FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: EileenBreenPR: 646.294.3634
IMPRESARIO RELEASES ‘SONGS FROM INSIDE’ JUNE 13TH.
WRITTEN, PERFORMED, RECORDED DURING QUARANTINE.
Los Angeles, CA-Opera singer goes pop as Impresario with ‘Songs From Inside’ available June 13th on all streaming platforms including Spotify, iTunes, Amazon Music, Pandora and iHeart Radio. Written, performed and recorded between March and May 2020 during the pandemic, singer and musician Valerian Ruminski, dives into the pop/rock/techno worlds with the wonders of Garage Band allowing him to record solo in quarantine. A potpourri of themes including pop rock, comedy, christian, political and a rare track you will never hear on a pop record. Influenced by groove based rock from Pink Floyd, Rush, ELO to pop Simply Red and Annie Lennox, fav vocalist Darryl Hall from Hall & Oats to the layered songs of Art of Noise, Trevor Horn and Vangelis. ‘Song From Inside’ is a culmination of a musician’s life from choir boy to pop singer to an international opera career. In quarantine.
With a singing foundation in choirs as an 8 yr old, Valerian went through the full range of musical youth straight on to pop singing in his teens and 20’s. Looking to get out of his hometown, he and fellow Buffalonian, Emmy Award winning Jack Levy moved to LA via 2 years in Alaska working in fish canneries in 1988. Valerian sang, wrote songs, Jack played keyboards and drum machine with their first band Paradox. They ended up with a spec deal at A&M Records that only materialized into a few recorded tracks. Eventually returning to Buffalo, Valerian completed a BA in Vocal Studies at University of Buffalo and the scholarship only AVA (Academy of Vocal Arts) diving into classical music training and opera. Valerian went on to an international 25 year opera career along with creating Nickel City Opera, a non profit arts organization now in its 12th year producing over 25 productions and was also inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame in 2011.
An Impresario is a person that can accomplish many different creative tasks. Valerian thinks singers should be able to sing the entire spectrum from pop to Broawday to jazz to opera and he’s tried them all. “Throughout my life, I wanted to see what the voice could do, how developed the voice could become and was told by my teacher’s my voice was good enough to have an international career singing opera. Singing pop music is just as difficult as singing opera. Pop songs are like a magician spinning plates, you have to keep the plates spinning to keep the listener engaged. Balancing 3-4 plates, you have to throw in dashes of spice throughout the songs. This was my goal for ‘Songs From Inside’.” Impresario is a project based collective of musicians, singers, writers and producers with additional projects in the works.
Valerian’s next endeavor is ‘The Strange Case of Igor Lukovsky”. A podcast about a deranged eccentric opera fan that tries to jump off a balcony to rescue the lead character in a live staged production eventually ending up in a mental hospital. A musically humorous introduction to the world of opera as Igor explains his fascination with opera to his psychiatrist. Available on all streaming platforms this summer.
Valerian can also be heard on Naxos, ‘A Night At The Opera’, New World Records, Victor Herbert Collected Songs, George Robb’s, Americana and the Deutsche Grammophon, Metropolitan Opera DVD, I Puritani.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TV & Film Composer Kim Planert Releases Single, ‘Solace’ from 1st Solo Album SKYLIGHT
LOS ANGELES, CA - Award winning TV and Film composer Kim Planert (Missing, Castle, Skid Row Marathon) releases the single Solace, December 7th, from his first solo album SKYLIGHT to be released Spring 2019. Featuring Lisbeth Scott (Avatar,The Chronicles of Narnia, Concussion) on vocals, Chris Bleth (First Man, Life Of Pi, The Walking Dead) on duduk and the Budapest Scoring Orchestra. SKYLIGHT is inspired by Kim’s love for wing suiting and his personal account of the beauty and peril of flying through the air from 13,000 feet at 120+ mph. An ambient, spiritual, hybrid sound, mixing orchestra with synthesizer, SKYLIGHT bridges the gap between song and film music.
