Genre: Drama
Written and Directed by Marcus Dargan

NuAFrikan Theatre celebrates its revival with the new Jacob A. Weiser Playwright Award winning play Dream Deferred, written and directed by Marcus Dargan, opening on April 19, 2012 at the 133rd Street Arts Center.

Dream Deferred is a one-act play that explores gentrification in Harlem through the monologues of African American residents of a pre-war building, whose survival is threatened by the newly built condominium across their street. In the aftermath of a devastating building fire, its tenants are forced out into the streets facing the looming, pink walls of a high-rise building that has overshadowed their community with an otherworldly presence. They share stories of love and hate for Harlem and their views on the recent changes in their neighborhood. Racial tensions climax as a riot ensues, resulting in a standoff as these Harlem natives strive to reclaim their home.

The cast will include Bisa Y. Dawes, Shannon Harris, Richard Mays, Donald PaulEddie K. Robinson, and Curtis Willimas, and features Richard Mays, and Johnnie Mae, an OOBR Award winning actress and two-time recipient of the AUDELCO Award.

About the Company: NuAFrikan Theatre

NuAFrikan Theatre is an emerging theatre company dedicated to producing original, contemporary, and classic theatre in order to engage, educate and empower communities through the African-American experience.  We seek to further pioneer the artistic development and diversity of contemporary theatre, in addition to preserving the art of traditional theatre forms. Our goal is to draw new audiences to theatre, foster and develop aspiring new talent, and introduce appealing and stimulating theatre to communities where it my otherwise be inaccessible.

Preview:   04/19/12
Open:   04/20/12
Close:   04/29/12

Performances are at 7:00 PM on Tuesday – Saturday evenings, with matinee performances on Wednesday and Saturday at 2:00 PM, and Sunday at 3:00 PM.
Theater:   133rd Street Arts Center
Address:   308 West 133rd Street - 2 Fl
New York, NY 10027
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Cost:General tickets are $20 at the door. Advance online sales are $18 for Adults; $15 for Seniors, Students, Artists
Buy Tickets Online or Call: Brown Paper Tickets at 1-800-838-3006
Company: NuAFrikan Theatre         Official Web Site: www.nuafrikantheatre.org
Marcus Dargan Director and Playwright

Marcus Dargan is an accomplished director, performer, playwright, and teaching artist. He is a graduate of the “famed” FH LaGuardia HS of Music and Art, and obtained his A.S. in Theatre from Borough of Manhattan Community College, and B.A. in Theatre from City College of New York. He is currently completing his candidacy for a M.S. Ed in Educational Theatre at the City College of New York. He is a recipient of the Jacob A. Weiser Playwright Award and was last seen in the role created by Ken Page in Ain’t Misbehavin’ with the Harlem Repertory Theatre, garnering 5 AUDELCO Award nominations. 

Richard Mays Doc Gabriel, Johnny

Richard Mays was born in Bronx, New York and raised on Long Island during the “baby boom” years.  After completing undergraduate and graduate degrees in Psychology (Harvard, Columbia) and practicing for thirty years, a midlife crisis brought him into a performing career.  He began studying voice and acting in 1999 while living in the San Francisco.  Since returning to NYC in 2004 he has studied acting and voice at HB Studios, been a featured singer in musicals at the Theater for the New City, It’s the Economy, Stupid! (2008), The Wizard of Oz (2009), and acted in commercials and short films.

Johnnie Mae Mrs. Thompson, Mother Esther Jackson

Johnnie Mae has been at this business for a long time now.  She does theatre, television, film, voiceovers, print, commercials, and comedy.  She was last seen in The Widow and Miss Mamie as the Church Mother (her musical debut.)  Television credits include Law and Order, Law and Order SVU, Law and Order CI, Louie, The Big C, 30 Rock, and HBO’s Boardwalk Empire (recurring role).  Johnnie Mae is a two time AUDELCO Award winner and shared the OOBR Award for best ensemble cast for Shakin’ the Mess Outta Misery.

Bisa Dawes Shay-Shay, Fatima, Deva

Bisa Dawes is an actress who really has a passion for the arts.  She has been acting since she was 7 years old, which encouraged her to follow her dream all throughout high school to present.  Bisa has performed in numerous productions such as Grease, Westside Story, ‘Twas with a Twist, and Tales from the Body Bag, to name a few.  She also assistant directed her first production in 2009 and discovered it is a new love and natural gift.  Aside from theatre she has also done stand-up comedy.  She also enjoys writing poetry, dancing, and chorus singing.  Bisa is affiliated with Nu World Art Ensemble, a theatre company that has played a key role in helping her become the actress she is today.  Bisa Dawes recently moved to NJ/NY area to pursue her acting career and share her passion.

Shannon Harris Lovey Jones, Angela Walker

 Shannon Harris was last seen in the poignant short play Pedestrian Casualty: Bronx USA in Looking Glass Theater’s Winter Director/Writer Forum 2011.  Since her return to NYC after earning an MA in Classical Acting from CSSD in London, her penchant for “the classics” led to work with Inwood Shakespeare Festival and Adirondack Shakespeare Company.  Favorite roles include Emilia (Othello), Hermione (The Winter’s Tale), Adriana (Comedy of Errors), and Lady in Red (for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf).  Shannon also trained at AADA-LA and Columbia University, where she earned a BA in English from Barnard College.

Donald Paul Anthony, Black

Donald Paul was born and raised in Palm Beach, Florida.  Donald attended Atlantic High School where he was heavily into sports and found his love for acting.  After graduating, Donald attended the University of Maryland at College Park where he double majored in Kinesiology and Theatre.  In 2009, Donald auditioned for and was accepted to The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York.  While at The Academy, Donald trained under teachers such as Janis Powell, Jackie Bartone, Babara Rubin, Heather Benton, Jim Demonic, and Todd Peters.  He also worked with Academy and guest directors, including Susan Pilar and George Heslin.  As a part of the 126th Graduating Class of The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Donald joined the likes of Cecil B. de Mille, Grace Kelly, Kirk Douglas, Lauren Bacall, Jason Robards, Robert Redford, Danny Devito, John Cassavetes, Gena Rowlands, Paul Rudd, Kim Cattrall and Dennis Haysbert as Alumni of the oldest acting school in the English speaking world.

Eddie K. Robinson Peanut, David Walker

Eddie K. Robinson a Detroit native, is a graduate of Michigan State University and The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts.  Recent credits include The Tragedy of Tupac Amaru Shakur as Shock G and a brief appearance on 30 Rock (NBC).

Curtis L. Williams Fresh Chris, Michael Walker

 Curtis L. Williams is a native New Yorker.  Curtis has been acting for the past 13 years, performing in numerous productions in high school, college, off-off Broadway, and off-Broadway.  Notable productions include Soldiers Play (Davenport), Westside Story (Tony), Cabaret (Cliff Bradshaw), Antigone (Haemon), The Me Nobody Knows (Lloyd), First Breeze of Summer (Sam), Know Thy Enemy (David), the AUDELCO nominated production of Glady’s Delima (Elsworth) with the H.A.D.L.E.Y Players, and originating the lead role in NuAFrikan Theatre’s Antichrist Lament (Issa Mohammed).