2006 Productions

December 2006: Corps Values, by Brendon Bates, directed by John Gresh. With Joshua Elijah Reese, Wali Jamal, Marcus Muzopappa, Joseph Martinez, Ezra Smith, Leo Beatty, Tom Chung, and David Conley.

Reviews: Post-Gazette, City Paper
Interview with the playwright
Winner of two Onyx awards: Best Sound (Brendon Elder), Best Minority Actor (Joseph Martinez).

“…intense story of Wade, a patriotic former Marine lieutenant and Vietnam vet, and his son, Casey, now a Marine private in Iraq, who comes home for his mother’s funeral and announces he’s not going back…Corps Values both admires the Marines’ values, especially the brotherhood of combat, and questions their consequences. And it invites us to compare them to core values, too…As Casey, Joshua Elijah Reese has a more youthful flash and ignites when necessary. Joseph Martinez is particularly strong as the captain, smiling but forceful, all business.” Christopher Rawson, Post-Gazette, 12/07/06

“Bates’ play is about the myth of heroism. On the surface, all the major characters are decorated servicemen of great bravery. But Bates, using the thriller genre as his cover, strips away the jingoistic trappings to prove, vividly, that heroes are still human, and that there’s a corrosive cost to medal-winning wartime acts. Corps Values isn’t so much an anti-war play as it is an anti-“the lies we tell about”-war play…The director, John Gresh, smartly exploits Bates’ theatrical fireworks but gives the same focus to the smaller, more intense moments of the characters played strongly by Wali Jamal, Joshua Elijah Reese, Marcus Muzoppapa and Joseph Martinez.
Ted Hoover, City Paper, 12/07/06

October 2006: Fourth Annual Festival in Black and White:

  • Assassination, by Brendon Bates, directed by Wali Jamal. With Jodi Lincoln, Nadia Cook-Loshilov, Jeffrey Carpenter, Dan Kirk.
  • A Summer’s Tale, by Astrid Cook, directed by Shanae Sharon. With Nadia Cook-Loshilov, Jodi Lincoln, Carter Redwood, Ron Black, Marcia L. Jones, Pat Sena Samreny, Rick DeCarlo, Don Lubic.
  • Around Midnight, by Christina Maria Acosta, directed by Dan Kirk. With David Conley, Marika Christie.
  • Holding Cell, by Wali Jamal, directed by Mark Whitehead. With David Conley, Jeff David Miller, Michael Belgrove, Ezra Smith, Lonzo Green.
  • The Kitchen, by Rob Zellers, directed by Jeannine Foster-McKelvia. With Ken Bolden, Wali Jamal, Carter Redwood, Nancy Mimless.
  • F.O.R.D., by David Turkel, directed by Mark Clayton Southers. With John Gresh, Lissa Brennan, Wali Jamal, Mayme Williams.
  • Ridin’ Dirty, by Brenton Mock, directed by Dan Kirk. With David Conley, Gregory “Rico” Parker.
  • Gossip, by Dan Kirk, directed by Ron Black. With Aaliyah Habeeb, John Feightner, Rosa DeFerrari.
  • For the Love of Friends, by Nailah Blu Lewis, directed by Stephanie Figer. With Cheryl El-Walker, Kim El.
  • The Exile of King Harold, by Mark Clayton Southers, directed by Ginger Lawrence. With Don Marshall.

Preview: Post-Gazette.
Review: Post-Gazette.

“Ridin’ Dirty” by Brenton Mock
“…a taut 15-minute encounter between a middle-class cab driver and an unemployed friend…The fight turns violent, but the emotional pain is uppermost. No false ending is imposed.”
Christopher Rawson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“F.O.R.D.” by David Turkel
“…a comedy with a focus on religious hypocrisy…funny and eccentric.”
Christopher Rawson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

September 2006: The Piano Lesson, by August Wilson, directed by Mark Clayton Southers. With D. J. Howard, Alan Bomar Jones, David Conley, Vanessa German, Wali Jamal, Taylor Whitley, Kevin Brown, Marika Christie, Monique Pappas, Don Lubic.