Written specifically for woodwind master Chris Bleth, the duduk's part in Solace is the comforting voice of a wise and ancient god, perhaps a universal spirit, questioned and answered by the mournful and uplifting voice of Lisbeth Scott.
“I have always wanted to write something uplifting for the duduk, which to me is the saddest sounding instrument, emanating a beautiful yet lonely and lamenting sound.”..Kim Planert.
The video for Solace was shot on the Malibu mountains before the fires swept through the region. Kim and Lisbeth, evacuated residents of Malibu and Topanga for over two weeks, felt that Solace had a deeper meaning than they could have ever predicted after so much loss and devastation. It is a homage to Malibu, a testament to the human spirit with its ability to renew emotionally and in life. All proceeds from Solace will be donated to the Malibu Foundation in support of the fire victims. https://malibufoundation.gvng.org
"We are hoping that our fellow evacuees and victims that lost their homes or loved ones
can find solace through our music and homage to Malibu.”…Kim + Lisbeth
Kim Planert is a German composer and producer living in Malibu.
For more info: www.kimplanert.com
Lisbeth Scott is a composer and vocalist living in Topanga.
For more info: www.lisbethscott.com
Chris Bleth woodwind player.
For more info: www.chrisbleth.com
Budapest Scoring Orchestra
For more info: www.budapestscoring.com
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nickel City Opera Keeps Busy with 2018-2019 Events, A Grand Opera &
Welcomes Arts Devotee & Performer Suzanne Fatta as Managing Director
BUFFALO, NY-Entering into Season 11 Nickel City Opera forges on with a range of events and moves to a new venue with Verdi’s grand opera ‘La Traviata’ May 2019. NCO is also honored to welcome Buffalo arts devotee, Suzanne Fatta as Managing Director.
The Season kicks off with the NCO Musical & Opera Showcase Thursday, December 6th presenting Broadway tunes and a bit of opera at The Saturn Club, 977 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo. Fast forward to next spring for the 11th Annual NCO Gala Dinner returning once again to The Saturn Club May 13th, 2019. For the grand presentation: Giuseppe Verdi’s ‘La Traviata’ will be presented May 24th & May 26th at The Villa Maria College Theatre followed up by Echoes of Opera Five, June 7th in the 120 foot reverberating silo at Silo City in downtown Buffalo.
It’s been a tough few years for NCO but General Director Valerian Ruminski is optimistic about the future. “NCO is soldiering on in an environment that can be, at times, difficult for small non-profit arts organizations. We will be producing our first large mainstage production since 2016 and excited about presenting opera for another decade in WNY. We’re also thrilled to bring Suzanne Fatta on Board who has been a supporter of NCO from the beginning and a member of the NCO Board of Directors from 2015-2017. She will work on NCO Sponsorship & Marketing Initiatives, will be an NCO representative at the many arts based functions in and around WNY and looks forward to expanding the NCO Outreach Programs in the community.”
Suzanne is looking forward to her new post, “It has been such a pleasure to witness the growth of Nickel City Opera in our beautiful Rust Belt city of Buffalo. As the city has gone through a major resurgence and renaissance, so has NCO grown in strength, artistic direction and community involvement. I’m so pleased to be a Managing Director, not only to contribute to the continued long term financial health of the organization, but in building bridges across Buffalo’s and America’s artistic communities!”
Harvard-educated Contralto Suzanne Fatta sits on Committees for the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Board of Vivaldi’s Women, Strategic Planning Committee at Vocalis Chamber Choir, former Co-Chair of the Metropolitan Opera National Council District Auditions for the Buffalo/Toronto Region and Representative of the UK Royal Musical Association.
