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Br'er Cotton
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Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble presents the National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere of “Br’er Cotton

Written by Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm and Directed by Gregg T. Daniel Opening at 8pm on Saturday, September 23, 2017 with reception to follow Runs at 8pm Saturdays & Mondays, 3pm Sundays through October 29, 2017 (no performance on October 9th) Zephyr Theatre, 7456 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046

Los Angeles, CA (August 7, 2017) – Lynchburg, Virginia. The former site of a thriving cotton mill is now an impoverished neighborhood. Deeply affected by all of the recent killings, of young black men like himself, Ruffrino, a 14 year old “militant,” incites riots at school and online. More and more at odds with his mother and grandfather, the boys’ anger grows beyond containment while the family home literally sinks into the cotton field, and no one seems to notice but him.

“I would love it if this play was rendered obsolete. If the text and the content of the play would become dated and outmoded as time went along. But it seems that with each day it becomes eerily more poignant. It's an odd feeling to have the latest American racial tragedy make your play more relevant. However, I think this is the power of new plays; to be able to respond in real time and to use what's happening in our world to fuel our art with more urgency and a bigger commitment to discussion” – Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm; Playwright

Playwright Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm was named a “person to watch” by American Theatre Magazine, and as a rising star at Julliard he made Variety’s list of talent for the “future of film, media, and entertainment.” His play Hooded: Or Being Black for Dummies had its World Premiere at Mosaic Theatre in Washington, D.C. this year where it received raves from the Washington Post, calling it a “Breathtakingly on-point new comedy…Chisholm makes his own mark, powerfully." The popularity of this powerful piece has inspired a remount during their 2018 season. As a National New Play Network pick, Br’er Cotton is receiving a Rolling World Premiere with the Kitchen Dog Theatre in Dallas, Lower Depth Theatre in Los Angeles, and the Cleveland Public Theatre. Chisholm was a finalist for the inaugural Relentless Award, London's 503 Theatre Award, and he was named winner of both the Rosa Parks Playwriting Award (Bhavi the Avenger) and the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award (Br’er Cotton) at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in 2016. Chisholm’s work has been developed with the Signature Theatre, Theatre Alliance, Endstation Theatre, The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, and the Djerassi Resident Artists Program. Chisolm is a current member of the Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program at Juilliard.

Gregg T. Daniel (Director) is a recipient of the NAACP Best Director award for the International City Theatre’s production of Fences. The production received nominations from the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle, Ovation and Stage Scene LA. Daniel helmed the Ovation Recommended Los Angeles Premiere of Lorraine Hansberry’s Les Blancs, at Rogue Machine this season, touted by top critics including KCRW - “Don't miss this chance to see it. Truly stellar…directed brilliantly. If you're looking for an argument for Los Angeles' intimate theaters and their artistry, look no further.” Other selected credits include L.A. premiere of Honky by Greg Kalleres for Rogue Machine Theatre (LADCC Award nominee for Best Director - Comedy), a revival of Alice Childress,’ Wedding Band, A Love/Hate Story in Black and White for the Antaeus Company (Winner 2014 Stage Raw Award for Best Revival and Best Ensemble), Frank McGuinness’s Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me (Broadway World Award nominee for Best Director), and the West Coast premiere of Kwawe Kwei-Armah’s, Elimina’s Kitchen (NAACP Award for Best Ensemble) for Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble where he is a founding member and Artistic Director.

CAST: Omette Anassi, Christopher Carrington, Yvonne Huff, Emmaline Jacott, Shawn Law, Dane Oliver, and Jasmine Wright

PRODUCTION TEAM: Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble and Theatre Planners (Producers), David Mauer (Set Design), Wesley Charles Chew (Lighting Design), David B. Marling (Sound Design), Wendell C. Carmichael (Costume Design), Yee Eun Nam (Projection Design), Doug Oliphant (Movement & Fight Choreography), Michael Allen Angel (Property Design), and Raul Clayton Staggs (Casting)

Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble (Producers) presents the finest in classical, contemporary, and emerging American Theatre through the lens of the artist of color. Their aim is to explore the truth and reality that lies beneath the lower depth of our existence by offering our audiences thought-provoking, challenging and humorous looks at the human spirit. Past productions include Dontrell, Who Kissed The Sea by Nathan Alan Davis and Bulrusher by Eisa Davis (co-produced with Skylight Theatre Company), Three Sisters After Chekhov by Mustafa Matura and Elmina’s Kitchen by Kwam Kwei-Armah. Through their IN DEPTH/ Play Reading Series and BREAKING GROUND/ New Play Workshop programs LDTE has explored such playwrights as Kermit Frazier, Wendy Graf, Young Jean Lee, Thomas Bradshaw, Biyi Bandele, and Donna-Michelle St. Bernard. In 2010 and 2012 LDTE garnered two NAACP Theatre Awards for Best Set Design and Best Ensemble. http://www.lowerdepththeatreensemble.org

Br’er Cotton opens at 8pm on Saturday, September 23rd and runs Saturdays and Mondays at 8pm, Sundays at 3pm through October 29, 2017 (no performance on Monday Oct 9th). Zephyr Theatre is at 7456 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90046. Tickets $15 - $45. Reservation and information at www.lower-depth.com/on-stage and 323-960-7787. Wheelchair access and ample street parking.

CALENDAR LISTING INFORMATION:
What: BR’ER COTTON
Written by: Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm
Directed by: Gregg T. Daniel
Produced by: Racquel Lehrman; Theatre Planners
Presented by: Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble

Where: Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble (in the Zephyr Theatre), 7456 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90046
When: Previews at 8pm on September 21 and 22
Opening: 8pm on Saturday, September 23, 2017
Schedule: at 8pm on Saturdays and Mondays, 3pm on Sundays through October 29, 2017
(No performance on Monday Oct 9th)
Closing: October 29, 2017
How: For reservations call 323-960-7787 or online at http://www.lower-depth.com/on-stage
Tickets: $15 - $45

Description: Lynchburg, Virginia. The former site of a thriving cotton mill is now an impoverished neighborhood. Deeply affected by all the recent killings of young black men like himself, Ruffrino, a 14 year old “militant,” incites riots at school and online. More and more at odds with his mother and grandfather, the boys’ anger grows beyond containment while the family home literally sinks into the cotton field, and no one seems to notice but him.

LDTE: https://www.facebook.com/LowerDepth Follow us on Instagram and Twitter: @LDTE

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