Reviews: City Paper

Winner of seven Onyx awards: Best Production, Best Direction (Mark Clayton Southers), Best Equity Actor (Alan Bomar Jones), Best Supporting Actors (Kevin Brown and Wali Jamal), Best Up and Coming Youth Actress (Taylor Whitley), Best Costumes (Deryck Tines).

June 2006: Third Annual Pittsburgh Pride Theater Festival.

  • Getting Better/Couldn’t Get Much Worse, by Michael Schwartz, directed by Tiffany Hickman. With Charlie Murphy, Scott Miller.
  • The Burning Half, by Bridget Harris, directed by Lora Oxenreiter. With Lauren Michelle Masi, Alyssa Herron, Libbi Fern Short, James Schoberg, Erica Harsch.
  • Manly Men Doing Manly Things, by Scott Sickles, directed by Tara Adelizzi. With Ryan M. McKelvey, Charles Murphy.
  • Postcards from a Dead Dog, by F. J. Hartland, directed by Melissa Hill Grande. With Joseph McGranaghan, Arlene Merryman.
  • In Common, by Gayle Pazerski, directed by Michelle Zinger. With Ryan M. McKelvey, Annie Claffey, Justin Lawrence.
  • Rain, by John Reoli, directed by Daniel Kirk. With Jim Altes, Joseph Martinez, John Feightner, Geoffrey Miller.
  • Reunion, by Allison J, directed by Gunther Kusior. With Jill Jeffrey, Rebekah Hukill, Jessica Kennedy, Elizabeth Criss.
  • Is That a Gun in Your Pocket?, by Carol Mullen, directed by Mark Chaitin. With A. J. Tindall, Justin Lawrence.

May 2006: Hoodwinked, by Mark Clayton Southers, directed by Ron OJ Parson. With Leslie “Ezra” Smith, Ruel Davis, Mark S. Thompson, Shanae Sharon, Barbara Russell.

April 2006: Hosted a Boston Baked Beans Theater Company production of Barefoot in the Park, by Neil Simon, directed by John Lane. With Bridget Carey, Jeffrey R. Simpson, Allison Cahill, Paul Stockhausen, Everett Lowe.

March 2006: Hosted a Pittsburgh Playhouse Repertory Company production of Criminal Genius, by George F. Walker, directed by Richard Keitel. With Ray Andrecheck, Jason McCune, Randy Kovitz, Lisa Ann Goldsmith, Erica Highberg.

March 2006: Jonathan, by Judy Meiksin, directed by Eileen J. Morris. With Bridget Carey, Jeff Simpson, J. P. Patrick, Pat Samremy, Charlotte Sonne.
Review: Post-Gazette.

February 2006: Robert Smalls: The Legend of the Black Mariner, by Wali Jamal Abdullah, directed by J. P. Patrick. With Clyde Adams, Kerry Allen, Nia Arrington, David Dietz, Toniaray Digiacomo, Kim El, Cheryl M. El-Walker, John Feightner, Jonathan R. Graff, Lonzo Green, Romairas “Romeo” Harp, Alyssa Herron, Aisha Jordan, Don Marshall, Cierra McClary, Marcus Muzopappa, Matt O’Neill, Joshua Ray, Joseph A. Roots, Arrion “Lake” J. Rose, Emmanuel Walker, Mayme Williams.

February 2006: Third Annual August in February, Vignettes by August Wilson, coproduction with Pittsburgh Cultural Trust at Byham Theater. Including excerpts from:
Fences, directed by Eileen J. Morris. With Jonas Chaney, Rita Gregory, Ben Blakey, Kevin Brown, Jonathan Berry, Joshua Reese, Taylor Whitley.
Two Trains Running, directed by Vernell A. Lillie. With Nathan James, Shanae Sharon, Art Terry, Alex Morris, Ben Cain, Jonathan Berry.
Jitney, directed by Wali Jamal. With Ben Cain, Sala Udin, Lonzo Green, Mark Smith.
Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. With Ben Cain, Wali Jamal, Doug Pona, Mark C. Thompson, Teri Bridgett, Christina Acosta, Vanessa German, Taylor
Whitley.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, directed by Tre Garrett. With Jay Jones, Wali Jamal, Chuck Timbers, Don Marshall.
The Piano Lesson, directed by Mark Southers. With Eileen J. Morris, Alex Morris.