|SEE HER by Iman Schuk, featuring Gabrielle Sprauve and award-winning performer Kenita Miller - presented by Royal Family Productions debuting on MLK Day|
|Posted by: Official_Press_Release 01:29 pm EST 01/17/21|
|Royal Family Productions
Written by IMAN SCHUK
Curated, Directed, and Choreographed by LORNA VENTURA
Featuring GABRIELLE SPRAUVE
Spoken Word Artist KENITA MILLER
Live-streaming will premiere on
Monday, January 18th at 5PM
NYC, New York: Royal Family Productions is proud to announce the kick-off of their second annual Female+ Forward Festival with See Her, a new cinematic theatrical piece written by one of last year's FFF playwrights, Iman Schuk (This Open Earth). This event, the first content from Royal Family in 2021, will premiere on MLK Day with a conversation with the creative team and stream through the end of February. It will commemorate this incredible moment in history as a Black woman is inaugurated as America's next Vice President. This collaboration recognizes the voice of Black women as an unwavering strength and the drivers of change. The story will be told through spoken word, song, and dance and will be streamed for free on Royal Family's YouTube channel. The event is FREE. For more information and to sign up to receive a direct link to the event go to www.RoyalFamilyProductions.org .
See Her will feature principal dancer Gabrielle Spauve, along with Spoken Word Artist Kenita Miller. The creative team includes director/choreographer Lorna Ventura, writer Iman Shuck, music by Kenita Miller and Justin Hicks, cinematography by Angelo Vasta, with editing by Jay Stern. Kei Tsuruharatani is the Associate Choreographer/Production Assistant.
Kenita Miller-Hicks is a Drama Desk Award-winning actor and vocalist who has performed in such notable Broadway productions as The Color Purple , Xanadu , Tony Award-winning, Grammy-nominated Once on This Island , and Come From Away . Her regional work includes an AUDELCO Award-winning portrayal of Zora Neale Hurston in Urban Stages' Langston in Harlem and many others. She is also a member of the band The Hawtplates with her husband Justin Hicks and her Sister In law Jade Hicks. Kenita was born and raised in Rochester, NY, and currently lives and works in The Bronx, NY.
Gabrielle Sprauve was born in Queens, NY and raised in Savannah,GA. She trained at Savannah Arts Academy, the Ailey School, the Martha Graham School, and Marymount Manhattan College, graduating in 2017. She has performed works by Larry Keigwin, Alexandra Damiani, Norbert De La Cruz, Paul Taylor, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Adam Barruch, and Jo Strømgren. Gabrielle is a current member of Ballet Hispanico, joining in 2017, where she has had the pleasure of working with choreographers such as Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Michelle Manzanales, Bennyroyce Royon, Eduardo Vilaro, Andrea Miller, Edwaard Liang, and Gustavo Ramirez Sansano. In addition to her work with Ballet Hispanico, Gabrielle has had the pleasure of freelancing with Traverse City Dance Project to create an original dance film as part of their No Distance Dance Festival 2020 and is a cast member of PARA.MAR Dance Theater.
Iman Schuk is an actress, model and playwright who has appeared in multiple stage and film productions and whose written works have been produced and performed in New York, Atlanta, and Chicago. A student of the human experience, Iman uses her writing to highlight the compelling richness and complexity of everyday people living their everyday lives. She dedicates this work to the honor of her father Sam Smith, who told her to have the courage to follow her own pen wherever it should take her.
LORNA VENTURA (Director/Choreographer) is a director/choreographer with a long list of credits, from Broadway to film and television. Her passion and inclination for visual storytelling has been fostered for many years. After a long career as a performer, Lorna was drawn to the development side of her work. This allowed her to collaborate and work alongside impressive directors, as she honed her craft and transitioned with grace into the director's seat. Some of her choreography credits include working alongside impressive directors such as James Mangold in Kate And Leopold and Fred Schepisi in It Runs In The Family and in-house choreographer for seasons 1-4 of "Gossip Girl" including "Valley Girls," "In The Realm Of Bases," "It's A Wonderful Lie," "Hi Society" and "Disco Stick," as well as the pilot and season 1 & 2 for "Carries Diaries." These opportunities allowed Lorna to work directly with celebrities such as Hugh Jackman, Meg Ryan, Blake Lively, Leighton Meester, Chace Crawford, and Anna Sophia Robb to name a few. Some of her favorite theater directors who have served as mentors and teachers are George C. Wolfe, Joe Mantello, and Kathleen Marshall. Favorite Broadway credits include Wicked, (performer original Broadway company), Grease (performer original Broadway company), All Shook Up (Associate Choreographer), Nice Work If You Can Get It (SDC observer and assistant to Kathleen Marshall). Ventura is the Creative Director at Royal Family Productions.
