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Brenda Braxton, Robert Cuccioli, Tonya Pinkins and More TRUSpeak … Hear Our Voices!

Brenda Braxton, Robert Cuccioli, Tonya Pinkins and More TRUSpeak … Hear Our Voices!

Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) announces TRUSpeak … Hear Our Voices! Virtual Fundraiser on Sunday, February 21, 2021 at 5pm (eastern time) via Zoom, presented with the generous sponsorship of R.K. Greene and The Storyline Project, Patrick Blake and Rhymes Over Beats, Neal Rubinstein and Dangerous the Musical, Merrie L. Davis and Cheryl Wiesenfeld. Join TRU for an evening of awareness at an annual fundraising gala reinvented for these virtual – and challenging – times. Tickets start at $55. For more information and tickets, visit https://truonline.org/events/tru-speak-hear-our-voices/.

TRUSpeak is a curated selection of short plays and musicals by TRU writers, produced by TRU producers and directed by TRU directors, all touching upon current social issues. The stellar cast includes Broadway veterans like Brenda Braxton (Tony nominee for Smokey Joe’s Café), Robert Cuccioli (Tony nominee for Jekyll & Hyde, Les Miz, Spider-Man), Ann Harada (Avenue Q, Cinderella), Cady Huffman (Tony nominee The Will Rogers Follies, Tony winner The Producers), Jana Robbins (Gypsy, Tale of the Allergist’s Wife, Romance, Romance), Lauren Molina (Rock of Ages, Sweeney Todd revival; off-Broadway Desperate Measures), Crystal Kellogg (Finding Neverland, School of Rock) and theater, film and TV star Regina Taylor (Golden Globe for I’ll Fly Away, The Blacklist, The Unit; plus Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth and As You Like It on Broadway). Equally prominent in the cast: off-Broadway favorite Jim Brochu (Drama Desk Award for Zero Hour, The Big Voice: God or Merman?), Maggie Baird (who manages daughter Billie Eilish when she isn’t doing TV shows like Bones and The X-Files), TV actor Dickie Hearts (Tales of the City, Grace and Frankie), Nick Cearley who along with Lauren Molina forms the cabaret phenomenon, The Skivvies; plus stars on the rise Tatiana Wechsler, Brendan Bradley, Andrea Lynn Green, Robert Baptiste, Gha’il Rhodes Benjamin, Adante Carter, Shariff Sinclair, Tyrone Hall, Crystal Tigney, Jianzi Colon-Soto, Will Mader and internet musician Taiya. There will also be special appearances by Broadway stars Jill Paice and Tonya Pinkins, as well as actress-activist Dominique Sharpton.

“The shutdown has forced us all to rethink our business, our art, our assumptions about life itself,” says Bob Ost, executive director of TRU and producer of TRUSpeak. “Social awareness has been thrust into the spotlight, and virtual presentation has become our strongest means of expression. We are excited to offer a platform for the voices of seven talented writers, guided by directors and tech advisors collaborating to use this new medium in interesting ways. And we are so lucky to have 24 incredibly talented actors to bring these plays to life. I don’t know if TRU could make this happen in a live event.”

Each of the TRUSpeak shows will be introduced by former TRU honorees including James Morgan, producing artistic director of the York Theatre; two-time Tony winning director/choreographer Jerry Mitchell; performer/choreographer and A Chorus Line legend Baayork Lee; four-time Tony winning producer Ron Simons; and four-time Tony winning producer Cheryl Wiesenfeld. 

TRUSpeak will also include an after party meet-and-greet for VIP ticket holders, a chance to meet the cast, TRU board and other VIP’s.
Program

Virtual Happy Hour, an online musical by Richard Castle & Matthew Levine. Directed by Jesica Garrou, Music Directed by Ben Doyle McCormick, Produced by James Rocco; starring Brendan Bradley, Nick Cearly, Lauren Molina, Tatiana Wechsler.

Game Boy by Melissa Bell, Directed by Bryanda Minix, Technical Editor Carley Santori, Produced by Stephanie Pope; starring Cady Huffman, Will Mader, Jianzi Colon-Soto.

Change of Plans by Michele Ann Miller, Directed by Cate Cammarata, Technical Editor Andrea Lynn Green, Produced by Jonathan Hogue; starring Crystal Kellogg.

Out of Order, a memory play by T. Cat Ford, Directed by Glynn Borders, Produced by Claudia Zahn; starring Maggie Baird, Andrea Lynn Green, Crystal Tigney.

A Woman’s Perspective by Melvina Douse Manuel, Directed by Van Dirk Fisher, Technical Eidotr Iben Cenholt, Produced by Stephanie Pope; starring Regina Taylor, Robert Baptiste, Gha’il Rhodes Benjamin, Adante Carter, Shariff Sinclair, Tyrone Hall, Taiya.

Zoom, a monologue by Joe Nelms, Directed by Dennis Corsi, Technical editor Henry Garrou, Produced by Jonathan Hogue with Jim Brochu, Brenda Braxton, Bob Cuccioli, Dickie Hearts, Ann Harada, Jana Robbins.

For more information and tickets, visit https://truonline.org/tru-speak-hear-our-voices/

Theater Resources Unlimited(TRU) is the leading network for developing theater professionals, a twenty-seven-year-old 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization created to help producers produce, emerging theater companies to emerge healthily and all theater professionals to understand and navigate the business of the arts. Membership includes self-producing artists as well as career producers and theater companies. TRU publishes an email community newsletter of services, goods and productions; presents monthly panels as well as the new weekly Community Gatherings; offers a Producer Development & Mentorship Program taught by prominent producers and general managers in New York theater, and also presents Producer Boot Camp workshops to help aspirants develop business skills. TRU serves writers through the TRU Voices Play Reading Series, Writer-Producer Speed Date, a Practical Playwriting Workshop, How to Write a Musical That Works and a Director-Writer Communications Lab. Programs of Theater Resources Unlimited are supported in part by the Montage Foundation, the Storyline Project and the Leibowitz Greenway Foundation. For more information about TRU membership and programs, visit www.truonline.org.

Events

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email: suzanna@t2conline.com

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