYGEL D. ROBINSON (EDDIE / GUITAR) is a singer, actor, writer, and multi-instrumentalist based in New York City. Select theatre credits include Larry in the workshop and Lincoln Center concert version of Beau: The Musical, Jesus in Godspell (St. Michael’s Playhouse), and Actor/Musician in The All Night Strut (Milwaukee Rep). Nygel is also the co-writer of the new musical concept album Mexodus alongside Brian Quijada.

JOHN BRONSTON (MUSIC DIRECTOR / PIANO) served as touring musical director for Hair and associate conductor of Ain’t Misbehavin, Five Guys Named Moe, and Smokey Joe’s Café. Regional credits include The Color Purple, The Wiz, Legally Blonde, and Heathers at Long Wharf Theatre, The Barter Theatre, Westcoast Black Theatre, and Florida Studio Theatre.  New York credits include New York Musical Theatre Festival, Musical Theatre Factory, The Women’s Project, Prospect Theater Company, The Workshop Theatre, Ardea Arts, and The New York Theatre Barn. As an educator he works with AMDA, Stagedoor Manor, Rock the Audition, and the Mayo Performing Arts Center.

CHRISTINA FRANKLIN (DIRECTOR) is a Brooklyn based theatre artist. She received a BFA in Directing, Playwriting, and Production from the University of The Arts and went on to work with various companies including The Lark, National Black Theatre, and The Signature. Recent directing and assisting credits include: The Wolves (The Professional Performing Arts School), For Colored Girls…, White Noise (The Public Theater) and Slave Play (NYTW) . She has written and directed for TADA! Youth Theater, earning several National Youth Theatre awards and nominations. In addition to directing and writing, Christina teaches acting at The Professional Performing Arts School. Matthew 5:14!

LESLEY STEELE (CINEMATOGRAPHY) is a writer, director, and editor. A New York City native, she was chosen to participate in Sundance's Art of Editing Fellowship in 2020, and was selected to appear in DOC NYC's “40 under 40” filmmakers in 2020. Steele’s spark in experimental 16mm cinematography and analog editing is a driving force in her work. Her latest documentary, By Way of Canarsie, was produced in 2019 in her fellowship CoLAB with UnionDocs, and is currently on the festival circuit.  Lesley is currently producing her first investigative feature  about the state of mental health and its intersection with race and the carceral system in the United States.

JESSIE STEAD (FILM EDITOR) works in overlapping patterns of installation, music, cinema, text, collaboration and other forms of cross-disciplined art. Her cinematic work has screened at The London Film Festival, the New York Film Festival, MoCAD (Detroit), and in Greater New York at MoMA PS1 (2010). She is the electronic percussionist in the art-band Hairbone. Recent work in moving image includes directing two music videos for Hairbone and the editing and sound design for the feature documentary George: The Story of George Maciunas & Fluxus, which premiered at MoMA.

LIANNE ARNOLD (PRODUCTION & PROJECTION DESIGN) is a video and scenic designer and interdisciplinary artist working in theater, opera, music, dance, film, art installation, and experimental performance hybrids of all kinds. Previously for Prospect: The Hello Girls (scenic & projection design). Recent performance design includes Lil Buck & Jon Boogz’ Love Heals All Wounds (CAP UCLA), Jazz Singer (Abrons Artspace), Oscar at the Crown (3 Dollar Bill), Words on the Street (Baruch - also co-creator), Joseph Keckler’s Let Me Die (Opera Philadelphia/FringeArts) and Joseph Keckler’s Train With No Midnight (Prototype Festival/HERE). When the Covid-19 shutdown happened in March 2020, Lianne was working as the associate projection designer on The Lehman Trilogy on Broadway. Lianne teaches Video Design/Creative Technologies at The New School, is a member of Wingspace Design Collective, and proudly earned her MFA from CalArts.

ADAM HONORÉ (LIGHTING DESIGN) is a Harlem based lighting designer for plays, musicals, and live events. Off-Broadway highlights include Carmen Jones (Classic Stage), Ain’t No Mo’ (The Public), and Behind the Sheet (Ensemble Studio Theatre). Regional collaborations include Arena Stage, Dallas Theater Center, Huntington Theater Company, Shakespeare Theatre Company, and Signature Theatre among others. International designs include Haydn's The Seasons (Austria), The Band’s Visit (Manila), Kinky Boots (Manila), and Fun Home (Int’l Premiere, featuring Lea Salonga). Adam is a Drama Desk, Henry Hewes, and Helen Hayes Award Nominee; AUDELCO Award Recipient, and a Member of Live Design Magazine’s "30 Under 30.” www.honorelighting.com // @itsadamhonore

KEVIN HEARD (SOUND DESIGN & AUDIO ENGINEER) is a producer and sound designer based in NYC. His theatrical sound design work has been heard Off-Broadway: Einstein’s Dreams, #DateMe, The Hello Girls, Midnight at The Never Get, In & Of Itself; on Broadway (as Associate): The Minutes, All the Way, The Cherry Orchard, The Country House; and the international premieres of Fun Home, Kinky Boots, and Matilda in Manila, Philippines; also, dozens of regional productions from coast to coast. Kevin is an independent producer and works often on shows for BenDeLaCreme Presents. He recently produced his first feature film with The Jinkx and DeLa Holiday Special available now worldwide. @thekevinheard HeardAudio.com

JOSH CAPE (PRODUCTION & PROJECT MANAGER) Originally from Montreal, Josh is a freelance production manager based in NYC. Previous credits include The Hello Girls in concert, Einstein's Dreams (Prospect Theater Company), Orlando, Soft (Williamstown Theatre Festival), Romeo & Juliet (Trinity Rep), The Sleeping Beauty (The Washington Ballet), OSCAR at The Crown (Neon Coven), In The Heights, The Seagull, Sweeney Todd, Mary Stuart (Brown University).

DEV BONDARIN (LINE PRODUCER) is the Associate Artistic Director of Prospect where she produces and directs the annual musical theater lab. She is also the Artistic Director of Astoria Performing Arts Center where her credits include the NY premiere of Marguerite starring Tony Award-winner Cady Huffman and a revival of Caroline, or Change which won the AUDELCO Viv Award for Outstanding Musical Revival in 2019. Since the pandemic began she has pivoted online and recently directed two new, short musicals as part of a collaboration between Lincoln Center and the NY Public Library. devbondarin.com.

MELISSA HUBER (MANAGING DIRECTOR, PROSPECT THEATRE COMPANY) has worked at the Guthrie Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, the Magic Theatre in San Francisco, Yale Repertory Theatre, Ensemble Theatre Company of Santa Barbara. She is the Producer at the International Festival of Arts & Ideas and is one of Prospect’s founders. Melissa holds an AB in History from Princeton University and an MFA in Theater Management from the Yale School of Drama.

CARA REICHEL (PRODUCING ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, PROSPECT THEATER COMPANY) is a founding member of Prospect Theater Company. Recent Prospect projects as director / author: The Hello Girls (Outer Critics Circle Award Nomination for Outstanding Director & Outstanding Book), The Flood, Death for Five Voices; as director: Einstein's Dreams. Regionally she has worked with Goodwill Theatre, the Village Theatre, and Surflight Theatre, and internationally with Broadway au Carré in Paris. For more info: CaraReichel.com

Don't Stay Safe was originally commissioned and produced as part of Prospect Theater Company's VISION Series of new music theater on film. For more information: www.ProspectTheater.org.

SHOWS