FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 12, 2020
EVOLVE Announces Special Guest Entertainers for Flyin West Preshow
Celebrate Black History with Vocalist Christopher Lowe and West African Dance and Drum Group Sewa Fare'
(Honolulu, HI) EVOLVE Theatre Company is proud to announce that two special guest acts will be a part of the preshow entertainment for Flyin West. First, Sewa Fare' (pronounced SAY-wah FAH-day) will kick off the night with West African dance and drumming at 6:30pm, and then at 7:00pm right before the play starts, vocalist Christopher Lowe will grace the stage with a rendition of the classic Ol Man River from the musical Show Boat. The preshow acts touch on general Black History before the time period of Flyin West-- traditional culture pre-slavery, then long and enduring African American hardship and suffering, leading up to the a new period depicted in the play: that of Black-owned towns striving to come into existence, lead by people who forged new paths in harsh circumstances. The evening will be emceed by EVOLVE actor, director, and Advisory Board member, Dr. Allison Francis.
Sewa Fare' is Oahus only West African Dance and Drum Group. Sewa Fare' means Joyful Celebration in the Sousou (pronounced-Su-su) language of Guinea West Africa. The group is led by Master Drummers Moussa Bangoura and Sekou Camara along with student drummers with varied level and years study. Sewa Fare' has performed at many venues across Hawaii including Mardi Gras Celebrations, Hispanic Heritage Festivals, Martin Luther King Day Parade Celebrations, Foster Gardens Midsummer Nights Gleam, The Hawaii Theatre, ProBowl, and for Bishop Desmond Tutu.
Christopher Lowe is a vocalist, conductor and musical director. He has appeared as Joe Boyd in Damn Yankees, Hercule in Can Can, the Genie in Once Upon One Noddah Time, both Agwe and Papa Ge Once on this Island, Aeneas in the opera Dido & Aeneas, and Figaro in the opera The Barber of Seville. He is currently a vocal coach, music teacher and Director of Performing Arts at the American Renaissance Academy. He has recently recorded an album of Broadway music entitled And It Begins.
Board president and company actress Shervelle Bergholz makes her directorial debut, helming this story of persevering, pioneering African American females of the US frontier. A grand finale of Black History Month, so to speak, this exclusive, groundbreaking production will play for one show only on Leap Day, Feb 29, at the Pearl City Cultural Center. Tickets for this POC, female-forward show are now on sale at Brown Paper Tickets: https://flyinwest.bpt.me.
THE STORY: Facing problems ranging from the inevitability of long, cold winters, to the possibility of domestic violence, to the continuing spectra of racial conflict, the women of FLYIN' WEST include Miss Leah, the old woman whose memories of slavery and its aftermath comprise a living oral history; Sophie Washington, whose determination to protect her land and those she loves puts to rest forever the requirement that western archetypes be white and male; Fannie Mae Dove, the gentle sister, trying to civilize the frontier with fine china and roses, who finds herself falling in love with their soft-spoken neighbor, Wil Parish; and Minnie Dove Charles, the headstrong baby sister whose mulatto husband, Frank, introduces a danger into the household that tests their sisterhood in unexpected ways.
Following the end of the Civil War, many former slaves, anxious to leave the South and the increasing disappointments and dangers of Reconstruction, took advantage of The Homestead Act and went West to build new lives for themselves and their families. Many of these homesteaders were black women who overcame tremendous odds to work their own land and make a place for themselves in an often harsh and forbidding environment. Set in 1898, FLYIN' WEST is the story of some of these African-American female pioneers who settled, together, in the all-black town of Nicodemus, Kansas. Dramatists Play Service
Flyin West is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York.
"Pearl Cleage's FLYIN' WEST [is] a real crowed pleasure, and its characters have humor and vitality Cleage [is] a natural-born storyteller" Washington Post
"Pearl Cleage's FLYIN' WEST is a broadly rendered sweet anthem of a play, celebrating, as one character says to a newborn infant, "all them fine colored women makin' a place for you." NY Times
"FLYIN' WEST is the most potent, gripping play a paean to women and a plea for all women with vibrant lives to tell their oral stories" NY Times
Do not miss Flyin West directed by Shervelle Bergholz, and featuring a trailblazin posse of EVOLVE company actors: Wendy Anderson (Ragtime) as Sophie Washington, Curtis Duncan (Jesus Hopped The 'A' Train, Its a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play) as Frank Charles, Barbara Jackson (A Raisin in the Sun, The Colored Museum) as Miss Leah, Chanel Meadows (For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf) as Minnie Dove Charles, J. Edward Murray (Mothers and Sons, Its a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play) as Wil Parish, and Mary Ann Shirley-Gray (Storefront Church, Its a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play) as Fannie Dove. Playing for one show only at the Pearl City Cultural Center, this show will explore a powerful part of Black History often overlookedthat of its strong and fearless frontierswomen who not only survived but thrived in the West.
For more information, please contact EVOLVE Theatre Company at firstname.lastname@example.org or 808-342-0469, or Director Bergholz at 808-218-0743.
Pearl City Cultural Center
2388 Waimano Home Road, Pearl City, HI 96782
6:30-7:00pm: Preshow with Special Guest Artists Sewa Fare' and Christopher Lowe
7:00pm: Pearl Cleages Flyin West directed by Shervelle Bergholz
$35 General Admission
$20 Seniors, Students, and Military
Advance tickets may be purchased online at https://flyinwest.bpt.me, or at the box office one hour before curtain.
The show contains depictions of spousal abuse.
Pearl City Cultural Center (View)
2388 Waimano Home Road
Pearl City, HI 96782