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Sheldon Epps’ Time As Artistic Director at The Pasadena Playhouse is Over

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Sheldon Epps is up for an NAACP Theatre Award in 2014 for Best Director for 12 Angry Men, which played to rave reviews at the Pasadena Playhouse during the 2013/2014 season.

Sheldon Epps is up for an NAACP Theatre Award in 2014 for Best Director for 12 Angry Men, which played to rave reviews at the Pasadena Playhouse during the 2013/2014 season.

*PASADENA, CA – The Pasadena Playhouse says that Sheldon Epps will leave his post as Artistic Director at the end of the 2016-17 season. Epps will continue his long affiliation with The Playhouse when he assumes the role of Artistic Director Emeritus.

“I have had the privilege to helm this remarkable theatre for twenty years,” said Mr. Epps. “We have given voice to exciting playwrights and we have brought the classics to the stage using vibrant and exciting concepts that made them feel new. Our collaborations with other Los Angeles theatres have provided opportunities for innovative small companies to reach a wider audience on a larger stage. As the theatre approaches its centennial year and begins a search for new executive leadership, it seems an apt moment to announce my intentions for the future. I am honored to be part of creating a legacy that will carry The Playhouse into its next 100 years.”

“Sheldon has been an inspiration and driving force for The Pasadena Playhouse for almost two decades,” said David DiCristofaro, Chairman of the Board of Directors. “Through his leadership, we have broadened our reach through diversity and educational initiatives and surmounted significant challenges. Because of his vision, artistry, dedication and deep love for this theatre, The Pasadena Playhouse is recognized as one of the great American theatres.”

Epps joined The Playhouse in 1997 and immediately set about returning it to the forefront of the American theatre. Under his leadership, The Playhouse has earned distinction for productions of artistic excellence, critical and box office success, and highly praised for its theatrical diversity. He is responsible for building the audience base and creating outreach and educational programs that are an integral part of the community. Several musicals that began at The Pasadena Playhouse have found success on Broadway, in London and on tour. These include Baby, It’s You  (2011 Tony nominee), Sister Act: The Musical (five Tony nominations in 2011), A Night With Janis Joplin (2014 Tony nomination) and Purlie among others. In 2010, when the financial future of The Playhouse looked grim, Mr. Epps led a dedicated team of board members and staff through a restructuring that put the theatre back on solid footing financially while continuing to produce with a high level of artistry. His efforts resulted in renewed support through grants from major donors and private individuals, including substantial support from the Wallace, Doris Duke Charitable, and James Irvine Foundations.

“I am especially proud of our success in the area of audience diversity, as well as diversity on stage.  Our efforts have become a model for addressing these important issues for our field. I am also very proud of the outreach and educational programs The Playhouse has created to bring theatre to young audiences who may otherwise not have experienced the immeasurable impact of theatre,” said Epps.

Before beginning his tenure at The Playhouse, Epps served as Associate Artistic Director of the Old Globe Theatre for four years. He was also a co-founder of the off-Broadway theatre, The Production Company. Mr. Epps has directed both plays and musicals at many of the country’s major theatres including The Roundabout Theatre Company, Manhattan Theatre Club, the Guthrie, Playwrights Horizons, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Arena Stage, and the Goodman Theatre. He conceived the highly acclaimed musicals Play On! and Blues In the Night, which both received Tony Award nominations. He directed productions of both of those shows on Broadway, in London, and at theatres around the world.

Mr. Epps has also had a busy career as a television director, helming episodes of shows such as “Frasier,” “Friends,” “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Girlfriends” and many others. For more than a decade, he served as a member of the Executive Board of the Society of Directors and Choreographers. Mr. Epps received the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award for his efforts and accomplishments at The Pasadena Playhouse.  He was the first leader of an arts organization to receive this prestigious award.

The Pasadena Playhouse began in 1917 and was recognized by the State Legislature as the State Theatre of California for bringing national and international renown to the state as a center for dramatic art in 1937. A new era began when Sheldon Epps became Artistic Director in 1997.  Production highlights include the launch of the national tour of Purlie (with the Goodman Theatre); Sister Act: The Musical, which played in the West End at the London Palladium Theatre and on Broadway at the Broadway Theatre (Five 2011 Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical) and is currently on a national tour; Baby, It’s You!, which played at Broadway’s Broadhurst Theatre (2011 Tony Award nominee); and Looped, which played at Broadway’s Lyceum Theatre (2010 Tony Award nomination, Best Actress in a Play – Valerie Harper). Other productions developed at The Pasadena Playhouse include A Night With Janis Joplin (2014 Tony Award nominee), Stormy Weather: The Lena Horne Story, Can Can: The Musical, and Ray Charles Live.

 

 

source:
Patty Onagan
[email protected]

 

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Is Pres. Elect Biden Obama’s 3rd Term? & What 44 Said About Black America’s Progress Under His Watch on ‘Breakfast Club’ (VIDEO)

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Charlamagne Tha God - Barack Obama
Charlamagne Tha God - Barack Obama

Charlamagne Tha God – Barack Obama

*Attorney Antonio Moore discusses the recent Obama Breakfast Club interview during his Book tour.

Moore harshly critiques the interview of Pres. Obama performed by Charlamagne, DJ Envy and Angela Yee.

He also looks closer at President Elect Joe Biden’s cabinet picks and measures them again Barack Obama & Bill Clinton’s prior administrations.

MORE NEWS: Ripped in Their 50s! Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Strip Down for Weigh-in / WATCH

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** FEATURED STORY **

The Virtual United Negro College Fund Tour Heads to NY, DC & NJ on Fri & Sat-Nov. 20 & 21 (EUR EXCLUSIVE!)

