When Sade Thompson first read Chisa Hutchinson’s Dead and Breathing, she knew it was something completely unique.
“I never saw him play and didn’t know him at all until I decided to audition,” said Thompson, a Brooklyn native and Albany resident who stars alongside Barbara Howard with the Black Theater troupe in upstate New State. -York. staging of Hutchinson’s play in 2014. “I liked it, I knew it was different and I knew it would be a problem. And the more we worked on it, the more I liked it. “
Created by Jean-Remy Monnet back in 2009 originally as the Soul Rebel Performance troupe, the North New York Black Theater will perform Dead and Breathing at the new Capital Repertory Theater, Lauren and Harold Iselin’s studio at 251 North Pearl Street in Albany. The show will open tonight and run for the next two weekends (Thursday through Sunday) until October 24th.
The show is limited to just two characters. Thompson plays Veronica, a shelter nurse, and Albany native Barbara Howard plays Caroline, a cancer patient who believes her death is inevitable and wants to speed up the process.
“She’s trying to get my character, the hospice nurse, to actually help kill herself,” Thompson said. “But Veronica is trying to convince her that life is worth living. With her Christian faith, she is trying to teach this woman life lessons, and there are many twists and turns in her. As we went through rehearsals, I liked it more and more. “
Thompson served as an assistant director and appeared in BBQ, a 2015 play by Robert O’Hara staged by the Black Theater in upstate New York this summer at Harriet Myers’ Albany residence. A graduate of the State University of New York at Potsdam, she is currently in her sophomore year at the University of Albany.
“Next May I will have teachers and I want to try to attract more schools to the theater,” she said. “It is important for children that they see the theater, and it is also very important that companies try to get more involved in what they do. They have to tell stories about people of all nationalities. “
Monnet, a native of Haiti who moved to New York in 1982 and the metropolitan area in 1997, said his theater troupe’s mission is to “highlight and promote performances and theatrical works of color artists in the metropolitan area New York, and promote better intercultural understanding through the performing arts. “
The group has performed at various venues throughout the region, and Monnet is thrilled to see his actors get the opportunity to showcase their work at Capital Repertory, now sponsored by the Proctors Collaborative.
“Supported by Philip Morris of Proctors and Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill of Cap Rep, providing a home for the Black Theater is a dream come true,” said Monnet. “We are not only in Albany, we are in the right area that we need most to serve our youth and adults alike.
“My dream is to give children and adults of all skin colors who are interested in art a home to come to,” continued Monnet, who is directing the production. “We want them to learn, shine and have the best experience. Also continue to work and make the local theater community more diverse and colorful. Philip and Maggie are helping me keep doing just that. ”
Monnet is also happy to be producing Dead and Breathing, an off-Broadway hit that has received positive reviews in both The New York Times and National Public Radio. Hutchinson is a Queens native and attended Vassar College and New York University. She currently teaches at the University of Delaware and is a 2010 GLAAD laureate.
“I love plays that teach and educate; stories that bring people together regardless of your race, culture, sexual orientation, religion and so on, ”said Monnet. “Plays about embracing your lifestyle. Dead and Breathing covers it all. “
While “Dead and Breathing” is only Thompson’s second show in the metropolitan area, Howard has performed, often in musicals, at multiple venues since 2013, including the Albany Civic Theater, Schenectady Light Opera Company and Callaloo Theater Company.
‘Dead and Breathing’
WHAT: Upstate New York production by Black Theater
WHERE: Lauren & Harold Iselin Studios at Capital Repertory Theater, 251 North Pearl St., Albany
WHEN: opens on Thursday and runs until October 24; Show times: 19:30 Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 16:30 Sunday.
HOW MUCH: $ 22.50-17.50
ADDITIONAL INFO: Visit the Upstate Black Theater on Facebook or www.proctors.org
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Categories: Entertainment, Life and Art