Ms. Fatta holds a dual Bachelors with Honors in Musicology & Vocal Performance and Religion from Oberlin College & Conservatory of Music and trained at the doctoral level in Historical Performance Practice at Eastman School of Music and University of York (UK). Suzanne has her Masters in Medieval Studies from Harvard University, winning a university-wide Teaching Award of Distinction for a Music Department course on Jazz and held Research, Editorial and Personal Assistantships for the Chair of the Harvard Music Department. In addition, Suzanne has taught in the Music and Religion Departments at Canisius College and provides self-empowering workshops at Nardin Academy.
Suzanne sings with The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Nickel City Opera, Buffalo Chamber Players, Music Niagara, Vocális Chamber Choir, Sotto Voce Vocal Collective, Camerata di Sant'Antonio, Bach & Beyond Festival, Opera Sacra, OperaBuffs of WNY, DIVA by DIVA and several early music groups in Europe. Delving into the world of jazz and pop, she recently released her demo CD Brucia La Terra and nominated as Best Jazz Female Vocalist in JazzBuffalo 2016 and 2017.
An international curve model with 5 magazine covers, 40+ publications and agency representation in 4 countries, Suzanne is know for her vivacious presence on the runway. In addition to her business MODAL Productions, Suzanne is a Model Mentor & Manager and Diversity Advocate on both sides of the Atlantic. She sings and models around Europe and North America but happy at home in Buffalo NY.
Join NCO in Season 11 with more news to come on Community Outreach Programs and additional events to be announced. NCO is a 501c3 not for profit arts organization dedicated to promoting opera and the arts in WNY.
Thursday, December 6th, 2018
NCO Musical & Opera Showcase at The Saturn Club
Enjoy a sparkling evening of Broadway tunes, famous chorus numbers and a little popular opera stuff thrown in as well. Staged with style and panache we will be presenting a colorful cast at the historical Saturn Club for a select audience of 180 people. Music will include numbers from Les Miserables, Carousel, South Pacific, Wicked, My Fair Lady, Turandot, Company, A Little Night Music and much more. Get your tickets today! Finger foods included with a cash bar.
Singers include: Valerian Ruminski, Jena Abati, Stephen MacDonald, Suzanne Fatta, John Clayton, Jacqueline Ornsby and Dr. Holly Bewlay. Accompanied by Nancy Townsend on piano.
Thursday, December 6, 2018 at 7:00pm
The Saturn Club
977 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14209
General Admission Tickets: $25.00
Monday, May 13th, 2019
11th Annual Nickel City Opera Gala Dinner
Spend an evening with NCO! Eat delicious food, listen to talented opera singers, enter to win raffles, browse the silent auction, bingo bags, door prizes and meet interesting people at the 11th Annual NCO Gala Dinner.
Monday, May 13th, 2019 at 6pm
11th Annual Nickel City Opera Gala Dinner
The Saturn Club
977 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo
6:00pm Cocktails & Auction
7:00pm-9:00pm Dinner & Singing
Three-Course Dinner & Hors d’oeuvres/Cash Bar
Friday, May 24th & Sunday, May 26th, 2019
The beloved classic opera by Verdi about a woman who is misunderstood and misguided. Violetta falls in love with Alfredo and loses everything. Memorable and popular tunes abound including the drinking chorus 'Libiamo!'. Don't miss a full opera with costumes, sets, chorus and a full orchestra at the Villa Maria College Theatre!
Friday, May 24, 2019 at 7:00pm
Sunday, May 26, 2019 at 2:30pm
Villa Maria College Theatre
240 Pine Ridge Road, Buffalo
General Admission Tickets: $42
Friday, June 7th, 2019
Echoes of Opera Five
Hear the human voice reverberating in a vibrating medium...the 120 foot high grain silo. Get a seat inside the silo for an acoustic bonanza. Only 100 people can fit inside at one time, a second show may be added for overflow. If the first show is booked, attend the 2nd one hour later. Valerian Ruminski, Metropolitan Opera singer, accompanied on the piano in the silo for opera and show tunes.
