*Manhattan Theatre Club (Lynne Meadow, Artistic Director and Barry Grove, Executive Producer), Signature Theatre (Paige Evans, Artistic Director; Harold Wolpert, Executive Director; James Houghton, Founder) and Walk Tall Girl Productions (Marcia Pendelton, Founder/President) will present Rashad & Rashad, a stimulating conversation between mother-daughter duo Phylicia Rashad and Condola Rashad on Monday, May 21. This free event will take place on The Irene Diamond Stage at The Pershing Square Signature Center (480 West 42nd Street between 9th and 10th Avenues), home of Signature Theatre, starting at 6pm.
Tony Award winner Phylicia Rashad, currently making her New York City directorial debut with Signature Theatre’s production of Stephen Adly Guirgis’ Our Lady of 121st Street, and four-time Tony Award nominee Condola Rashad, currently in Manhattan Theatre Club’s production of Bernard Shaw’s Saint Joan, will be moderated by award-winning director and Apollo Theater Executive Producer Kamilah Forbes. The mother-daughter duo will discuss their experiences as African American women working in the entertainment industry, their family relationship both in and out of the industry, their work on their current theatre productions, and more.
This special event is free and open to the public. Seating is first come, first served and capacity is limited. To RSVP, go to http://tiny.cc/rashad.
Saint Joan opened on Broadway on Wednesday, April 25, 2018 at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre (261 West 47th Street). Four-time Tony Award-nominee Condola Rashad (“Billions,” A Doll’s House, Part 2) stars as one of history’s greatest heroines in a major new production of Bernard Shaw’s epic work directed by Daniel Sullivan (Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes). Tickets are available at Telecharge.com, by calling 212-239-6200, or by visiting The Samuel J. Friedman Theatre Box Office at 261 West 47th Street. Ticket prices are $65-$159. For more information and to sign up for MTC’s “30 Under 30” program for theatregoers age 30 and under visit www.manhattantheatreclub.com/30under30/.
Our Lady of 121st Street is playing through June 10, 2018 and opens on Sunday, May 20 on The Irene Diamond Stage at The Pershing Square Signature Center (480 West 42nd Street between 9th and 10th Avenues). All tickets for the initial run of the production are $30 as part of the Signature Ticket Initiative: A Generation of Access, made possible by lead partner The Pershing Square Foundation. To purchase tickets for all Signature productions, call Ticket Services at 212-244-7529 (Tues. – Sun., 11am – 6pm) or visit www.SignatureTheatre.org
PHYLICIA RASHAD: Award-winning actress and director has appeared onstage at The Public: Head of Passes (Lucille Lortel Award), The Story, Helen, Everybody’s Ruby. Broadway: August Osage County, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Raisin in the Sun (Tony Award, Drama Desk Award), August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean (Tony Nomination), Jelly’s Last Jam, Into the Woods, Dreamgirls, The Wiz, Cymbeline. New York Shakespeare Festival: A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Off-Broadway and Regional Theater: Blues for an Alabama Sky, Medea, Blue. Directing: Mark Taper Forum (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Immediate Family, Joe Turner’s Come And Gone), Kirk Douglas Theatre, Ebony Repertory & Westport Playhouse (A Raisin In the Sun), Goodman Theatre, McCarter Theater & Long Wharf Theatre (Fences), Seattle Repertory Theater (Gem of the Ocean), The Kennedy Center (Four Little Girls). Film: Creed, Good Deeds, For Colored Girls, Just Wright, The Old Settler, Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored, The Visit. TV: “Empire,” “Jean-Claude Van Johnson,” “Cosby,” “The Cosby Show.” Respected in the academic world, Ms. Rashad was the first recipient of the Denzel Washington Chair in Theater at Fordham University, and has served as Master Teacher in the Ten Chimney’s Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Program