ROYAL FAMILY's mission is to galvanize the Times Square community by cultivating raw talent, collaborating with seasoned artists, and inspiring audiences with a diversity of lion-hearted theatre. To us, everyone in the theatre community is not only royalty but family. Our programs and productions give artists space at all stages of their careers. We don't want to tell just any story: we want to best serve artists in telling their own stories. In today's political and social climate, it is also more important than ever to celebrate all voices-especially those underrepresented in the traditional theatre space. At Royal Family, we celebrate the work of female artists, playwrights of color, works with LGBTQIA themes, and artists of all ages and body types.
Royal Family has been a creative incubator of original, humanistic plays for over a decade. Bravery and fearlessness are imperative to our process. Artists and audiences alike are challenged in a creative safe space to explore the humor and the tangled truths of the human condition. As actor and first-time playwright Anthony Rapp ( Rent , Dazed and Confused , Star Trek: Discovery ) observes, "Royal Family is committed to truthful, heartfelt, alive, theatrical storytelling. It's vital to the human experience and hard to come by."
Royal Family was established in 2007 by Katie Avebe, Mary Bernardi, Chris Henry and Andy Theodorou as a home for artists wishing to challenge and transform the traditional theatre canon. Since its launch, Royal Family has developed lasting relationships with highly regarded theatre professionals such as Kathleen Chalfant ( Angels in America, Tony-Nominee Wit) and Anthony Rapp ( Rent, If/Then, Dazed and Confused); and has partnered with artists including John Cariani (Tony Nominee Fiddler on the Roof, The Band's Visit, Something Rotten), Adriane Lenox (Tony Winner Doubt, Tony Nominee After Midnight), Mary Testa (Tony Nominee On the Town, Tony Nominee 42nd Street, Tony Nominee Oklahoma), Stephanie J. Block (Tony Winner The Cher Show, Tony Nominee The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Tony Nominee Falsettos), Andréa Burns ( In The Heights, On Your Feet), Maddie Corman ( Accidentally Brave, Some Kind of Wonderful, Next Fall), Adrienne C. Moore ( Orange is the New Black, For Colored Girls...), Constance Shulman (Orange is the New Black, The Rose Tattoo), Penny Fuller (Tony Nominee Applause, Tony Nominee The Dinner Party), and Taye Diggs (Rent , Hedwig and the Angry Inch). Our productions have been reviewed by The New York Times, Time Out, The Village Voice, The Boston Globe, Time Out London, The London Times, and The Irish Times and featured three years in a row in the esteemed Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Recent highlights include the first annual Female+ Forward Festival, featuring new work by Queen Esther, Rosa Arredondo, and Iman Shuk, curated and directed by Lorna Ventura Women on Fire: Stories from the Frontlines and Women on Fire: Scorching the Dividing Lines which featured a rotating cast of more than 40 women, including Kathleen Chalfant, Maddie Corman, Catherine Curtin, Pamela Dunlap, Penny Fuller, Laura Gomez, Cady Huffman, Adriane Lenox, Cynthia Mace, Adrienne C. Moore, Laila Robins, Constance Shulman, Mary Testa, Tonye Patano, Maryann Plunkett, Alysia Reiner, Lianah Sta. Ana, Ashley Williams and more, the World Premiere of Anne of Green Gables: Part 1 starring Ali Ewoldt, a workshop of Anne of Green Gables: Part 2 starring Doreen Montalvo, and a world premiere workshop, Diary of a Tap Dancer Vol. 4 conceived and choreographed by Ayodele Casel and directed by Torya Beard that kicked off Royal Family's 10th anniversary season. In 2017, thoughts of a COLORED MAN on a day when the sun set too early by playwright Keenan Scott II was a collaboration between stage and television star-turned-choreographer Taye Diggs, choreographer Jenny Parsinen, and Royal Family's Emerging Artist Program. The World Premiere of this play is currently being co-produced by Syracuse Stage and Baltimore Center Stage. In 2016, Royal Family premiered Rock and Roll Refugee , a biographical musical about Genya Ravan, who also wrote the music and lyrics. The Polish World War II refugee and Holocaust survivor broke into the rock scene at a time when it was a predominantly male field, forming the first all-girl band and becoming the first female music producer. The New York Times' Laura Collins-Hughes praised the production as "exciting " and lauded its "strikingly female gaze." Other Royal Family highlights include premiering Tony Award nominee John Cariani's comedy LOVE / SICK, the darker cousin to his widely produced hit play Almost Maine as well as presenting co-productions of Anthony Rapp's Without You with The Menier Chocolate Factory and The New York Musical Theater Festival. and becoming the first female music producer. The New York Times' Laura Collins-Hughes praised the production as "exciting" and lauded its "strikingly female gaze." Other Royal Family highlights include premiering Tony Award nominee John Cariani's comedy LOVE / SICK, the darker cousin to his widely produced hit play Almost Maine as well as presenting co-productions of Anthony Rapp's Without You with The Menier Chocolate Factory and The New York Musical Theater Festival.
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