DIE LAUGHING THE STAGE PLAY

Genre: Drama
Written by Marq Overton, Directed by Dwight Ali Williams

Die Laughing the Stage Play, written by Marq Overton and directed by Dwight Ali Williams, tells the story of Michael Laurence, a struggling but very talented misogynistic comedian, on the threshold of the biggest break of his career is forced to take a serious look at his life after being stricken with Breast Cancer. Depressed and facing his new reality, Michael finds himself contemplating suicide. Only a timely phone call from his daughter in his darkest hour stops him from ending it all and leads him to a period of soul searching. Blinded by his selfishness, self-pity and ego he comes to the conclusion that God is punishing him and has singled him out to be the butt of the cruelest joke of all, a man with Breast Cancer. So he begins a debate with God, it is within these arguments that the truth is unveiled. Now with the truth exposed, will Michael Laurence have time to redeem himself?

 

Production Schedule:

October 5 – October 17

Tuesdays – Thursdays 8:00pm Nightly

Friday 6pm and 8pm

Saturdays and Sundays 2pm, 6pm, and 8pm

Doors open 30 minutes prior to show

 

Dennis LA White along with Raqiyah Mays, Chanelle Washington and Leah J. Gaines Perform:

Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays 8pm and Sundays at 2pm

 

Doni C Comas along with Danielle Johnson, Eugina Williams and Brittany Pompey  perform:

Tuesday October 5 & 12 at 8pm and Friday October 8 & 15 at 6pm

 

Sparks Grassly along with Janine R. Gaines, Du’ Ana Speights and Denezia Hymes  perform:

Wednesday October 6 at 8pm Saturday October 8 at 2pm & 6pm and Sunday October 9 8pm

 

Shaheed Woods along with Cassandra Johnson, Shari McCullough, Allison Paul perform:

Sunday October 10 & 17 at 6pm

 

Gil Charleston along with Claudia McLain, Apri Brown and Alicia McLain perform:

Wednesday October 13 at 8pm Saturday October 16 at 2pm & 6pm and Sunday October 17 at 8pm


About the Company: Diversity Players Of Harlem

Diversity Players of Harlem, strive to ensure education and enlightenment opportunities through diverse forms of artistic and creative medium. It is our ultimate goal to nurture youth of undiscovered talents, and produce platforms for artists of various backgrounds. Furthermore, we believe that effectively meeting our goal will cure some of the societal ills affecting our communities.



Open:   10/05/10
Close:   10/18/10

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October 5 – October 17
Tuesdays – Thursdays 8:00pm Nightly
Friday 6pm and 8pm
Saturdays and Sundays 2pm, 6pm, and 8pm
Doors open 30 minutes prior to show

Dennis LA White along with Raqiyah Mays, Chanelle Washington and Leah J. Gaines Perform:
Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays 8pm and Sundays at 2pm

Doni C Comas along with Danielle Johnson, Eugina Williams and Brittany Pompey perform:
Tuesday October 5 & 12 at 8pm and Friday October 8 & 15 at 6pm

Sparks Grassly along with Janine R. Gaines, Du’ Ana Speights and Denezia Hymes perform:
Wednesday October 6 at 8pm Saturday October 8 at 2pm & 6pm and Sunday October 9 8pm

Shaheed Woods along with Cassandra Johnson, Shari McCullough, Allison Paul perform:
Sunday October 10 & 17 at 6pm

Gil Charleston along with Claudia McLain, Apri Brown and Alicia McLain perform:
Wednesday October 13 at 8pm Saturday October 16 at 2pm & 6pm and Sunday October 17 at 8pm

Theater:   Roy Arias Theaters
Address:   300 W. 43rd Street 5th Floor
New York, NY 10036
Google Maps
Cost:$20.00 to $25.00
Buy Tickets Online or Call: theatermania at 212-352-3101
Company: Diversity Players Of Harlem         Official Web Site: www.diversityplayersofharlem.com

Dennis LA White (Michael Laurence) the epitome of a “Jack of all trades”, is a multi-faceted performer who has excelled to equal greatness as an actor, rapper, singer, and host.  Dennis appeared with Angela Bassett, Derek Luke and Jamal Woolard in the 2009 award nominated feature film Notorious.  His performance earned him numerous nods among industry insiders.  White has over five feature films in production including ‘Sweet Lorraine’ starring Tatum O’Neal and ‘Queen of Media’ about the life of media maven Wendy Williams also starring Robin Givens, Lil’Kim, and Trey Songz.