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EUR emt-smiling-people-800-800x450

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*African American students interested in going to college can attend the United Negro College Fund’s (UNCF) Fall 2020 virtual Empower Me Tour. Set for this Friday and Saturday (November 20 & 21, 2020), New York, District of Columbia, and New Jersey will be repped. (This year’s tour kicked off earlier this month in Wisconsin and Illinois). To register, go here.

The Empower Me Tour is an extension of the goals of the UNCF. Founded in 1944, the UNCF, a non-profit, has raised more than $5 billion and helped more than 500,000 students attend 37 private historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

The EUR caught up with Stacey Lee, the tour’s director for four years, who discussed the importance of the event.

“The UNCF is the nation’s largest provider of education support to minority students,” said Lee. “The Empowerment Tour has been executed for the past 12 years and last year along we offered over $12 million dollars in scholarships.”

MORE NEWS/RELATED: BMEE Authors: Urgent Steps Are Necessary to Address Implicit Bias in Early Education  

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Stacey Lee, director of the Empower Me Tour. (Photo credit: UNCF)

Lee continued, “I think the great thing is that during these times, even with COVID-19, is that a number of corporations (Wells Fargo/P&/FedEx/Disney/Goldman Sachs) and donors have really been providing opportunity and financial access to our schools and students.”

The tour is packed with information and resources so that students and parents have the right tools to make informed decisions.

“It’s a free event that provides educational support, scholarships, interviews with colleges, empowerment, and information on how to get to and through college. We also provide this information for parents as well. We have a parent section that focuses on financial aid and the things you need to get your students to college.”

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Source: Empower Me Tour

Lee continued, “Sometimes we have students that don’t realize that they can attend college. They can receive scholarships. Some of them don’t even know what an HBCU is. So, it’s inspirational for me to see these students receive this information and the excitement that’s around this tour.”

In addition to college information, panel sessions on issues affecting the community will also take place. Legendary rapper Bun B will be part of a special My Black Is Beautiful panel. The panel will have discussions with girls and boys and the MC will lead the male portion.

“It’s about empowerment,” Bun B told the EUR. “It’s vital for us to lift each other up and amplify each other’s voices. We just talk about now what that role is in this COVID world. And with everything that we are seeing with young Black men on television, we want to keep them motivated and centered. We want to make sure that they are not discouraged in this moment.”

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Legendary rapper Bun B is a panelist at the Empower Me Tour. (Photo credit: UNCF)

Ever since Kamala Harris threw her hat into the presidential race and elected vice president of the United States, a spotlight has shined on the fact that she’s an HBCU grad (Howard University) and member of the African American sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha. These facts are not lost on the UNCF.

“Kamala has really boosted people’s awareness about HBCUs and (African American sororities) and the type of people that come out of HBCUs. HBCUS have also provided so many people from science, mathematics, and engineering programs (STEM).”

Bun B added, “We have more than enough examples to show you how beneficial an education from an HBCU can be. So, there is no reason to not be a part of an HBCU because the world is just as available to you as it is for anyone else attending any other type of university.”

Register for the virtual Empower Me Tour on November 20 & 21, 2020 here. Spring tour dates will be announced soon. For general information on the United Negro College Fund, go here.

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(Photo credit: UNCF)

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New Music Buzz: Jazzy Rita Shelby’s ‘Goodbye 2020’

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Goodbye 2020 Jazzy Rita Shelby
Goodbye 2020 Jazzy Rita Shelby

After all that’s happened this year, it’s time to say Goodbye 2020. New single available by Jazzy Rita Shelby at most digital platforms.

*SB Music presents “Goodbye 2020” a new single for the times we are in.

“Goodbye 2020” is performed by Jazzy Rita Shelby and written by Miss Shelby (ASCAP) and Eddie Lawrence Miller (BMI).

It’s the perfect anthem to end a year that has impacted the globe.

Jazzy Rita Shelby Goodbye 2020 looking up - Copy

Jazzy Rita Shelby is fed up with this year and elated about her new single “Goodbye 2020.” Avail now from SB Music (Written by L. Shelby & E. Miller)

EURweb’s Jazzy Rita is also a prolific lyricist who has teamed up with Eddie Miller for “Goodbye 2020” because it was timely and convenient for the birth of a song such as this.

Eddie Miller is a coveted keyboardist & vocalist who performs regularly with Brian Culbertson and he’s the Rhodes Festival musical director. Jazzy Rita rose to notoriety as host & performer at The Starlight Jazz Serenade, an annual benefit concert in North Hollywood with an A list of stars.  As a teen Miss Shelby was inspired to write songs by the legendary David Porter.

This year has been a year like no other.  “Goodbye 2020” is an ode to the world for the year that we have seen and the hope that lies ahead.  Radio Programmers click here for adds.

MORE NEWS: THE REAL: The Ladies’ Experience With Stereotypes in Hollywood. Plus, Cheryl Hines Is Here!

“Goodbye 2020” is released on the SB Music label and was recorded at Wishing Wells Studio in Canoga Park, CA.  Willie Daniels and Mildred Black perform background vocals along with Jazzy Rita.  The video is produced & directed by Jazzy Rita (LaRita Shelby), filmed & edited by Reggie Simon of Simon Vision Media, with wardrobe styling by Jazzy Rita and Poet Roni Girl’s Army Couture.  “Goodbye 2020” is available on most digital platforms.  Click here to listen on Spotify.

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https://twitter.com/JazzyRitaShelby
https://www.instagram.com/jazzyritashelby

 

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