The Billie Holiday Theatre is proud to announce the cast for the fourth monologue showcase of its popular series – 50in50: Letters to Our Sons. In response to MacArthur “Genius” Dominique Morisseau’s curatorial statement, “50 original monologues” – selected from hundreds of submissions from women of African descent from across the globe – will be read by renowned actors to include: Lisa Arrindell (The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Saints & Sinners, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof), Marsha Stephanie Blake (Orange is the New Black, The Merchant of Venice), Lilli Cooper (Tootsie, Wicked), LaChanze (The Color Purple and Summer: The Donna Summer Musical), Joie Lee (She’s Gotta Have It, Do The Right Thing), Celestine Rae (Boardwalk Empire, Blacklist), Phyllis Yvonne Stickney (How Stella Got Her Groove Back, The Women of Brewster Place), and Pauletta Pearson Washington (She’s Gotta Have It, The Old Settler and Autumn at The Billie) with live music performed by Maritri Garrett.
Performances will take place at the Kumble Theater at LIU, 1 University Place, Brooklyn on Saturday, March 14 at 3pm and 7pm, with a final event on Sunday, March 15 at 3pm.
This year, Dominique Morisseau asks: “If sons are not just born of our loins, but also born of our collective energies, then what do we want to say to our sons? This legion of men who will grow up in a post #metoo, post #blacklivesmatter, post #timesup era? When we have been the defenders of men whose unmuted music continues to defile and degrade our sacred bodies? When we know these sons are also growing up in a world with our daughters, who do we want them to become? What wish, what lesson, what truth do we want them to know that could turn their course? Create a future of warriors, gentle giants, gracious, kind, loving, life-sustaining men. What do we want them to know about us and about themselves? And if we could create a map for their survival, what would be the route?”
“With 50in50, we wanted to create a space and platform for agency and empowerment so that women can share their stories from the nuanced and diverse places that we as Black women exist in every day,” said Dr. Indira Etwaroo, Executive Director, BHT. “This year’s theme really allows Black women to look at national and global issues through the lens of honest and open dialogue with Black men.”
In addition to the Brooklyn shows, The Billie will bring its monologue showcase to the dynamic WACO Theater Center in Los Angeles, California for its West Coast premiere on Saturday, March 7th at 3pm.