Second World Tour of ‘I Have A Dream’ Kicks off in Homestead, Florida
— Revival underway for the Broadway musical that toured 126 cities from 1976 to 2003 —
HOMESTEAD, FL – January 8, 2014 – (HISPANICIZE WIRE) – The Broadway musical “I Have A Dream” has something for everyone, a mix of sheer entertainment with profound education. The original Billie Dee Williams’ Broadway production has evolved since 1976, touring 126 cities worldwide between 1985 and 2003. From the turbulent events that shaped Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the modern day Civil Rights Movement, came a play/musical by Josh Greenfeld, veteran screenwriter, novelist, playwright and Academy Award nominee for Harry and Tonto.
The playwright scripted King’s iconic quotations, public speeches and writings into a reenactment of America’s Civil Rights Era (Southeastern region, 1955 – 1968). Under the gifted direction of Herman LeVern Jones, history unfolds for today’s audiences, imbued with Jones’ unique educational and artistic background, intimate familiarity with the King family and in-depth experiences with many I Have A Dream casts as well as numerous interpretations of this script.
Currently a Miami- Dade College (Homestead) Professor and Artist-in-Residence (as TSA), at the Deering Estate at Cutler, Mr. Jones founded TheatreSouth Atlanta, Inc. in 2007 and shares over 42 years of acting, directing and producing know-how with the South Florida community. By introducing the character of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, Jones gives a nod to the interfaith movement and memorializes the abiding friendship between King and the Jewish leader who marched at his side. In a similar nod to veganism, the socially-responsible and ethical lifestyle embraced by Coretta and other King family members, Jones partnered with EarthSave Miami to provide non-violent food choices at official TSA events. He endorsed a Healthy Green Workplace Ethic to improve working conditions for staff and cast.
TSA is actively soliciting for national and international performance venues, mid-sized to larger theatres. The list of proposed cities include: Atlanta, Detroit, Mumbai, New Orleans, Birmingham, London, New York, Toronto, Amsterdam, Johannesburg, Memphis, Montgomery, St. Louis, Rio de Janeiro (2016 Olympics), Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, etc. The production can uniquely incorporate elements of any community, such as community dancers or local history, to explore the visceral nature of the Civil Rights Movement as it relates to issues of today.
The Phichol E. Williams Sr. Community “Center” (a City of Homestead Parks and Recreation facility) will offer community residents a newly-created playhouse and seven multi-media performances of I Have A Dream that feature original choreography, gospel choir, historical drama, multi-screen stage projections and an energetic, multi-ethnic cast, ages 7 to 74 years. Located at #951 on Homestead’s S.W. 4th Street, aptly renamed M L King Boulevard, the Center continues hosting an array of popular social and cultural events. The Center has been transformed into a high-functioning theater space complete with lights, sound and a Broadway-style set. The Center can promise the surrounding community a dynamic, new cultural hub to coincide with upcoming MLK commemorations and Black History Month.
A full palette of emotions play out against a backdrop of 120 historical images projected onto three huge stage screens: Rosa Parks refuses to yield her bus seat; Sheriff Bull Connor’s police dogs and hoses wreak havoc on crowds of peaceful protestors and children; Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s infamous arrest in Birmingham; his stirring signature speeches; personal moments with Coretta and his children; and the Memphis Lorraine Motel balcony scene. Many threads of morality, legality and culture are interwoven, rendering this production into extraordinary “edu-tainment” for all ages. I Have A Dream – the Broadway Musical wraps years of American history into a single evening’s experience, thereby transporting audiences back in time and deeper into the humanity of a man, his family, his people, his nation and his struggle.
Broadway actor Jahi Kearse, following rave reviews for his January 2014 portrayals of Dr. King at South Miami Dade Cultural Arts Center, Florida International University’s Graham Center Ballroom and Phichol Williams Community Center leads another diverse Dream Cast that mixes seasoned professionals with local amateur talent, modeling a society envisioned in the spirit of this play. The character Coretta King will be ably-portrayed by professional actress Bianca Laverne Jones (Purchase College, Yale School of Drama), fresh from her role as Goneril in Shakespeare’s King Lear at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Music Director Jason Sweet tunes up a slew of heartfelt gospel songs, sung by the I Have A Dream Gospel Choir. Dwight Thompson of MyAct Dance Studio will again provide his electrifying brand of choreography.
