(Cincinnati, OH) Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati shines a light on the reality of violence and the beauty of forgiveness with the regional premiere of brownsville song (b-side for tray), a powerful new drama by Kimber Lee. This lyrical play tells a tale of resilience in the face of tragedy when a young man’s life is taken and his family is left without answers. Lee’s brownsville song (b-side for tray) delivers a message of hope that will challenge and move audiences. Playing October 11-30, 2016. Directed by D. Lynn Meyers.
Eighteen-year-old Tray is working on his college essay, boxing at the gym, and holding down a part-time job. When he happens to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, a senseless act ends his life, leaving his family to grapple in the wake of his absence. Pivoting seamlessly between past and present, this shatteringly poetic and compelling drama reveals a family at a powerful crossroads and shines a light on the complex life of a victim lost too young, balancing humor, light, tragedy, and hope with equal weight.
“I felt an obligation and a responsibility as a human being to tell Tray’s story,” explains Producing Artistic Director D. Lynn Meyers. “Kimber Lee’s play takes us between the past and the present, so that we get a chance to know Tray, to meet Tray, to know that he’s not just another statistic of another killing. Think of the generations of people that will not exist because these young men and women are dying. This show challenges audiences to empathize and understand.”
About the Cast
Deborah Brock-Blanks (Lena) has appeared in several ETC productions, including Intimate Apparel, Praying for Rain, A Lesson Before Dying, and The Exonerated. Ms. Brock-Blanks has an extensive background as a dancer, choreographer, actress and writer and has directed several regional productions. Her credits include film, stage, and television. She is an early member of Free Theatre, the oldest incorporated black theatre company in Cincinnati. She is a Youth Work Methods Specialist and a Wellness Consultant.
Kameron Richardson (Tray) is a recent graduate of CCM with a BFA in Musical Theatre and makes his Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati debut as Tray in brownsville song (b-side for tray). Regional credits include: Aida and Seussical, St. Louis Muny; Legally Blonde and Singin’ in the Rain, Pittsburgh CLO; and BlackTop Sky, Know Theatre of Cincinnati. His CCM credits include: Les Misérables, Peter Pan, Legally Blonde, Singin’ in the Rain, and Parade.
Mr. Richardson continues his training at Michael Howard Studios’ One-Year Acting Conservatory in New York.
Lissa Urriquia Gapultos (Merrell) is making her debut on ETC’s stage with brownsville song (b-side for tray). Ms. Urriquia Gapultos is a past board president of Know Theatre of Cincinnati and a Stage Insights contributor for the League of Cincinnati Theatres. She has also worked onstage with several local theatres. Some of her favorite productions: Pacific Overtures, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; Prelude to a Kiss, The Eight: Reindeer Monologues, and The Afghan Women’s Writing Project, Know Theatre; and A Piece of My Heart, Drama Workshop. She works as the Senior Manager for Institutional Giving at Cincinnati Opera.
Ari Elizabeth Johnson (Devine) is a third grader from Mason, Ohio making her ETC debut. Two years ago, at the age of six, she signed with Wings Model Management of Cincinnati, where manager Jake Lang asked her to attend a talent expo in Dallas. At that expo was a Vice President from one of the top childrens talent agencies in Los Angeles, the Osbrink Agency. Osbrink signed both Ari and her brother that summer. Since then, the family splits their time between LA and Cincinnati. After performing in A Christmas Carol with Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park last year, she realized her heart is in theatre.
Chauncey Ragland (Junior/Brooklyn College Student) makes his theatre debut on ETC’s stage with brownsville song (b-side for tray). Mr. Ragland is a sophomore at the University of Cincinnati and is currently undecided, but wants to be an engineer. Mr. Ragland got his first hint of theatre during his junior year of high school when he met Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati’s Director of Education and Outreach, Ben Raanan, through the theatre’s Prelude Program. Ever since, he has been itching to get on stage again.
Production team includes Torie Wiggins (Assistant Director), Brian c. Mehring (Resident Scenic & Lighting Designer), Jack Murphy (Technical Director), Matthew Hollstegge (Production Manager & Master Electrician), Shannon Rae Lutz (Properties Master & Design Assistant), Matt Callahan (Sound Designer), Sam Womelsdorf (Video Designer), Darnell Pierre Benjamin (Choreographer), and Reba Senske (Costume Designer). Production Stage Manager is Brandon T. Holmes. Assistant Stage Manager is Elizabeth Freyman.
Performances run Tuesday through Sunday. Tuesday-Thursday, 7:30 pm; Friday and Saturday, 8:00 pm; Saturday and Sunday, 2:00 pm; and Sunday, 7:00 pm. A complete calendar of performances is available online at www.ensemblecincinnati.org.
Ticket prices range from $28 to $44 for adults; student tickets are $25; and children are $18. For the 2016-2017 Season, ETC continues its popular $15 student and half-price rush tickets for all performances, which are available two hours prior to show time and may be purchased by phone or in person at the box office.
Military, Educator, ArtsWave FunCard, AAA, and Enjoy the Arts discounts available; tickets and seating are subject to availability.
Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati is supported, in part, by the generosity of community contributions to the ArtsWave Campaign.
The Ohio Arts Council helps fund Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati also receives funding from the Shubert Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.
2016-2017 Season Presenting Sponsor is the Otto M. Budig Family Foundation. Additional support provided by Garfield Suites Hotel, the Shubert Foundation, and PNC.
Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati is a professional theatre dedicated to producing world and regional premieres of works that often explore compelling social issues. We fulfill our mission through our stage productions and educational outreach programs that enlighten, enliven, enrich and inspire our audiences.