Raqiyah Mays (Sheila Laurence) trained at The Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute and with Tracy Moore’s Spirited Actor program. She currently performs Off-Broadway in the AUDELCO award-winning play ‘Platanos and Collard Greens’ and the new show ‘Auction Block to Hip Hop’.  She’s seized the stage as part of the NYC cast of ‘The Vagina Monologues’, and in films such as ‘The Art of Love and Struggle’, ‘Jealousy’, ‘Conscientious Objector’, ‘Let’s Stay Together’, ‘Flow’, and ‘Rapsheet: Hip Hop & the Cops’. In 2009, she appeared in VH1’s Future of Black History commercial campaign, and was deemed a future leader of Black America. Her vocal work has been heard on BET as the voice of the hit reality show, ‘College Hill’.  Raqiyah has graced New York’s airwaves over a decade as a radio personality, and has been a featured pop culture expert on BET, VH1, Fox News Channel, and the Fuse Network. A scribe at heart, she has written for VIBE, Essence, Billboard, XXL, The Source, The Associated Press, and was reporter at large for the book Unbelievable: The Life, Death, and Afterlife of The Notorious B.I.G, which was turned into the critically acclaimed film, Notorious.

Chanelle Washington (Michelle Laurence) is thrilled to make her acting debut in Diversity Players of Harlem and DA'Right Entertainments' production of 'Die Laughing the Stage Play'.  She is so happy to be apart of this show.  Chanelle is a model and will walk the runway in an upcoming fashion show in November.  A very dedicated young entrepreneur as well, Ms. Washington will debut her first online magazine called 'The Notorious Nation' this November.  She also hosts open mic nights for young musical artists.  Chanelle would like to thank everyone for thier support.
 

Leah Gaines (Young Michelle) is making her acting debut in "Die Laughing the Stage Play." She is a native of Newark, NJ.  She started as a student at Gallman's Newark Dance Theatre Company at the age of four where she studied ballet, jazz, and modern dance. She also took voice lessons and performed a number of solos.  She then went on to study dance and vocals at the Summer Performing Arts Academy at Newark Symphony Hall where she is a featured soloist.  She is currently a student at Newark School of the Arts and continues to study dance. She is excited to be apart of this production.

 

 

Doni C. Comas (Michael Laurence) hails from Atlanta, Georgia.  He comes from two very revolutionary freedom fighters, Dr. Jacqueline C. Comas and Mr. Don Comas.  Doni has studied theatre for years and discovered his gift was special after attending Morgan State University’s theatre program where he graduated with a B.F.A. He then headed to Brooklyn College to study for a Master's Degree.  Doni would like to thank The Most High, Dwight "The Talented Tenth" Ali Williams, Marq Overton for writing such great material, and he hopes his performance will allow a glimpse of technique to be seen, but moreover how he lives, breathes, and co-exists on stage.  He is nothing without you.

Danielle N. Johnson (Sheila Laurence) was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY with aspirations of becoming an Actress from the age of six.  She got her first break at age nine, performing in church and school plays.  Danielle graduated from S.U.N.Y New Paltz University with a B.A. in Theatre.   She continued to strive toward her career goals acquiring credits such as “The Vagina Monologues”,  “Behind Closed Doors”, “American Gangster”,  “Music & Lyrics”, “Preaching to the Choir”, “The Bounty Hunter”,  “Rubicon”, “The Chappelle Show”,  “Ugly Betty” & “Nurse Jackie” just to name a few.   She has worked as an intern with Ciona Taylor Productions and later became a mentee in Theatre Resources Unlimited Mentorship Program and has since had the opportunity to work on a number of productions as a Producer.  She has also worked as an Associate Producer, Assistant Director, and Stage Manager.  Danielle is a woman of many hats and talents but acting will always be her first love.  "Without Struggle, There is No Progress”  ~Frederick Douglas~

Eugina Williams (Michelle Laurence) is a fresh face in the Acting world.  Eugina was born and raised in the South Bronx and is currently residing in Chelsea. She began studying with Rhonda Musak at the Elizabeth Browning Studios and continued her studies at HB Studios with acting coach Michael Beckett.  Eugina is currently enrolled at the Fashion Institute of Technology and is studying Jazz Dance. You can Twitter Eugina @ www.twitter.com/euginaw.

Brittany Pompey(Young Michelle) is ten years old and is in the fifth grade.  She attends PS/IS 208 and one day hopes to be a singer/actress on Broadway.  Her favorite things to do are, ride bikes, read books, watch TV, and play outside.  Brittany just finished playing Bippty in the play Sleeping Beauty.  This summer she trained at Queens College Musical Theatre, where she sang, danced, and acted in three shows.  Brittany has also studied with Adam Roebuck Studios.  She is excited to be apart of this production.

Gil is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Acadamy. NYC theater includes A Fine Mess, One Monkey Don't Stop No Show, Does A Tiger Wear A Necktie?, Antigone. Has been featured on All My Children and the Chappelle Show. In late 2007, look for Gil in the independent feature film Wake. I would like to thank the Diversity Players of Harlem for this amazing opportunity.

is a talented and vivacious working actress, dancer, commercial model, and teacher. Claudia McLain is actively pursuing a career in performing arts and is also earning her Master's Degree in Elementary Education. Claudia McLain also has "behind the scenes" experience as stage manager and casting director. Claudia McLain is currently featured in four independent feature films for 2010.  Recently, she played Florence in the Off-Broadway play, The XYZ Files. Anyone that has ever met Claudia knows that she is very passionate about three things in life – (1) her teacher career, (2) her acting career, and (3) her love for people.