CONDOLA RASHAD has just received her fourth Tony Award nomination for her lead role in the current production of Saint Joan, now playing at Manhattan Theatre Club’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. She earned her third Tony Award nomination for her return to the Broadway stage in Lucas Hnath’s Tony-nominated new play A Doll’s House, Part 2, opposite Emmy Award-winner Laurie Metcalf, Academy Award winner Chris Cooper and Tony Award winner Jayne Houdyshell. Rashad began her career onstage and debuted off-Broadway at the Manhattan Theatre Club playing a young girl in a brothel in Lynn Nottage’s 2009 Pulitzer Prize-winning play Ruined. She was nominated for Tony Awards and Drama Desk Awards for her roles in Lydia Diamond’s Stick Fly and the late Horton Foote’s The Trip To Bountiful, opposite Cicely Tyson. In 2013, Rashad played “Juliet” to critical acclaim on Broadway, opposite Orlando Bloom’s “Romeo.” Rashad was recently seen in the Netflix film Come Sunday, which reunited her with director Joshua Marston and in which she stars opposite Chiwetel Ejiofor. In Spring of 2016, Rashad completed production on Academy Award nominee Milcho Manchevski’s independent film Bikini Moon, which she stars in as the title character. Later that year, Rashad was seen co-starring in Joshua Marston’s Complete Unknown opposite Michael Shannon and Rachel Weisz, and in Jodie Foster’s Money Monster, opposite George Clooney and Julia Roberts. On television, Rashad is known for her series regular role as the young, motivated Assistant District Attorney “Kate Sacker” in Showtime’s acclaimed series “Billions”, which was recently renewed for a fourth season. Previous television and film credits include a recurring role on NBC’s “Smash” and a starring turn in the Lifetime remake of Steel Magnolias, as well as appearances in Sex And The City 2, “Law and Order: Criminal Intent” and “The Good Wife.” A graduate of California Institute of the Arts, Condola currently resides in New York.
KAMILAH FORBES is a director/producer and the historic Apollo Theater’s executive producer. She was associate director of Raisin in the Sun (2014) among other Broadway shows, and is the recipient of an NAACP image Award and a Tony. Forbes is a co-founder of the urban arts non-profit Hi-Arts.
About MANHATTAN THEATRE CLUB
Manhattan Theatre Club, under the leadership of Artistic Director Lynne Meadow and Executive Producer Barry Grove, has become one of the country’s most prominent and prestigious theatre companies. Over the past four and a half decades, MTC productions have earned numerous awards including seven Pulitzer Prizes and 23 Tony Awards. MTC has a Broadway home at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre (261 West 47th Street) and two Off-Broadway theatres at New York City Center (131 West 55th Street). Renowned MTC productions include Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes; August Wilson’s Jitney; Cost of Living by Martyna Majok; Vietgone by Qui Nguyen; Sell/Buy/Date by Sarah Jones; Heisenberg by Simon Stephens; The Father by Florian Zeller with translation by Christopher Hampton; Fool For Love by Sam Shepard; Casa Valentina by Harvey Fierstein; Outside Mullingar and Doubt by John Patrick Shanley; Murder Ballad by Julia Jordan and Juliana Nash; The Assembled Parties by Richard Greenberg; Wit by Margaret Edson; Venus in Fur by David Ives; Good People and Rabbit Hole by David Lindsay-Abaire; The Whipping Man by Matthew Lopez; Time Stands Still by Donald Margulies; Ruined by Lynn Nottage; Proof by David Auburn; The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife by Charles Busch; Love! Valour! Compassion! by Terrence McNally; The Piano Lesson by August Wilson; Crimes of the Heart by Beth Henley; and Ain’t Misbehavin’, the Fats Waller musical. For more information on MTC, please visit www.ManhattanTheatreClub.com.
About SIGNATURE THEATRE
Signature Theatre celebrates playwrights and gives them an artistic home. Signature makes an extended commitment to a playwright’s body of work, and during this journey the writer is engaged in every aspect of the creative process. By producing a series of plays by each resident writer, Signature delivers an intimate and immersive journey into the playwright’s singular vision. In 2014 Signature became the first New York City company to receive the Regional Theater Tony Award.
