‘African Company’ debuts soon
Palmdale Playhouse’s unique production
PALMDALE, Calif.—The premiere of “The African Company presents ‘Richard III’” is getting closer, and the cast is set, costumed and working out the kinks. The production started out with a bit of a challenge with casting the right person for the right part, but now it seems as if everything is falling into place.
Directed by Anastacia Baron, the play captures a period of American history, when Blacks were enslaved and those who were free struggled to make ends meet, express themselves freely, and live life without the constant bother of White racists.
An all-Black theater group called the African Company ventures to put on a play for its regular Black audience in New York. But they are met with opposition, when an all-White theater company decides to put on the same play at the same time, in nearly the same location.
So the African Company is constantly being troubled by the local White authority to shut their production down. But the group of freed Blacks and escaped enslaved Africans are steadfast and resolute, and continue to pursue the play.
The Palmdale Playhouse production also presents some real life, ever-present struggles Blacks faced then and even now.
Fully cast now, Osborne “Ozzie” Boyd will play the role of Papa Shakespeare; Joe Gruca is Stephen Price; Kevin Hogan portrays Constable-Man; Kaddee Hudspeth is Sarah; Ron Jennings plays Jimmy Hewlett; Ethan Santos is William Henry Brown; and Ntozake Sheppard plays Ann.
The play will debut Feb. 4 at 8 p.m. at the Palmdale Playhouse. Further showings will be held Feb. 5, 11, and 12 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 6 and 13 at 2 p.m. Ticket information is available at www.cityofpalmdale.org/playhouse or call (661) 267-5684.
PALMDALE, Calif.—The Palmdale Playhouse is putting on a very unusual production this coming season called “The African Company Presents Richard III.” The nearly all-Black cast script is based on true events about America’s first all Black theater company in New York, circa 1821.
The Palmdale Concert and Symphonic orchestras will present their final concerts of the season on Friday, May 11, and Saturday, May 12, at 7:30 p.m. The Palmdale Playhouse is located at 38334 10th St. East in Palmdale.
The Palmdale Playhouse will present the classic holiday radio play, ‘Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus’ on Saturday, Dec. 10, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 11, at 2 p.m. at the Playhouse, located at 38334 10th St. E. in Palmdale.