AUGUST WILSON'S THE PIANO LESSON [NAACP ACT-SO EVENING OF THEATER]

Genre: Drama
Directed & Produced by Willie Ann Gissendanner

The 2008 NAACP Act-So Evening of Theater, celebrating their ninth season, presents to you August Wilson's The Piano Lesson featuring the NYC Act-So Theater Ensemble. Starring Duane Wallace as Boy Willie and Melissa Benjamin as Berniece. Also, they will be performing a tribute to the 40th Anniversary of the Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The NAACP Act-So Theater Ensemble includes student participants from NYC Act-So and alumni. August Wilson's The Piano Lesson, is a Pulitzer prize winning play for drama. The real beauty is witnessing this historical play performed by young talent to potential perfection. Come and enjoy a wonderful show at the Producer's Club Theater.
Open:   06/12/08
Close:   06/15/08

Schedule:
Showtime: 7:00 p.m. all nights
Matinee Performances on Saturday, June 14th and Sunday June 15th at 2:00 p.m. For reservations or more information call 212-666-9348
Theater:   Producers Club Theatres
Address:   358 W 44th Street
New York, NY 10036
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A Short Walk from Times Square

Cost:$15.00 at the door, $10.00 Advanced
Willie Ann Gissendanner

Bacherlor or Arts Degree, Paine College Augusta, GA. Occupational Studies Degree, American Academy of Dramatic Arts, New York City. Graduate studies, New School for Social Research. Act-So Drama coach. Creator, producer and director of the Act-So Evening of Theater. Member in good standing: Screen Actors Guild, American Federation of Radio and TV Artist, and Actors Equity.

Duane Wallace Boy Willie (All Days 7:00 p.m.)
Nineteen year old acting phenom Duane Wallace, resides in the Flatbush area of Brooklyn, NY. He began acting professionally at 16, and has not stopped since. After finishing high school, Duane has devoted his entire energy to perfecting his craft and blessing others with the opportunity to learn and grow from the characters he portrays. While extending his theater works, he is currently in full engagement with film works and ultimately will become a movie star. Film Credits include Sunshowah Film Works 'Shades of Brooklyn Volume 1', 'Liberty X', and 'Quality Time' which is in pre-production. Hollywood has moved to Brooklyn, in the presence of Duane Wallace as he defines Hollywood, rather than letting the perception of Hollywood define him. Young, positive, energetic, and limitless talent, this prodigy is the next Hollywood superstar.
Darnell Collins Boy Willie (Sat & Sunday Matinee)
Darnell R. Collins, was born and raised in Wilmington, Del. He has performed in many productions in and around the Philadelphia/ Delaware area, performing in productions by local playwrights as well as the greats such as August Wilson & David Mamet. He first started acting while attending Hampton University & ever since has been pursing the dramatic arts in some form. Since moving to NYC a year ago he has studied at HB Studios & Upright Citizens Brigade. He wants to thank Willie Ann for giving him the opportunity to perform in one of his favorite productions by one of the greatest playwrites.
Melissa Benjamin Berniece
Melissa Benjamin; nineteen years old and Brooklyn-born is a woman of many talents. The best? Acting. After spending years only daydreaming about the day she'd showcase her skills to the world she attended the NAACP ACTSO acting workshops, honing her skills. Making her theatrical debut in mid-2006, she's never looked back. Interested in all mediums of the art known as acting she looks forward to extending her expertise beyond the stage in into television and movies. Deep character understanding, versatility and a humble attitude make for an actress and person that has a future, longevity and someone who's more than ready for tomorrow.
Ryan Jeffrey Council is an 18-year-old filmmaker/actor from Brooklyn, New York. Ryan began acting in his senior year of high school to help give him a 1st person view for what he ultimately does, which is make films. Excelling in the NAACP Act-So program, Ryan has now branched onto making his own films and believes his purpose is to create stories that will ultimately bring people closer to, and mold their relationship with Christ while increasing understanding and awareness. Ryan is the ultimate multi-tasker, currently in pre-production of his own film, a character in The Piano Lesson, and writing future stories, Ryan will not stop..because he's aiming for that brass ring.
Lufthansey Josa Reverend Avery
Lufthansey Josa better known as 'Luf', is an 18-year-old talent supreme from Brooklyn, New York. Actor, poet, and rapper, Luf joined the NAACP Act-So organization in 2006, where he solidified his love for acting. Luf is the President of his own organization, Blackboard Entertainment, which focuses in the expression of music and dramatics. His film credits include 'I think I love My Wife','Notorious B.I.G.', and 'Duplicity'. Recently performing in Ananse and the Dwarf Brigade in Harlem, New York, Luf is putting his talent to good use in theater, film and music.
Christopher Davis Lymon Jackson
Christopher Davis is a 17 year old student from New York, New York. He is excited to be in his first full length production, and is excited to be presenting Lymon to you all.
Carla Luna Maretha
Carla Francesca Luna was born in New York City on July 1, 1994. She is thirteen years old and attends IS 187 middle school in Manhattan, and is currently in the eighth grade. She is an aspiring writer, and has completed her first novel, which she hopes to be published by 2009.She is in the process of completing her second novel. She will be in the production of Piano Lesson in June, produced and directed by Willie Ann Gissendanner. She wishes to further pursue her acting career after The Piano Lesson, and will be auditioning for different castings.
David Ly Wining Boy
David Ly is a 17 year old student at E.R. Murrow High School. He excels in the areas of music and drama. He is thrilled with the oppurtunity to present to you Wining Boy.
Denise Riley Grace
Denise T. Riley was born on February 10th, 1988 at Camp Pendleton in San Diego, CA. Denise sings in a church choir and she also likes to dance (she said it's in her blood). IN 2006, Denise won the WSSC Kids Hall of Fame and received recognition at the ACTSO Award Ceremony. This is Ms. Riley's fourth year participating in the NAACP ACTSO Evening of Theater. She is looking forward to graduating next year and hopes to start a music career in the future. Denise wants to thank her father for coming back into her life. She also wants to thank Ms. Willie Ann Gissendanner for being such a big influence on her for four years.
Joseph Graham Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Speech
Joseph Graham Jr. is a very talented 16 year old. He has performed with the Metropolitan Opera Children's Chorus. When he was 6 years old he performed in a scene of Jesus Christ Superstar (with just the guidance of the musical video) at the Hudson Guild Theater. Joseph has played the piano for the past ten years at the Bloomingdale School of Music. Joseph is a junipr at the High School For Environmental Studies. Joseph has been a part of the Act-So "Evening of Theatre" for three years now. He really enjoys acting and plans to use this experience to take his acting career further. Joseph learns new techniques in the drama field and he will display them in tonights show. Stay Tuned...
Aaron Graham Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Speech
Aaron Graham, like his brother is a mult-talent artist.