Tuesday, February 10, 2009

ZOOMAN AND THE SIGN: First Rehearsal Photos

It's hard to believe, but it's already time for the first rehearsal of Signature Theatre Company's final show of the 2008-09 season celebrating the historic Negro Ensemble Company. The cast and crew of Zooman and the Sign, which begins performances March 3, 2009, along with Signature's staff, met and greeted each other before the cast began a powerful read-thru of Charles Fuller's classic drama. Check out the photos below!

Director Stephen McKinley Henderson

Signature's Artistic Director James Houghton and Amari Cheatom ("Zooman")

NEC Founder Douglas Turner Ward and Signature's Associate Artist Ruben Santiago-Hudson (who also directed The First Breeze of Summer earlier this season)

Sound designer Robert Kaplowitz

Costume designer Katherine Roth

Set designer Shaun Motley

Zooman and the Sign's set

Evan Parke ("Reuben Tate")

Rosalyn Coleman ("Rachel Tate")

Lynda Gravatt ("Ash Boswell")

Peter Jay Fernandez ("Donald Jackson")

Jamal Mallory-McCree ("Victor Tate") and Rosalyn Coleman ("Rachel Tate")

Ron Canada ("Emmett Tate")

Amari Cheatom ("Zooman")

W Tre Davis ("Russell Adams") and Portia ("Grace Georges")

All photos by Gregory Costanzo

Monday, February 9, 2009

Behind the Scenes: DAY OF ABSENCE Staged Reading

On February 1-2, 2009 Signature Theatre Company presented a staged reading of Douglas Turner Ward's Day of Absence, the landmark play that inspired the founding of the Negro Ensemble Company. Ward directed a cast of 17 for the reading, among them several original cast members. The cast included Peggy Alston, Norman Bush, Yaya DaCosta, Keith David, Brandon Dirden, Jason Dirden, Arthur French, January LaVoy, William Jay Marshall, Kathryn Meisle, Erica Peeples, Terrence Riggins, Heather Alicia Simms, Joyce Sylvester, Raphael Nash Thompson and Allie Woods.

The show, performed in white face, featured make-up design by Erin Kennedy Lunsford. Jessica Pabst provided the costumes, with Michael Jarrett on lights and Graham Johnson on sound.

Check out these pictures of the cast getting ready backstage before the staged reading.

Arthur French

Arthur French

Keith David with make-up designer Erin Kennedy Lunsford

Brandon Dirden

Jason Dirden

Raphael Nash Thompson

Heather Alicia Simms

Yaya DaCosta

Joyce Sylvester

Peggy Alston

January LaVoy

Norman Bush

All photos by Gregory Costanzo