Friday photo rescue

A Song for Coretta, from the 2009 Celebration Series II:

Kristy Johnson (left, playing Keisha) is nominated for a Jeff Award for Best Supporting Actress – we’re wishing her all the best for Monday’s award ceremony!

A Song for Coretta is nominated for two Black Theatre Alliance Awards!

The Black Theatre Alliance Awards announced their 2009 nominations, and we were excited and proud to see two actors from A Song for Coretta among the talented artists being honored:

The Ethel Waters Award – Best Performance In An Ensemble (Actress)
Kierra Bunch – From The Mississippi Delta – eta Creative Arts Foundation
Kristy M. Johnson – A Song For Coretta – eclipse theatre company
Ashlee Olivia – Radical Hearsay…Stories at Sixty One – MPAACT
Carla Stillwell – Radical Hearsay…Stories at Sixty One – MPAACT
TayLar – A Song For Coretta – eclipse theatre company

The awards ceremony will be held Monday, October 5th. Congratulations and best of luck to all the nominees – especially Kristy and TayLar!

Cleage – Upcoming Playwright Scholar Series!

Eclipse puts on several Playwright Scholar Series events each season to give the audience a deeper look into each writers canon.

This Saturday, August 1st at 2pm, we will be exploring the prose, poetry and essays of Pearl Cleage.

Ensemble members JP Pierson and Sarah Moeller selected inspirational excerpts out of her writing and brought these pieces to the table at the first rehearsal for the Playwright Scholar Series last night.

It was a great rehearsal.  A group of six actors (male and female) assembled to read selected pieces.  They were given some time to read through the pieces themselves and then choose the piece each actor felt strongest about.  After hearing each piece out loud we discussed more about Pearl Cleage, what inspires her, what inspires us about her and then dismissed for the evening to take some time to reflect on the insightful pieces we had heard over the evening.

Tonight we will meet for rehearsal number two and revisit each piece that was read last night and then work more on how the pieces will be read and presented Saturday afternoon.

We hope you can join us for this event!!  It is free for subscribers and $5 suggested donation for non-subscribers.

Watch scenes from A Song for Coretta has two video clips of scenes from A Song for Coretta – click the images below to watch.

In the first scene, Zora (Niccole Thurman) interviews Helen (TayLar) about her memory of Mrs. King:

click image to watch video

click image to watch video

In scene two, Helen (TayLar) and Keisha (Kristy Johnson) have a hard time seeing eye to eye across the generation gap:

click image to watch video

click image to watch video

Friday photo rescue

From the currently-running, Jeff-Recommended A Song for Coretta by Pearl Cleage – I promise the whole show isn’t this sad, but this moment between Keisha (Kristy Johnson, left) and Mona Lisa (Kelly Owens) is beautiful:

A Song for Coretta is Jeff Recommended!

I received an email yesterday morning from the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee – a week after winning two awards at the 2009 ceremony, we’re already in the running for next year.

Congratulations to everyone involved!

Opening Night

Eclipse ensemble member TayLar is Helen, interviewed by Zora (Niccole Thurman) about her memories of Coretta Scott King in Pearl Cleages A Song for Coretta

Eclipse ensemble member TayLar plays Helen, giving an interview to Zora (Niccole Thurman) about her memories of Coretta Scott King, in Pearl Cleage's A Song for Coretta

The last few nights of previews for Pearl Cleage’s A Song for Coretta have been great – so great, in fact, that I haven’t been able to get a seat since Thursday. So I’ve been listening from the lobby and talking to audiences after the show as the cast and crew make the final push before the big show tonight.

It’s been a fun week – we’ve had fun and responsive audiences who have really loved the show, and we’ve had our share of weirdness and then some. In the last few days, we’ve seen a doll get accidentally beheaded on stage, an actor lose her footing in the rain, and a trolley of drunk partiers that parked just on the other side of the thin theater wall for half a show. And then there was the naked bike ride, which rolled by the front doors a few minutes after the show ended last night. I think we’ve gotten all the weirdness out of the way, though – and the show is strong and beautiful and ready to rise above whatever else pops up during the run.