PRODUCTION TEAM: Justine Karl, Yonnick LeVern Jones, Jeffrey M. Tucker, Carolyn W. Jones, Brigitte Keane, Samantha Davis, Simone Anderson, Norma Chew, Roslyn Viterbo, Loretta Rahming, Nicole Garcia, Clara Dormeus, Cherrie Diane Price, and Myoushi Jones
DREAM CAST: Antonia McKnight, Ariyah Seymour, Bianca LaVerne Jones, Brigitte Keane, Calvin Lester, Ciara Dormeus, Clara Hernandez, Clinton Solomon, Courtney Orr, Cynise Rahming, Dalia Thompson, Davern Frazier, Davin Thompson, Dianne Gilmore, Dylan Cartwright, Dwight Thompson, Edouard L. Stephane, Erica Herrera, Errol Loctor, Evelyn Combs, Faye Farrington, Fernanda Bordrond, Geralda Jean-Charles, Glenda Scott, Jahi Kearse, Jaquana Anderson, Jared Rivera, Jean Ugenie, Jeandenis Pierre, Jermaine Walden, Jerry Bridgeman, Jessica LaGuerre, Juanita Parnell, Katashi Collier, Katherine Gongora, Katiana Saintvil, Kaylin Cartwright, Leilani Riera, Lourdie Stephane, Madelyne Etienne, Marcdev Etienne, Margret Staples, Marie-Carmelle Lindley, Mario Irizarry, Michael Taube, Mustafa Hutchinson, Nashante Gilmore, Nicole Garcia, Norma Chew, Quillian Minott, Randy Prophete, Robert Gramley, Roslyn Viterbo, Sabrina Herrera, Sabrina Dormeus, Samantha Davis, Samuel Smith, Seth Stultz, Sinddie Jean, Timothy Taylor, Toddra Solomon, Tyliah Parrish, Tyrone Taylor, Viviane Saintvil, Yvania Muscadum et. al.
COMMUNITY PARTNERS & SUPPORTERS; Miami Marlins’ Foundation, Mercedes Benz of Cutler Bay, City of Homestead City Council, City of Homestead Parks and Recreation, Councilman Jimmie L. Williams III, The Deering Estate at Cutler, Star 102.1, MyAct Dance Studio, Michael J. Brink Foundation, Commercial Theatre Institute, Atlanta Beltline, Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts, Justine Karl, Craytive Consulting Group, EarthSave Miami and special thanks to Brigitte Keane, the Jones Theatre Family, Jeffrey M. Tucker, with the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners, Homestead Mayor Jeff Porter, Vice-Mayor Stephen R. Shelley, Councilwomen: Patricia Fairclough, Judy Waldman, and Councilmen: Jimmie L. Williams, III, Jon Burgess, Elvis R. Maldonado, Hispanicize Wire, et. al.
Ticket-buyers will appreciate the subsidized $5 ticket price, courtesy of Homestead’s City Council and Commissioner Jimmie L. Williams, III. Our sincere thanks to them for making I Have A Dream – the Broadway Musical one of the most-affordable and accessible Broadway-style productions in South Florida’s history!
To his credit, Executive Producer/Artistic Director Herman LeVern Jones trains local amateurs of all ages and ethnicities alongside his core cast of seasoned professionals, for starring, understudy, stagecraft and production roles as actors, dancers, singers, musicians, stage management, marketing team, lighting/sound technicians, administrative interns, stagehands and carpenters. The public is invited to participate at all levels as rehearsals and pre-production are underway at the TheatreSouth 4th Street Playhouse, a project of TheatreSouth Atlanta, Inc. in conjunction with City of Homestead. MLK national birthday commemorations run from early January through Black History Month. Homestead will again host Mr. Jones’ special troupe performance at Martin Luther King, Jr. Annual Breakfast.
Central to this production is an educational curricula. School teachers and administrators are encouraged to highlight and deconstruct each issue and lesson that emerge from some of America’s most troubling yet poignant historical events and personalities. All revenues, whether outright contribution, playbill advertisement or sponsorship package, will offset blocks of matinee seating for students, teachers and school administrators. Feedback from previous youth audience surveys has conclusively demonstrated this play’s profound impact on young lives. Sponsored seats cost $10, of which $5 supports TSA’s educational work.
Everyone is urged to book their seats early. A Student Matinee is set for January 22, 10:30am; afterschool programs, elderly homes and social organizations invited for January 23, 4:00pm; General Admission theatre-goers choose from amongst the following performance mix: January 23, 8pm; January 24, 2:30pm; Saturday Night Dinner Theatre Performance and Cast Party ($25 per Ticket) commences at 6:00pm with a buffet dinner and fanfare, meet the cast, playbill signing by featured performers and sponsor acknowledgments, show time is 8:00pm; January 25, 2:30pm or 7pm. Tickets may be purchased online at www.theatresouthatlanta.org or at the TSA Box Office, Room 1-A at the Center.
About I Have A Dream:
The Broadway Musical debuted in 1976 at the Ambassador Theatre, New York City, starring Billy Dee Williams. It subsequently travelled Woodie King, Jr.’s legendary National Black Touring Circuit. A young Herman LeVern Jones served as Woodie’s Associate Producer, Actor and Company Manager. The tour ended in 2003 after racking up creditable performances for 17 consecutive years in more than 125 cities, worldwide.
Innovative marketing and media packages, coupled with TheatreSouth Atlanta’s commitment to student sponsorships and education, have created a strong attraction for corporate advertisers, community grantors, and private donors. The public is invited to select a generous Edu-Sponsor support option at TSA’s website, and positively impact the lives of our youth.
Visit www.theatresouthatlanta.org for more information.
City of Homestead, Councilman Jimmie L. Williams III, & Herman LeVern Jones’ TheatreSouth Atlanta, Inc. Present:
January 22-25, 2015
Second Annual South Florida Production: “I Have A Dream”
Broadway Musical by Josh Greenfeld
TheatreSouth 4th Street Playhouse @ Phichol Williams Community Center
951 S.W. 4th Street, Homestead, Florida 33030