New York, NY - The personal becomes the political when passionately-opinionated African American women speak their minds on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Black Lives Matter, missing black women and girls, black-on-black crime, and male/female relationships in a soul-stirring mix of song, dance, poetry, and prose. The interrelated dramatic monologues range from tragedy to comedy in a “newsical” revue that examines pressing social issues from an African-American female perspective. Sistas on Fire! A Newsical uses theatre to provoke thought, encourage social activism, and build bridges that cross race, class, gender and culture. In short, it's For Colored Girls for the New Millennium.
The play opens at the East Village Playhouse from February 22nd to March 17th.
Sistas on Fire! A Newsical was written by Professor Marcia McNair and Professor Anissa D. Moore. Actress, singer and dancer Kwamara Thompson is the Producer. The music is by Marcia McNair, Natalie “Ne’Richa” Richmond, and Juson Williams.
About the Sistas on Fire! A Newsical Cast and Production Team:
Marquis Smalls was born and raised in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. He went on to graduate from The Pennsylvania State University, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in African/African-American Studies and a minor in Sociology. Upon graduating from Penn State, he enrolled in New York University’s Continuing Education Screenwriting program.
In 2005 he started Homegrown Productions. Since that time, he has written eleven feature screenplays, written, directed and produced 14 short films that have won various awards and have screened at over 50 film festivals including, the Cannes short film corner, American Black Film Festival, Urbanworld, Pan-African, IBFF Nashville, HBO NYLatino, Athena, Reel Sisters, Gene Siskel Black Harvest, BHERC in LA, Langston Hughes in Seattle, Run & Shoot Filmworks in Martha’s Vineyard and internationally in Amsterdam, South Africa, London, Jamaica and Abu Dhabi.
As a 2013 New York Foundation of the Arts Screenwriting Fellowship recipient, Marquis won a grant for his screenplay Mommas Boy. In 2014 Marquis directed his first feature length “docu-tainment” film Hating Obama, which was released in May 2015 by Moguldom Studios and was available on the STARZ channel, iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon Prime.
Juson Williams is thrilled to rejoin Sistas on Fire after being the original Musical Director/Composer and Choreographer. Williams is a five-time Audelco Award Winner for his choreography and musical direction in the hit Off Broadway choreopoems Black Man Rising and Flambeaux. He is a Midtown International Theatre Award Winner for his work in Resurgents. Williams has directed and choreographed many shows such as Grease, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Hairspray, Hair, and Wild Women of Planet Wongo. He is the founder of JW’s Inspirational Singers who performed at the Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Ceremony and accompanied singers Sam Smith at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards, Shania Twain on the Today Show, Pentatonix and Jordan Smith, and the original David Bowie Band for the Bowie Around the World Tribute.
Marcia McNair is currently an Associate Professor of English, Journalism, and Women and Gender Studies at Nassau Community College and formerly an assistant editor at Essence Magazine. McNair has numerous publishing credits as a journalist, poet, and essayist. Her essay, The Incident Revisited, an excerpt from the play, appears in the anthology Black Lives Have Always Mattered (2LeafPress, 2017). Her poem Long Island Just Isn’t Long Enough is published in Songs of Seasoned Women (QuadraSoul, 2008) and was performed by Composer Leonard Lehrman at the opening of Hofstra University’s Suburban Conference on Diversity in 2009. An excerpt from her first novel, E-Males (Aya Press, 2007), was performed at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in 2009. Her essay, A Tale of Two Mothers, appears in the anthology Mothers R Special/Celebrating Momma N’em (Memory Lane Publishers, 2017).
A mother of two, McNair grew up in New Jersey, lived in both Harlem and Queens, but has resided on Long Island for over twenty years.
Anissa D. Moore, a Brooklyn native, attended Hunter College, City University of New York where she received her Master of Arts degree in Communications/ Media Studies. Anissa joined the full-time Communications faculty at Nassau Community College, State University of New York in 1996. She was the first African American to secure a tenured position in the Communications Department. In July 2006, she was elected Chairperson of the Communications Department. She is the first African-American woman to serve as the Academic Chairperson. In January 2011, Prof. Moore was appointed as the Dean of Social & Behavioral Sciences at Nassau Community College. She is the first African American woman to serve in this administrative position. Anissa is currently a Full Professor at Nassau.
Anissa is a playwright, poet and choral director. Ms. Moore’s creative works include the collaboration: Sistas on Fire! a drama newsical regarding the African-American woman experience. Furthermore, she served as a Contributor for the Judson Press book: Women at the Well: Meditations for Quenching Our Thirst Vol. 2. She recently completed Mad Girl: Reflections on Race, Class and Gender, a collection of personal essays which will be released in Fall 2017. Anissa is a recent recipient of the John L. Kearse Trailblazer Award granted by the Economic Opportunity Commission of Nassau County for her outstanding leadership in Nassau County. On November 3, 2015, Anissa D. Moore became the first African-American woman elected to the Long Beach City Council. Anissa Moore embraces the motto of her shero, Shirley Chisolm: “I am and always will be a catalyst for change.”
Kwamara Thompson started her career in the performing and theatre arts when she was afforded a grant from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation to produce a documentary on race relations at the age of 17, which was then shown at their annual Poetry Festival at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center to rave reviews. She went to New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. While there, she won the Rita and Burton Goldberg Scholarship for her play, Two Blind Mice and had a run of her play, Evolve in London. She started PEACE, a youth filmmaking program in NJ, which won the Links National Award for Youth Development. While she is no longer directly involved with PEACE, but she lectures, conducts workshops, and speaks on an abbreviated version of PEACE’s program and impact in a series called iStory™.
Additionally, Thompson is the founder and principal of Thompson Education Consulting (TEC). TEC consults with nonprofits, K-12 education institutions as well as small businesses and individuals who are looking to become entrepreneurs.
Performance Dates & Time (90 Minutes):
February 22nd to March 17th
Friday & Saturday at 7 PM EST
Sunday at 3 pm
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