Apri Bradshaw (Michelle Laurence) was born and raised in NYC.  Her love of theatre started as a production assistant with Diversity Players of Harlem.  She soon found herself on stage as Older Michelle in previous productions of ‘Die Laughing the Stage Play’.  Apri is excited to reprise her role as Michelle.  She has also appeared as Clarisse in DPOH’s ‘A Family’s Play’. She is also a singer/song writer and has a flare for fashion.  Her goals are to be the best at whatever she puts her mind to. Apri would like to thank Dwight and Shawn for giving her the spotlight to shine.

Alicia Danielle McLain (Young Michelle) began acting in 2009 at the Endicott Performing Arts Center.  She performed as a singer and acted in a skit in "A 2009 EPAC Christmas Show". Since then, Alicia has modeled for citizen stock ads, is featured on Staten Island's channel 11 Boogie Woogie Wednesdays at the Children's Museum, and has recently been featured as "Cheesehead", a dancing mouse in the Off-Broadway show Cinderella @ Roy Arias Theater.  Alicia is a blue belt in karate and she recently graduated from a Daisy to a Brownie in girl scouts. Alicia is thankful for the opportunity to work with the Diversity Players of Harlem.

Sparks Grassly (Michael Laurence) is a native New Yorker and a graduate of City College (NY) where he received a BA in Theatre.  Since then, he has amassed a large number of theatre credits. Some of his past works include Cabaret (Harlem Repertory Theatre), Choke City (Fringe Festival NYC), and Shakespeare’s Midsummer Nights Dream.  He has also won the following accolades: Bernie West Award and the Friar’s Club Award for Outstanding Performance in Comedy.

Janine Robertson-Gaines (Sheila Laurence) is making her debut performance. She has always had a love for and been involved in the arts. She was a member of Phillipa Schuyler School for the Gifted and Talented chorus and chamber choirs. Janine's artistic nature led her to pursue a career in culinary arts. She is thrilled to be in this play.

 

Du’Ana Speights (Older Michelle) Talent, Drive, and Perseverance are three words used to describe this young Actress from Cleveland, Ohio. With just a few years in the industry, not only is she familiar with working in films, commercials, theater, and voiceovers, she also has her hands in music and writing. Some of her recent credits include, ‘Siblings Addiction’, ‘This is Why I'm Single’, and ‘This Thing I Call Life’.  She would love to thank God, her family, and friends for keeping the light in her heart when times got dark.

Denezia Hymes (Young Michelle) is making her acting debut in 'Die Laughing the Stage Play'. She was a New Jersey state finalist in the 2008 National American Miss Pageant (princess division). During Pageant competitions, she sang I'll Be There by the Jackson5, choreographed a dance routine to Lion Sleeps Tonight from Lion King soundtrack and modeled casual-wear. She earned recognition for outstanding program participation.  Some of her other interests include ballet and tap dance, as well as karate.

Shaheed Woods (Michael Laurence) was born in the heart of Jersey City where he knew he was always destined for greatness. A lover of film, Shaheed desired to be an actor at a young age. He majored in Mass Communications with a concentration in media and film. After completing a course in Drama, Shaheed was asked to participate in the Drama Recital for his school, excelling in it only drove his professor to help him hone his skills. He was trained in classical black theatre by Robert Gerristead, went out for different parts and landed his first stage role in “To Live Is To Learn” by Quaneshia Samuels. He was in the recently released biopic “Notorious” and later went on to work extensively with the New York Film Academy and NYU on several student films and music videos.  He also does stand-up comedy under the alias of “BiGSHA”, his gift for impressions makes him a very funny man. He has graced the stage at such clubs as, The 40/40, The Eastville Comedy Club, the Laugh Factory and many more. Shaheed Woods is a man of many gifts and talents and continues to hone his craft everyday. Shaheed BiGSHA Woods is a name to remember.

Cassandra D. Johnson (Sheila Laurence) is a native of Paterson, NJ.  Her previous theatre credits include "A Raisin In The Sun" (ATC Studios), "The Vagina Monologues" (CCL) and scenes from "Monk 'n' Bud" (Negro Ensemble Company).  A graduate of Morgan State University, Cassandra is also a plus size model who has done print work for LaDan's Closet, Cazz Faces and Beaute' Models.  She is thrilled to be a part of this production, and she thanks her friends, family and the public for their support!!

ShariMcCullough (Michelle Laurence) is a relative newcomer to Theatre acting.  Her first stage appearance was with Ujamaa Theatre this summer at the Times Square Arts Center.  Shari is thrilled to be back here with Diversity Players of Harlem and DA’Right Entertainment’s ‘Die Laughing the Stage Play’.  She is so excited to be apart of this production and greatly appreciative for this opportunity.

Allison Paul (Young Michelle) is an inquisitive, native New Yorker who loves the arts and really enjoys reading. You may see more about Allison @ http://www.nycastings.com/ALLISONPAUL.  Allison would like to thank every one of you for supporting this production.