June 03, 2015

ArtPlay to present staged reading of “Home,” in partnership with Project1VOICE, AIDS Alabama and Alabama State University

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one voice webClick to enlargeArtPlay will present a staged reading of “Home” by Samm-Art Williams on Monday, June 15, in partnership with Project1VOICE, AIDS Alabama and Alabama State University.

ArtPlay, home to arts education for the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center, will join Project1VOICE and companies around the world in readings of the play, in honor of the 35th anniversary of the play’s Broadway debut.

The fifth annual 1VOICE/1PLAY/1DAY event will also commemorate another milestone: the 150th anniversary of the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution. This amendment ended slavery and involuntary servitude in America.

The celebratory theater event is similar to the ArtPlay presentation of “Four Little Girls: Birmingham 1963” with Project1VOICE two years ago.

For the reading of “Home,” ArtPlay will bring in Bessemer native and John Carroll High School alumnus André Holland to direct. Holland, based in New York City, was in the films “Selma” and “42,” which was filmed at Rickwood Field, and is in the Cinemax series “The Knick.”

“Home,” featuring Jasmine Gatewood, Britney Alfred and Gabriel Leo Cane of Alabama State University, tells the story of orphan Cephus and his struggle with love, loss and redemption against the backdrop of the Vietnam War.

The Birmingham reading is set for 7 p.m. in the Alys Stephens Center’s Sirote Theatre, 1200 10th Ave. South. The play is appropriate for ages 16 and up. Admission is free; a $10 suggested donation helps provide support for ArtPlay and AIDS Alabama. Call 205-975-2787 or visit www.AlysStephens.org. Visit ArtPlay online at www.artplayasc.org.

The Birmingham reading is set for 7 p.m. in the Alys Stephens Center’s Sirote Theatre. The play is appropriate for ages 16 and up. Admission is free; a $10 suggested donation helps provide support for ArtPlay and AIDS Alabama. Call 205-975-2787 or visit www.AlysStephens.org. Visit ArtPlay online at www.artplayasc.org.

Project1VOICE and the Negro Ensemble Company will present the flagship production of “Home” on June 15 in New York City at the Harlem Hospital’s Mural Pavilion.

Williams, born in Burgaw, North Carolina, is an American playwright and screenwriter and a stage and film/TV actor. He entered New York City theater as an actor in 1973, performing with New York’s famed Negro Ensemble Company. Much of his work as a writer concerns the African-American experience. “Home” received great acclaim at NEC in 1979, transferring to Broadway’s Cort Theatre on May 7, 1980. The play ran for 278 performances. He was nominated for a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award for “Home.”

Project1VOICE, in partnership with theater companies all over the world, will use the staged readings of “Home” to expand the conversation about the need to preserve the legacy and tradition of the American theater, most specifically African-American playwrights and theaters worldwide.

Founded by actor/producer and Birmingham native Erich McMillan-McCall, Project1VOICE is a national organization whose mission is to strengthen and promote African-American theater and playwrights through its innovative initiatives and approaches to audience development, volunteerism and community engagement, as well as fundraising.