The Way I See It From My Big Eyes-
I recently attended a Sneak Peek event of Blackberry Daze, a musical mystery-romance in the key of the blues. The evening started out with Lisa Alder, Horizon Theatre Company Producing Director, giving us an introduction to the production as well as announcing key people responsible for the show. The stage play first debuted last year at the MetroStage in Alexandria, Virginia.
Ruth P. Watson – Author of “Blackberry Days of Summer”, playwright and mastermind behind the stage play “Blackberry Daze”. She collaborated with Tom Jones for about 6 weeks, and 3 months later, the show was in production. It’s a mystery, murder and romance piece. 90% of the stage content is taken from the novel. The play will touch on subjects like rape, abuse, and infidelity. Oh, there’s definitely a lot of drama going on. The book was inspired by stories she heard as a child growing up. The setting is based after World War 1 around 1919 in the states of Virginia and Washington, DC.
Thomas W. Jones II – an award-winning Director and Writer. Tom is known for his previous works with Jomandi Productions. He spoke about how he first became acquainted with the author years and years ago. The cast started rehearsals on June 12, 2017, to begin preparation for July 14, 2017, opening in Atlanta.
S. Renee Clark- Music Director, eloquently plays gut bucket blues from Ma Rainey, Jazz hits, and Gospel tunes. The sounds will keep you toe tapping throughout the show. The original music was composed by William Knowles. Look out for songs like “Take me up to Glory” and “Daddy Sho Be Laying It Down”.
The dynamic talented cast members were all introduced individually and each gave a snippet of their previous projects, experiences, and educational achievements. They are all Triple Threats – can sing, dance and act.
TC Carson– Actor, Singer, Dancer from Chicago and is best known from the hit TV sitcom “Living Single”. He has been acting since grade school and working since college. He enjoys the stage more so than TV. He has been doing a lot of voice-over work for video games, however, music is his passion. He plays the role of Herman Camm.
Ayana Reed– Actress, from Washington, DC and a graduate of Duke Ellington School of the Arts and George Mason University. Ayana performed in the original cast at MetroStage. She is making her Atlanta debut in the role of Carrie, a 15 year-old daughter of Mae Lou.
Brittany Inge – Actress from Washington, DC, graduate of Spelman College with a Music degree. Brittany also attended Duke Ellington School of the Arts. She plays the role of Pearl, a blues singer at the local juke joint and the wife of Willie.
Christy Clark – Actress from Atlanta attended SCAD and obtained a BS in Theatre. She spent one year in Hong Kong performing with the Hong Kong Disneyland Cast as Princess Tiana. She is playing several roles in the production, while this allows an actor to be stretched and it’s considered fun.
Naomi LaVette– Actress originally from Niagara Falls, NY. She has performed in many stages and television shows. You may remember her dynamic performance as Ms. Lamama in “Shakin the Mess Outta Misery”. She plays the role of Mae Lou, wife of Herman Camm and mother to Carrie.
Christian Magby– Actor from Atlanta, graduate of SCAD with a degree in Music. He plays the role of Willie and is married to Pearl.
The scenes and settings for the play included Washington, DC, a backwoods farmhouse in Virginia, a church, and a juke joint. Although the set is still being developed, we could see samplings of the set designs. A stagecraft blocking technique was used to create actual brown shading wood pieces. The Prop designer/ visual artist talked about certain props to look out for such as mason jars, benches, guns, fans, piano case, coffee tables, tobacco, and cigarettes.
Dr. Nyrobi – Costume Designer talked about how colors were chosen for certain outfits. All clothing needed to be lose fitting, as there will be a lot of movements from the actors. She showed us the various pieces from the Dapper suits, sparkling dresses and then the simple clothes for the field work.
You don’t want to miss this awesome production. It’s going to be exciting and entertaining! Be sure to tell others about it. Get your tickets today at www.horizontheatre.com or call the box office at (404) 584 7450.
The show runs from July 14 – August 27, 2017
The Horizon Theatre Company
1083 Austin Avenue
Atlanta, GA 30307
It’s A Must See – From My Big Eyes