For Immediate Release:
Theater for the New City’s Dream Up Festival Presents “Mother-in-Law”
A Jump-Up Comedy With a Cayenne Bite
It is two days before the wedding of Petra (Asha John) and Philo (Corey Quammie), young first generation immigrants from the Caribbean. They are set to unite their goals in marriage despite the wear-and-tear on their five-year relationship: Philo’s insistence on singing and passing the hat on the #4 train as he fixates on “Big Apple” stardom, and Petra’s frustration over her diminishing dreams, and undocumented status. Along comes his mother, (Christine Thomas) from the Caribbean for the wedding with Battica (Marvin George), a strange friend in tow, and scheming on her mind. As Philo weakens from his mother’s onslaught, Petra’s world wise neighbor, the Latino Marva (Melody Louisdhon), jumps into the fray to save the day (or make it worse). As agendas are unfurled in this Brownsville, Brooklyn apartment, belly-aching laughter, and nuggets of hard human truth emerge about family expectations, living on one own terms, and the immigrant angst.
Playwright Nandi B. Keyi, formerly Bianca Jacob, explains that in this comedy, “laughter wraps a survival story. “ The play is directed by veteran theater practitioner, E. Wayne McDonald, artistic director of the celebrated Poets and Passions series. The seventh annual Dream Up Festival is presented by Theater for the New City, the Festival will run from August 28 to September 18, 2016 and will feature a variety of original dramas, comedies, musicals, adaptations and experimental plays. The Festival is traditionally a celebration of the arts in a time when cultural and arts funding is in sharp decline due to a number of social and market forces. Now an East Village tradition, it challenges the audience to reflect on the innovative and imaginative ways that they interact with the theater
NANDI B. KEYI is also the playwright of Flambeaux – which swept the 2015 Audelco Awards with a total of six honors – including “Musical Production of the Year.” Her plays have been presented on several international juried stages including: New York’s Dream‐Up Festival (2013), Canada’s prestigious Harbourfront Festival, and the Inaugural Caribbean Regional Drama Festival. Her play Man You Mus’ was a finalist in Theater British Columbia’s National Playwrighting Competition, and is anthologized in Playwright’s Union of Canada’s Beyond the Pale. Nandi is the author of The True Nanny Diaries, which is studied in colleges, and referenced in several doctoral theses in women and cultural studies. She writes and performs poetry, on occasion. She also produces plays by contemporary playwrights residing in the Caribbean, most recently Tony Hall’s acclaimed Jean and Dinah (2013), and Zeno Obi’s The Roaring 70s (2012). As a journalist, Nandi has written hundreds of articles which have been published internationally, appearing in Share Newspaper, New York Daily News, Trinidad Express, the Toronto Star and Now Magazine, among others. She served as editor of festival editions for MacLean’s, a premiere news magazine. She was also a weekly columnist for the CBC Radio, and the Learning Channel. Nandi’s work is sharply focused on issues surrounding African and Caribbean identity. Her seminal essay Still Shipwrecked on the Shores of My African Self was notably published in the peer review academic journal Changing English: Studies in Reading and Culture (University of London/Taylor & Francis).As a 20‐year theater professional, she has adjudicated on many grant juries and boards. She is an advocate of adult literacy and immigration reform. She was born in London, England grew up in Trinidad and Tobago and currently resides with her daughter in Brooklyn, New York.
WAYNE McDONALD, director, is a Caribbean national born in Jamaica. In his three decades in theatre, he has consciously sought, facilitated and mounted work that interrogates the Caribbean. He has directed and acted in hundreds of productions in native languages (patois), English, Spanish and French, touring the Caribbean and North America. McDonald is founding artistic director of the Caribbean Cultural Theatre, and is the Artist‐in‐residence at the Caribbean Research Center, Medgar Evers College. Mr. McDonald is also the founder and curator of the celebrated Poets and Passions literary series which has presented over one hundred emerging and celebrated Caribbean writers over its 10‐year history including: Booker Prize winner author Marlon James; Tiphanie Yanique, winner of the Flaherty‐Dunnan First Novel Award and the award‐winning celebrated writer Earl Lovelace to name a few. In 2014, Mr. McDonald directed “Pantomime” by Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott at the Actor Fund Arts Center in Brooklyn, New York which the playwright attended.
WHEN AND WHERE:
August 28, 8pm
August 30, 6:30pm
September 1, 9pm
September 3, 8pm
September 8, 6:30pm
September 17, 2pm and 8pm.
Venue: Community Theater, Theater for the New City,
Address: 155 First Ave. (at E. 10th Street), New York, NY.
Presented by Theater for the New City as part of the Dream Up Festival.
Ticket Price: $20.00
Box office: 212-254-1109
Running time: 1:30 mins. Reviewers are invited
Press Representative: Jonathan Slaff & Associates
Contact: Ashenandi Stage Co.
Digital Distribution by: StreetsofNewYork411.com