Friday, June 7, 2019 at 6:00pm & 7:00pm
105 Silo City Row, Buffalo
General Admission Tickets: $12.00
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Coach Dean Eoannou and UB Professor Eugene B. Kern, MD
Publish “Boxing: Essential Skills” Available Now on Amazon Books & E-Books
Teaches “The Buffalo System” of Building Champions
Producing 24 champions: 6 women and 18 men since 2008
BUFFALO, NY-Coach Dean Eoannou and University at Buffalo Professor Dr. Eugene Kern of the Department of Ears, Nose and Throat have teamed up for Boxing: Essential Skills. A comprehensive instructional manual on the essential building blocks of boxing, how to become an accomplished boxer and for those interested in the sport of boxing for fitness. The book teaches stance, weight transfer, one of Newton’s Laws of motion, power punching, breathing, footwork, conditioning, plyometrics, offense, defense, “Ring Drills”, sparring and daily practices with 248 photos, 100 quiz questions and boxing performance tests. Also included, free Boxing:Essential Skills web membership for access to two full color instructional practice DVDs for both the right-handed and left-handed boxers.
Coach Dean and Dr. Kern are passionate about the benefits of boxing; “We found that after learning to box, both men and women, develop a new level of assuredness, which frequently infuses a new level of self-confidence that extends to other areas of life and stays with you for the rest of your life. Boxing is NOT about punching or “beating someone up”. Boxing is more than that. It is about passion, excitement for life, discipline, determination and heart, courage, integrity, character, humility, confidence, and respect; respect for your coaches, your daily practice sessions, your teammates, your opponents, the officials, the sport and sportsmanship but most importantly respect for yourself. It is about your own “self worth”.
At 70 years young, Dr. Kern had always wanted to learn how to box to stay in shape but was not able to find a boxing book that clearly explained the fundamentals. He then met Coach Dean, “if you teach me how to box I will help you write a boxing book." Marc Murphy was brought on board to photograph and video tape boxers as they train; from how to wrap your hands to proper positioning to safety protocols. National Champion and 2020 Olympic Boxing hopeful, Wendy Casey and New York State Golden Glove Champion Michael Christopher were on hand to painstakingly walk through their training routines allowing their every move to be captured on film which became part of the book. Technical patent writer, Steven Keough also contributed to the text.
Coach Dean has applied his successful principles for creating amateur boxing champions to help individual patients afflicted with Parkinson's disease. Focusing on improving balance and coordinated body movements, Coach Dean, with his dedicated experienced staff including several New York State Golden Gloves champions and one national Golden Gloves champion, has been able to facilitate startling improvements in numerous Parkinson’s patients. Using boxing principles taught one on one, Coach Dean and his team work to restore motion and movement thought forever lost.
Coach Dean Eoannou
The "Buffalo System" of Building Champions was created and developed by Coach Dean Eoannou. Twenty four of Coach Dean's boxers (6 women/18 men) have won 43 championships and medals including: Two US National Golden Gloves Championships, one Ringside Masters World Championship and numerous Golden Gloves Championships. Coach Eoannou is certified by USA Boxing and for his significant long time contributions to the amateur sport of boxing he was inducted into the HALL OF FAME in 2018 by the Buffalo Veteran Boxers Association–Ring 44.
Eugene B. Kern, MD
"Doc” Kern graduated from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Temple Medical School in Philadelphia, trained at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota as a surgeon and then served 2 years as a major in the US Air Force from 1968-1970. Dr. Kern was Professor of Rhinology and Facial Plastic Surgery at Mayo Clinic for 33 years and currently teaches Nasal, Sinus and Facial Surgery at University at Buffalo in the Department of Ear Nose and Throat. Dr. Kern is not only a respected educator, but also one of the best rhinologic surgeons worldwide. He has contributed greatly to the understanding of rhinologic diseases and is a recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
For More Information and Free Membership: www.boxingessentialskills.com
Review copies available:
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Eileen Breen
Metropolitan Opera Singer Martin Matthews Sings Brahms & Bukowski at CSULB Daniel Recital Hall Long Beach
& St. Francis by the Sea in Laguna Beach September 1st & 2nd
LONG BEACH, CA-Martin Matthews (Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall, New York City Opera, Seattle Opera, Sante Fe Opera) will be performing The Serious Songs by J. Brahms with additional repertoire including Schubert lied and Charles Bukowski poems set to music by composer Persis Vehar. Saturday, September 1st, 7:00pm at CSULB Daniel Recital Hall, Long Beach and Sunday, September 2nd, 4:00pm at St. Francis by the Sea in Laguna Beach. Mr. Matthews will be accompanied by pianist Iris Malkin.