Signature serves its mission through its permanent home at The Pershing Square Signature Center, a three-theatre facility on West 42nd Street designed by Frank Gehry Architects to host Signature’s three distinct playwrights’ residencies and foster a cultural community. At the Center, opened in January 2012, Signature continues its original Playwright-in-Residence model as Residency 1, a year-long intensive exploration of a single writer’s body of work. Residency 5, the only program of its kind, was launched at the Center to support multiple playwrights as they build bodies of work by guaranteeing each writer three productions over a five-year period. The Legacy Program, launched during Signature’s 10th Anniversary, invites writers from both residencies back for productions of premiere or earlier plays.
The Pershing Square Signature Center is a major contribution to New York City’s cultural landscape and provides a venue for cultural organizations that supports and encourages collaboration among artists throughout the space. In addition to its three intimate theatres, the Center features a studio theatre, a rehearsal studio and a public café, bar and bookstore.
Through the Signature Ticket Initiative: A Generation of Access, Signature has also made an unprecedented commitment to making its productions accessible by underwriting the cost of the initial run tickets through 2031.
Founded in 1991 by James Houghton, Signature has presented entire seasons of the work of Edward Albee, Lee Blessing, Horton Foote, María Irene Fornés, Athol Fugard, John Guare, A.R. Gurney, David Henry Hwang, Bill Irwin, Adrienne Kennedy, Tony Kushner, Romulus Linney, Charles Mee, Arthur Miller, Suzan-Lori Parks, Sam Shepard, Paula Vogel, Naomi Wallace, August Wilson, Lanford Wilson and a season celebrating the historic Negro Ensemble Company. Stephen Adly Guirgis is the current Residency 1 playwright. Signature’s Residency 5 playwrights are Annie Baker, Martha Clarke, Katori Hall, Quiara Alegría Hudes, Kenneth Lonergan, Dave Malloy and Dominique Morisseau; Will Eno completed his Residency 5 in 2016. Signature’s productions and its resident writers have been recognized with the Pulitzer Prize, Lucille Lortel, Obie, Drama Desk and AUDELCO awards, among many other distinctions. For more information, please visit signaturetheatre.org.
Delta Air Lines is the Official Airline of Signature Theatre.
About WALK TALL GIRL PRODUCTIONS
Walk Tall Girl Productions is dedicated to connecting people and communities through the arts. The company, founded by Marcia Pendelton in 2000, uses marketing, audience development, communications, group sales and special events to create and implement strategies that make the arts accessible to the widest possible audience. Current and previous clients include a variety of arts organizations including Off-Broadway’s Manhattan Theatre Club and Signature Theatre.
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Pastor Cal Keeps Love Alive on ‘Married at First Sight’ (EUR EXCLUSIVE!)
*For 11 seasons, “Married at First Sight” (MAFS) has been the ultimate experiment in matchmaking as couples who have never met – complete strangers – tie the knot.
If you are not familiar with the popular Lifetime series, people looking for love are matched by relationship experts (Dr. Pepper Schwartz, Dr. Viviana Coles, and Pastor Calvin Roberson-known as Pastor Cal) and agree to tie the knot before meeting their mates.
The show follows the couples for a few weeks as they experience their first meeting at their weddings, their honeymoons, meeting each other’s families, and other milestone events all the while being counseled by the experts. At the end of each season, the couples are given the chance to continue in their marriage or get a divorce.
While some may question the show’s premise, the EUR spoke to Pastor Cal recently and he said the series is genuine.
“My job on the show is to get these couples, put them together, and make sure they stay together,” said Pastor Cal. “My goal is to look at their differences, see where they’re compatible, counsel them and in some cases, threaten them, to make it work. All the experts, our focus, is simply making sure the couples stay together.”
As for a method in which the couples are matched, he added, “There isn’t a solid formula we apply to every couple. It has to be tweaked as we find out people’s peculiarities. It can be nerve-wracking but it’s rewarding in the end.”
Like many MAFS seasons, there are surprising revelations and this one, featuring couples from New Orleans, is no exception.
