Posted November 6, 2014 by Editorial Staff in Arts

San Francisco’s African-American Shakespeare Stages Their Annual Family Classic Cinderella for the Holidays

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Cinderella, and that oh-so charming Prince re-unite once more for The African-American Shakespeare Company’s version that puts a soulful twist on the holiday classic; originally written and produced by the company in 2000, it has run every year since then with the 2014 version  featuring additional new music and lyrics from Angel Burgess Eaglin; breaking with recent tradition that has seen the two evil stepsisters played by men, this year one will be played by a boy, the other by a girl; young girls from the audience will once again get the chance to see if the the fabled shoe fits.

Directed by Margo Hall, Cinderella runs December 6 – 21 Saturdays at 3pm & 8pm, Sundays at 3pm; Buriel
Clay Theatre; Tickets: $15-$34.00


November 4 2014, San Francisco – The African-American Shakespeare Company continues its long-standing holiday tradition of staging its own version of Cinderella. Written and produced by the company starting in the year 2000, this version of the timeless tale re-tells the classic with what the company calls, “a soulful twist.” This Cinderlla is a young dreamer, toiling away as a scullery maid, who contends with an evil stepmother and two evil stepsisters. Unlike in recent years past, where the two sisters were played by men, this year’s version will see both a boy and a girl cast in the roles of the sisters. Also new in 2014, additional music and lyrics from Angel Burgess Eaglin.

But with the help of a Fairy Godmother who puts the F in fabulous when she makes the magic happen, Cinderella finds her Prince Charming and learns that anything is possible, even miracles.

Intersted young girls from the audience will have the chance to  see if the renowned shoe just might fit them.

Starring Regina V. Fields as Cinderella and Anthone Jackson as Prince Charming, the 2014 production is directed by Margo Hall.

Partial Cast:

Cinderella: Regina V. Fields
Prince Charming: Anthone Jackson
Evil Stepmother: Clara McDaniel
Shaniqua (evil stepsister): Ladidi Garba
Zonita (evil stepsister): Drew Watkins
The Duke: Todd Risby
Fairy Godmother: Tavia Percia

More information here>>

Dates: December 6 – 21
Times: Saturday’s at 3pm & 8pm; Sunday Matinee at 3pm
Location: Buriel Clay Theatre, African-American Art & Culture Complex, 762 Fulton Street, San Francisco
Tickets – $15-$34.00: Purchase>>

The arrival of the New Year will see two world premieres:

First, the much-anticipated debut of Xtigone, a gritty new urban adaptation of the Greek classic from Chicago playwright, Nambi E. Kelley running from February 15 through March 8. Xtigone will be directed by Rhodessa Jones, whose reputation as a actress, teacher and director speaks for itself.

Followed by the last production of the season, Isfahan, a co-production with Golden Thread Productions based on Duke Ellington’s 1963 tour of Iran. Isfahan will have an original score composed by Marcus Shelby and will run May 2 – May 24, 2015.

All of the African-American Shakespeare Company’s productions are geared to re-present works culled from the classic repertoire—not only Shakespeare—into a different cultural context, while maintaining the integrity of the language. With that in mind, the company has produced over 68 productions over the last 20 years.. Among the most notable are:

  • A Hip-Hop version of Macbeth
  • Twelfth Night set in San Francisco’s Jazz corridor
  • The Importance of Being Earnest set in the Harlem Renaissance
  • Julius Caesar taking place amid a West African feudal war
  • Medea, complete with Real Housewives of Atlanta-inspired costuming and contemporary neocolonial home style se

Xtigone written by Nambi E. Kelley; Music Composer: Tommy Shepherd
Directed by Rhodessa Jones

World premiere of emerging Chicago playwright Nambi E. Kelley’s contemporary urban adaptation of Sophocles’ tragedy Antigone is an impassioned response to the recent untimely deaths of children in her native city as a result of gang violence, which has risen sharply in the past several years. The production updates the conventions of ancient drama for our contemporary moment. Featuring a Hip-Hop score, ensemble singing, rhythmic movement, music will provide an urgent musical heartbeat to this stirring depiction of the immense human cost of violence in our cities and in our families.

For this production of Xtigone the African-American Shakespeare Company is partnering with the San Francisco City and County’s Hall of Justice Transitional-Aged Youth Department and the Department of Children, Youth and Family Services.  Approximately four to eight Transitional Youths aged 16–24 who have experienced incarceration will participate in the final development by providing content culled from their own life experiences to the playwright, directors and entire creative ensemble.

Rhodessa Jones’ experience as founder of The Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women will be invaluable as the process of Xtigone coming to the stage unfolds.

Dates: February 14-March 8, 2015
Times: Saturday at 8pm; Sunday Matinee at 3pm
Location: Buriel Clay Theatre, African-American Art & Culture Complex, 762 Fulton Street, San Francisco
Tickets: $15-$34.00: Purchase>>

Isfahan by Torange Yeghiazarian 
with original music score from Marcus Shelby
Directed by Laura Hope; Dramaturgy by Nakissa Etemad

This world premiere is inspired by Duke Ellington Orchestra’s 1963 tour of Iran and featuring music by Marcus Shelby, Isfahan imagines an unlikely friendship between an American jazz musician and an Iranian actress. As they travel together to Isfahan, “the most beautiful city in the world,” Jazz inspires them to test the limits of freedom, creativity, and experimentation.

Co-produced with Golden Thread Productions, the first American theatre company focused on the Middle East, Isfahan offers an alternative vision to today’s political stalemate between the US and Iran. This production aims to shed light on a little-known historical moment when a uniquely American art form inspired generations of young Iranian musicians.

Isfahan will feature AASC Artistic Director L. Peter Callender and Golden Thread Artistic Associate Vida Ghahremani.

Dates: May 2-May 24, 2015
Times: Friday and Saturday at 8pm; Sunday Matinee at 3pm
Location: Buriel Clay Theatre, African-American Art & Culture Complex, 762 Fulton Street, San Francisco
Tickets: $15-$34.00: Purchase>>

For more information on the season or The African-American Shakespeare Company go to www.african-americanshakes.org