The concerts will feature The Serious Songs, first performed in 1898, a monumental work for both piano and low voice demanding exceptional musical technique. The first three songs are taken from the Old Testament and deal with death, the transience of life and oppression. The text of the fourth song is taken from the New Testament and focuses on faith, hope and charity. Additional repertoire includes Schubert lied, Death and the Maiden and excerpts from “The Original Hard Luck Story of the Universe”, a 20 song cycle of the poetry of Charles Bukowski set to music by composer, Persis Vehar.
After running a successful opera company now in its 10th year in upstate New York, Mr. Matthews has relocated to Southern California and looking forward to contributing to the areas rich musical traditions. “The Brahms' Serious Songs is a major work in the bass repertoire and is rarely performed. Singing these songs is a rite of passage and more fully expressed when one is more mature. The themes discussed in the biblical extracts are as controversial and important today as they were 120 years ago. The songs were vilified and shunned when they first premiered because of the idea that all life has a soul, not just man. Somewhat related are the poems of Charles Bukowski which contain a certain darkness and gloom with a touch of humor. I’m a great admirer of Bukowski’s writings and wanted to take the edgy rhythm of his poems and have them set to music. Persis created a beautiful song cycle that compliments his poetry extremely well especially with the song 'Spring Swan' which is also about transcendence.” …Martin Matthews
Martin Matthews is a graduate of the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia and SUNY-Buffalo, NY. A true coloratura basso cantante, he has performed with many of the great opera companies in the US and abroad including The Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Dallas Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Seattle Opera, Miami Opera, Minnesota Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Opera Ireland, Opera de Montreal, Opera de Monte Carlo, Birmingham Opera, Hawaii Opera Theatre, Opera de Quebec, Vancouver Opera, The Canadian Opera Company, The Green Mountain Festival (VT) and Festival de Belle-ile en Mer (Fr). He can be heard on the Naxos label release of 'Night at the Opera' with other singers who have debuted at the Metropolitan Opera as well as numerous songs on the Victor Herbert Collection on New World Records.
Mr. Matthews is the recipient of many prestigious grants and awards including the Lincoln Center Martin Segal Award, Richard Tucker Grant, William Mattheus Sullivan Foundation Grant, Gerda Lissner Foundation Grant, the 2000 MacAllister Award, winner of the NJ Verismo Competition, the NYSTA Coloratura Competition and the Marcella Sembrich Vocal Competition sponsored by the Koscziuszko Foundation in New York, NY.
Israeli born Mezzo-Soprano, Pianist and Vocal Coach Iris Malkin is a graduate of the Jerusalem Academy of Music with a Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance and Artist Diploma in Piano with a Vocal Coaching emphasis. She has performed in concerts and festivals in Israel, Europe and the United States with many performances broadcast worldwide. Iris has worked as a vocal coach and accompanist for the Chamber Opera of USC, LA Opera, Orange County High School of the Arts Opera Conservatory and the VOICExperience Foundation Summer Program in Orlando among others. She has also served on the Faculty of Assisi Performing Arts in Italy as a vocal coach.