“Season 11 has brought us so many surprises,” Pastor Cal said. “Even in casting, one of the couples we thought would get along much quicker is one of the ones lagging behind. And one couple we thought would move slower to intimacy are moving ahead. And that’s with Miles and Karen being the slower and Woody and Amani being the faster of the two.”
He continued, “Also, by my own admission, I fall on the sword on this one, I was not expecting Bennett and Amelia to get along so well. I thought she would be put off more by his lack of profession. It was a big surprise to me.”
The next MAFS season will include Atlanta couples and after that the show heads to Houston, which is casting now. Pastor Cal told the EUR that the show adapts to the couples from each city.
“I believe that every city we film in brings a certain flavor and the participants from that city take on the flavor from that city,” Pastor Cal said. “New Orleans is laid-back, they party, and it’s a very fun city as opposed to a city like D.C. that is very political, buttoned up, and tight. But definitely we found that every city influences the participants. We definitely see different personalities coming out of each city.”
Speaking of Atlanta, Pastor Cal is the lead pastor at Progression church in the peach city. He and his wife Wendy have a marriage coaching organization that offers marriage and relationship conferences, boot camps, and seminars worldwide.
While COVID-19 may have slowed down the in-person events, that has not stopped people from contacting Pastor Cal for love connections, “Because of COVID, we’re online. I get more people through DM’s, email, etc. asking me to match them.”
And how does the church feel about the show?
“My church actually loves it.” Pastor Cal said. “They are so supportive and such an incredible group of people. They tell people about the show. Our church was actually founded on relationships, so it was an easy fit. Our church was founded on positive marriage and positive family.”
Look out for Pastor Cal’s book, “Marriage Ain’t for Punks,” slated to come out next year.
If you are interested in being on “Married at First Sight” and live in Houston, click here to apply.
For more information on MAFS’ current season, click here.
Nigerian Bread Seller Lands Modeling Contract After Photobombing Rapper’s Shoot
She was discovered on the streets of the city of Lagos by international photographer Ty Bello, who was shooting with English rapper Tinie Tempah. Unintentionally, Orisaguna came out in one of the images.
Days later, Bello shared pictures from that shoot on his social media but with interest of finding out who the bread seller was in the photo.
“WHO IS SHE? Everyone has been asking if this lady is a model… She definitely SHOULD be a model… I’ll find a way to track her down somehow. You guys can also help,“ the photographer captioned the post.
BEATIFULX : WHO IS SHE.Every one has been asking if this lady is a model .. It was just perfect coincidence … She just happened to be walking by while I photographed . It happened so fast .She definitely SHOULD be a model. .. I’m happy to help her build a portfolio if she’s interested .She’s so beautiful and photographed so well. I’ll find a way to track her down somehow . You guys can also help #lagos #doesanyonerecognizeher #okunorentwins #tinietempah @thisdaystyle #lagos #phaseone
As PEOPLE notes, from that moment on, her life changed forever. In less than a year, Orisaguna managed to sign contracts with recognized agencies. Earlier this year, she wrapped up her tour of South Africa and she also launched a vlog and reality show.
“I never expected this would ever happen to me,” she told CNN. “My friends have told me they saw me on the TV and they are really happy. My parents cannot believe their own child can become such a success.”
In March, she celebrated the one year anniversary of her discovery. In an exclusive interview with Pulse in January, Orisaguna spoke about the people who have been influential in her rise to fame. During the interview, she thanked Azuka Ogujuiba of ThisDay Newspaper, as she was instrumental in Olajumoke’s success story.
Orisaguna, who left her two children and husband to sell bread, is now being offered by a bank to pay for her kid’s education through college.
‘Origin of Everything’ on PBS Sparks Interest with Controversial & Everyday Topics (EUR Exclusive!)
*“Origin of Everything,” available on PBS.org, has been exploring topics since 2017 that run the gamut. The show jumps into a variety of subjects by investigating daily life like the words we use, pop culture, and why we are hooked on technology.
The show does not shy away from controversial topics such as slavery, race and ethnicity, and mass incarceration of African Americans.
