By Face Off Theatre Company
KALAMAZOO, Mich. – Enjoy LIVE local theater from the comfort of YOUR HOME courtesy of Face Off Theatre Company!
All plays by Black women! For three months! For free!
Just visit Face Off Theatre Company’s Facebook page at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 28 for a Facebook Live staged reading of "The Special Friend," a short play about secrets, family and identity as we kick off our Virtual Spring/Summer New Play Series.
Here’s how it’ll work.
You, the audience, can post your thoughts in real time during the reading. The program concludes with a Q&A with the playwright who will answer your questions, plus some of ours! Join us again on June 25 and July 23 for a different play! The series runs the fourth Thursday of the month, from May through July, at 7 o'clock in the evening.
“Our core mission is to provide year-round innovative diverse theater, and the pandemic has only heightened our commitment to doing that,” explains Marissa Harrington, artistic director of Face Off Theatre Company, a division of Kalamazoo's Black Arts & Cultural Center since 2015.
“We're also passionate about continuing to be a space where new and emerging playwrights of color can thrive.”
May’s featured play is Kalamazoo writer Dawn Richberg's “The Special Friend,” a moving, 10-minute piece about a mother who dies with a family secret that spurs feuding between the two daughters and grieving husband she leaves behind.
A brief post-play interview will be conducted by actress/writer Earlene McMichael, Face Off Theatre’s brand marketing and social media manager. The company fully staged McMichael's “You’re Gonna Learn Today” new play at last summer's Black Arts Festival in Kalamazoo.
Then company stage manager, Shea-Lin Shobowale-Benson, will ask Richberg the Facebook audience's questions. Shobowale-Benson, a thespian and writer, is at work on an original piece that'll debut at our June virtual reading.
Face Off Theatre Company presented “The Special Friend” at the Theatre Kalamazoo! NewPlayFest in February under the direction of Micealaya “Mickey” Moses, season planning director for the company.
We’re delighted that the entire cast, JoVaughan Head, Hadiya Deas-Richberg and Ni’esha Wright, are returning to reprise their roles!
Thanks for your interest in Face Off Theatre Company! To help us put on future plays, please consider a CashApp donation to $BACCFOTC. FOTC is a division of the Black Arts & Cultural Center, known as the BACC.
About Face Off Theatre Company
Face Off Theatre Company launched in 2015 as the theatrical arm of the Black Arts & Cultural Center in Kalamazoo. It is devoted to thought-provoking Black theater and the development of playwrights of color, drawing audiences from throughout Southwest Michigan to its performances at the Epic Center’s Judy K. Jolliffe Theatre and nearby artistic venues. Tickets may be purchased online about a month before the show, or at the door. For more: faceofftheatre.com
About the Black Arts & Cultural Center
The Black Arts & Cultural Center, headquartered at downtown Kalamazoo's Epic Center, is widely known for its annual Black Arts Festival since founding in 1986. The organization develops the potential and creativity in Blacks in the Kalamazoo area, advances the awareness of Black artistic ability, helps to preserve Black cultural heritage and enhance interactions among diverse groups. For more: blackartskalamazoo.org
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