In addition to the mainstream operatic repertoire, Iris has distinguished herself in the world of Hebrew and Jewish works as well as the highly nuanced Spanish song repertoire. In January 2012 she released her CD Cadencia with songs from England, Spain and Puerto Rico with award winning guitarist Edward Trybek and is the featured soloist on Stig Jonas Pettersson’s album The Dracula Letters released in 2015. Iris has performed under the baton of Pierre Boulez at the 2006 Lucerne Festival and guest soloist in 2011 with the Chamber Orchestra of the South Bay performing songs from Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn and De Falla’s El Amor Brujo. An in-demand vocalist in recordings for films, video games and movie trailers, she is a featured soloist on the soundtrack of the film Kill Zone, nominated for Best Original Score at the Hollywood Music in Media Awards in 2009. Iris is currently on the faculty of Glendale Community College and UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.
Saturday, September 1st 7:00pm
California State University at Long Beach
Daniel Recital Hall
1250 N. Bellflower Blvd
General Admission: $25.00
Sunday, September 2nd 4:00pm
St. Francis by the Sea-American Catholic Church
430 Park Avenue
General Admission: $20.00
St. Francis by-the-Sea American Catholic Church was built with rubble from the Long Beach earthquake in 1933 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. Once listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the planet's smallest Cathedral. Mr. Matthews is also the Music Director.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Eileen Breen/NCO PR
Nickel City Opera June Events
The Saturn Club Gala, Broadway @ The Lafayette Hotel & Echoes of Opera IV at Silo City
BUFFALO, NY-Nickel City Opera announces the “Good Ol’ Fashioned Opera Jamboree” at three Buffalo Landmarks. Starting Monday, June 25th with NCO’s Annual Gala Dinner & Auction at The Saturn Club then on to Broadway Showtunes at The Hotel Lafayette Thursday, June 28th and Silo City for the 4th installment of Echoes of Opera on Friday, June 29th.
As NCO enters Season 11, General Director, Valerian Ruminski is planning the next large scale production and has been in negotiations with venues, performers and producers. “Our November 2017 production of ‘The Music Shop’ by Richard Wargo was seen by 1500 children over seven performances with the final show at The Flickinger Center. As we enter our 11th Season we are now re-organizing, building our Board of Directors and are looking to our loyal patrons and all those new to the WNY area in deciding where and what to stage next. NCO is committed to provide even more programming with an eye for innovation and creativity. With that in mind we have crafted the Good Ol’ Fashioned Opera Jamboree in Downtown Buffalo at some of my favorite Buffalo venues for our loyal patrons and those new to what opera is all about.“...Valerian
Nickel City Opera is a 501c3 not for profit organization serving Buffalo, Western New York and surrounding areas. All event proceeds to promote opera in Western New York and NCO’s upcoming full opera production at Shea's Performing Arts Center in March 2019.
Join NCO for the “Good Ol’ Fashioned Opera Jamboree”
at the following venues:
EVENT & TICKET INFO:
Monday, June 25th
NCO’s 10th Annual Gala Dinner & Auction
The Saturn Club
977 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY
6:00pm Cocktails & Auction
7:00pm-9:00pm Dinner & Singing
Three-Course Dinner & Hors d’oeuvres/Cash Bar/$60 per person
Spend an evening with NCO! Eat delicious food, listen to talented opera singers, enter to win raffles, browse the silent auction, bingo bags, door prizes and meet interesting people at the 10th Annual NCO Gala Dinner.
Thursday, June 28th
Broadway @ The Lafayette
Hotel @ The Lafayette
391 Washington Street, Buffalo, NY
Cash bar/snacks/$20.00 per person
Join Valerian and other stylish singers for after hours show tunes and drinks at the lovely art deco Lafayette how Hotel! This show was cancelled last June, we rescheduled and here we go!