Danielle Bainbridge, Ph.D., the host and lead writer of “Origin of Everything,” told the EUR in a recent interview that the series is about making people think beyond the restrictive ways we have been taught to view history.
“It’s a show about our collective story and how we are envisioning history,” Dr. Bainbridge said. ”How do we think about history that includes all of us and just not the figures and facts that we were taught in school. So, it’s a show about under told and underrepresented history. We’re trying to make history feel very present to the people who watch it.”
She continued, “One of the reasons to watch it is if you’re curious about how did we get to our current moment? How do small things such as why do we eat popcorn at the movies or what is the origin of ethnicity and how do these things still impact the way we think about the world?”
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Deftly equipped to talk about controversial topics, Dr. Bainbridge holds a Ph.D. in African American Studies and American Studies from Yale University and graduated Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in English & Theatre Arts. She is also a faculty member at Northwestern University in Theatre and African American Studies
In early 2017, when she was a graduate student, she was contacted by PBS about working on the show and thought it was a joke.
“When they first reached out to me, I thought it was a hoax,” Dr. Bainbridge said. “I was thinking how would they even know who I am because I was a graduate student? But I think they found me through a since defunct janky website that I had set up. They reached out to me, I auditioned, did a screen test, and a writing sample and after that I was hired to help develop the show.”
Viewers are encouraged to be interactive with the series because it is digital. With instant commentary from the audience, the show knows immediately what viewers think, which for the most part is positive. However, when it delves into controversial subject matters things can get sticky.
“I would say overall people are pretty positive about the series because most of the folks who watch it are longtime watchers who tune in every week for episodes,” Dr. Bainbridge said. “The only exception is if we cover more sensitive topics like, race, gender, or sexuality we will get some pushback. I think that’s just the cost of doing business with open discourse.”
One of the most controversial shows was about the transatlantic slave trade.
“We did one episode on why Europeans enslaved Africans and that was probably our most viewed episode as well as our most critiqued one,” Dr. Bainbridge said. “I think often times if you view yourself as pretty well versed in history from what you learn in school and then you learn something that goes in the opposite direction it can be jarring or for some people upsetting. We think of it as our value or service to our audience to present accurate history or history that doesn’t get told that often so that people can be informed with the whole picture.”
She added that she has an answer for those who point out that Africans sold slaves to Europeans.
“Slavery was not invented with West Africans and Europeans,” Dr. Bainbridge continued. “Some form of enslavement – whether through war, becoming a prisoner of war, or through different systems – goes back to ancient societies from around the world. So, it is not distinct to West Africa or Europe or any other region of the world.”
Dr. Bainbridge added, “But the difference with this particular moment in slavery was that it intersected with capitalism in a way that was very different with slavery that preceded it. People were taken into the system and their children inherited their status as a slave and that is where the differences started to emerge. We have to think about these things as distinct only because the system that existed with chattel slavery was so radically different than the slavery that existed around the world beforehand.”
With the ongoing protests against police brutality, “Origin of Everything” has also tackled the racist beginnings of United States law. Dr. Bainbridge breaks down the discriminatory history by looking at colonialism, slavery, the Jim Crow era, and mass incarceration.
“I decided to write this episode about legal discrimination, and I didn’t have a particular agenda in mind,” she said. “As I started doing the research it was overwhelming. I started to find (material) that just dealt with legal discrimination about black people in this country from its origin to now. I thought it was something that people needed to know.”
“I was never taught in any history class that I took through high school any of the information from that episode. I was taught that things are fair and that a lot of the blame was placed inadvertently or inherently on black communities, impoverished communities, or communities that struggle. When I saw that in some ways the law was stacked against black people and certain other populations, I thought that was important to bring to light. In this moment, people are looking for reliable sources and this could add to the conversation.”
New episodes of “Origin of Everything” are available on PBS.org and the PBS Digital Studios’ YouTube Channel. Join the conversation by visiting Twitter-@PBSOrigin and Instagram-@pbsoriginofeverything.
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