Center, Yasmine Rana, at the Newark Penn reading of, “Encounters in Transit” for NJ Transit and NJ State Council on the Arts’ TRANSITional Art Project.
“The line between where you are now and sleeping in your car is much thinner than you think.” The Fountain Theatre presents the world premiere of a timely new play, written and directed by Stephen Sachs (Arrival & Departure, Citizen: An American Lyric, Bakersfield Mist), about homelessness, celebrity worship and the assault on American journalism. Human Interest Story opens at the Fountain on Feb. 15, where performances continue through April 5.
Set in the fast-moving world of new media, Human Interest Story chronicles the journey of newspaper columnist Andy Kramer, played by award-winning actor Rob Nagle (recent credits include Apple Season at Moving Arts and The Judas Kiss at Boston Court). Suddenly laid off when a corporate takeover downsizes his paper – a print publication struggling for readers in changing times – Andy fabricates a letter to his column in retaliation. The letter, from an imaginary homeless woman named “Jane Doe” who announces she will kill herself on the 4th of July because of the heartless state of the world, goes viral, and Andy is forced to hire a homeless woman (Tanya Alexander – Mono/Poly at the Odyssey and Future Sex Inc. at the Lounge) to stand-in as the fictitious Jane. She becomes an overnight internet sensation and a national women’s movement is ignited.
According to Sachs, the play is about how contrary and opposing impulses can hide in the same human being. “A newspaper columnist, in the course of writing a human interest story on another individual, is forced to confront truths about himself,” he explains.
Read the full article from BroadwayWorld Los Angeles here.
The Negro Ensemble Co, Inc.
a photograph, lovers in motion
by Ntozake Shange
adapted and directed by Ifa Bayeza
Thursdays thru Sundays, February 7-29, 2020
Theatre 80 St. Marks
80 St. Marks Place
New York New York 10003
My dear friends,
Zake and I worked together three times: on the transformation of for colored girls from her solo performance to the theatrical masterpiece, on our co-authored novel Some Sing, Some Cry, and on the reimagining of a photograph, lovers in motion, a play where she experiements with integrating the heightened language of poetry with dialogue.
When NEC asked her for a work to produce in 2014, she was at a low point, recovering from a series of illnesses. “Give them a surprise,” I said, “Let’s work on something you’ve already got going, but could use a little ‘tlc.'” At the time, she couldn’t hold a pen. “Then, tell me the story.” This began our redraft over that winter, culminating in a concert reading in the spring of 2015. In 2019, NEC was one of 66 organizations that received a grant from the City of New York Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment’s “Made in NY” Women’s Film, TV and Theatre Fund, allowing the company to produce the work in full.
In this new incarnation, the play centers around the female character michael, who is now not simply a dancer, but a poet/dancer. Like its precursor for colored girls, the play explores the journey of young womanhood and chronicles Shange’s years in San Francisco prior to her departure for New York and theatre history.
I am so excited about our amazing ensemble! My only regret is that Zake is not here to work on the project with me and see this new adaptation unfold. Join me in celebrating her magnificent voice and vision as I make my directing debut.
Openng Night is February 7th. Valentine’s Day is a two-for-one special!
See You at the Theatre!
Reading of ALABASTER, by Audrey Cefaly, at the Everyman Theatre on December 9, 2019, part of a Salon Series Reading of ALABASTER at the theatre in Baltimore, MD. Directed by Beth Hylton.
Ifa Bayeza works with students in New Iberia LA to research the full history of New Iberia. She was commissioned by the National Historic Trust.