Friday, June 29th
Echoes of Opera IV
105 Silo City Row
Refreshments/Snacks/$10 per person
Join NCO for the 4th annual acoustic experience of ECHOES OF OPERA IV in the 90 foot high silo at Silo City. Hear Metropolitan Opera bass Valerian Ruminski accompanied on piano sing favorites and classics in an acoustic reverberation experience you will never forget. Come to the waterfront, have a drink and soak in the sights at SILO CITY with Nickel City Opera.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Please Contact Siobhan Kavanagh-NYC 646.727.6635
Or EileenBreenPR-LA 562.248.2516
A Brooklyn Boy To Make West Coast Premiere at Hollywood Fringe
NEW YORK, NY-After a successful four month run Off-Off-Broadway at East Village Playhouse, A Brooklyn Boy, a one-man show co-written and performed by Steven Prescod and co-written and directed by Moises Roberto Belizario, will make its West Coast premiere at the Actors Company Other Space Theater as part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival. Performances run June 8 at 8:30 PM, June 9 at 2:30 PM, June 10 at 6:00 PM, June 14 at 5:30 PM, June 16 at 7:00 PM, June 17 at 2:30 PM, and June 19 at 10:30 PM at the Actors Company Other Space Theater -916 N Formosa Avenue. Tickets are $25 and available at hollywoodfringe.org.
Called “A Tour de Force” by The New York Times and “Inspirational” by Prince William, A Brooklyn Boy tells the story of how a 16 year old arrested for robbery and assault, facing seven years in an upstate prison, got a second chance. Steven shares the stories of his life in a gripping tale of love, family, the streets, gang violence and self-acceptance.
Born in Brooklyn’s Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood to a Grenadian mother and a Guyanese father, Steven was only one year old when his father was incarcerated. He grew up surrounded by his family and community who all had an impact on his life, many of whom are among the 32 characters he plays throughout the show.
As an a teenager, despite his efforts to break free from his neighborhood’s unyielding grip, Steven was constantly pulled back, ultimately leading to his arrest. While facing a jail sentence, Steven got a choice from the judge; seven years in jail or 5 years probation. He was assigned to the CityKids Foundation, a not-for-profit youth organization that empowers teens to speak on issues they face using the performing arts.
"As a young man of color, I never believed that my voice or my pain mattered. Now I believe that we must not be ashamed of our stories and we must not be afraid to show our feelings. I’ve now dedicated my life to working to bring my show and my platform nationally and globally with the mission that I will inspire personal storytelling for young people, young men of color, young women of color and formerly incarcerated youth. Now is the time when we have to reclaim our voices. I feel that healing can only happen if we can only share our truths, if we share our pain and our mistakes. Only then our true healing can occur for us. It’s not just my story but it’s the stories of all my fallen brothers and sisters that need to be heard." Steven Prescod
It was while participating with The CityKids Foundation, that Steven and his mentor Moises Roberto Belizario developed A Brooklyn Boy. Three years ago, an excerpt of the show was performed for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, prompting Prince William to call the show and performance “inspirational.” With the help of the Duke, the show went on to be performed at the National Black Theatre, and has since played the Fox Theater, the American Museum of Natural History, and the U.S. Department of Education as part of President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Success Mentor Initiative’s inspirED Youth Leadership Lab, General Colin Powell’s America’s Promise Summit, and various New York City public schools.
About The CityKids Foundation
The CityKids Foundation's innovative programming and projects have been in the forefront in the fields of positive youth development and social emotional learning for over three decades; providing opportunities for personal growth and artistic expression. CityKids has inspired and empowered thousands of diverse young people to become leaders in their communities and motivated agents of social change through safe space, arts training and multicultural bridge building programs. A Brooklyn Boy is a product of CityKids’ work, providing a safe space for young people and turning their pain into purpose. www.citykids.com
Performances run June 8 at 8:30 PM, June 9 at 2:30 PM, June 10 at 6:00 PM, June 14 at 5:30 PM, June 16 at 7:00 PM, June 17 at 2:30 PM and June 19 at 10:30 PM
The Actors Company's Other Space Theater - 916 N Formosa Avenue.
Tickets are $25 and available at hollywoodfringe.org.
Read more about A Brooklyn Boy:
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