Posted by: Official_Press_Release 10:08 am EDT 10/18/21





New York, NY - There's a new Theatre company in town! Darryl Reuben Hall and Stage Aurora Theatrical Company announced today the formation of Stage Aurora NY, with a mission "to enlighten the mind by way of diverse, faith-based and BIOP works." Founder Darryl Reuben Hall strongly believes there is a demographic largely overlooked in the Big Apple - the faith-based community. After producing The Dinner in the 2015 Midtown International Festival where critics stated " 'It was just a simple dinner,' is far from the truth of Darryl Reuben Hall's The Dinner, a fiercely accurate drama involving race equality, the birth of white privilege, and media brutality in our nation," planning began to expand to New York City.

For the theatre's first twenty years of operation, Stage Aurora Theatrical Company -Theatre that enlightens - found its home in Jacksonville, FL, where the company produced 200+ productions. Hall believes due to the diversity found in New York, Stage Aurora is the missing piece of the puzzle in the theatre scene. Stage Aurora NY is a 501c3 nonprofit organization.

"After jumpstarting Black theatre in the city of Jacksonville for 20+ years, this new season of change was apparent," states Darryl Reuben Hall. "The time is now. A global awakening occurred following the tragic loss of so many people of Color - more voices are heard." He continues "Stage Aurora NY is the vehicle to take part in this awakening. Cultures are being enlightened. This is total serendipity. Stage Aurora will continue to produce Theatre in FL. These are totally two different nonprofits. My goal will always be to produce 'theatre that enlightens' whenever and wherever possible."

Last November 2020 as a recipient of the NEA Big Read, Stage Aurora produced a virtual concert - Broadway Celebrates Veterans Day that featured Tony nominee Robert Cuccioli, Darius de Haas, Jarrod Emick, Darryl Reuben Hall, Janet Hubert, Tony nominee Cady Huffman, Renee Lawless, N'Kenge , Randy Redd, Cody Renard Richard, Desmond Richardson, Angela Robinson, Justin Matthew Sargent, Tony winner Ben Vereen, Bethaney Wellings-Davies, Natasha Yvette Williams, and Vanessa Williams.

Additionally, Stage Aurora has showcased the talents of Ella Joyce (Roc), Sondra Bonitto (Ragtime), Tony winner Melba Moore (Purlie), Quiana "Q." Smith (Come From Away), T'Keyah Crystal Keymah ("That's So Raven", "In Living Color"), and Kim Coles (""Living Single"").

Stage Aurora NY's upcoming programing includes:

"Faith and the Business of Show" A Virtual Panel Discussion
Sunday, October 17, 2021 at 4:00 PM
Moderated by Darryl Reuben Hall - Founder of Stage Aurora, NY.
Kenneth Bevel - Pastor at Sherwood Baptist Church and actor who co-starred
in the 2008 film Fireproof and the 2011 film Courageous.
Isaac Gay - Worship Leader at Church of the City
Kayla Grizzard - Co-Founder of the Hang, NY.
Angela Robinson - Actor in The Haves and the Have Nots, and The Color Purple on Broadway.
Gregory Lamont Thomas- CEO of Metromusic and Arts and Dir. of Music at Times Square Church.

Join us at the Stage Aurora YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/StageAurora


Drawn From The Water: A New R & B Musical
Book, Music, and Lyrics by Darryl Reuben Hall
Date, Time and Location TBD
The story of Moses in today's modern world comes to the stage in this new R&B, Hip-Hop, Gospel musical! Led by a Hip-Hop classy and suave God, DRAWN FROM THE WATER addresses the humor and sorrow of everyday corporate employees (as slaves) slogging themselves to work under the rule of a stone, cold-hearted Supervisor - Pharaoh. But, through all the obstacles and Red Seas of life, there is a better way of life! Out of discomfort, comes Joy!

The music team consists of: Sylvia Lynn Byrd (Head of the Music Ministry at True Vine Community Church), Gregory Lamont Thomas (CEO of Metromusic and Arts), Darryl Jordan (Dir. of Music Education at NYACK and "Broadway Inspirational Voices.")

Please visit www.stageaurora.org or www.facebook.com/StageAurora for date, time and location.

Join us for the livestream at https://www.youtube.com/c/StageAurora


Ken Davenport's TheatreMakers Summit
Finding Your Niche
Saturday, November 6 at 4:30pm ET, Virtual
Darryl Reuben Hall will discuss faith-based Theatre, as part of the virtual panel discussion "Finding Your Niche." Other speakers include Broadway vets Douglas Lyons, Brian Moreland, Steve H. Broadnax III, Sammi Cannold, David Korins, JJ Maley, Dori Berinstein, and more. 'Finding Your Niche' will focus on TYA, faith-based shows, high school shows and queer theatre.

Register at www.theatermakerssummit.com


Current and past funders of Stage Aurora/ Stage Aurora NY include: The Black Seed, Queen's Council on the Arts, Harlem Community Development Corporation, National Alliance for Musical Theatre, Actor's Equity Association, National Endowment for the Arts, A.R.T./NY, New York Foundation of the Arts City Arts Corps, Dramatists Guild, among others.

Stage Aurora Theatrical Company, theatre that enlightens, is now located in both New York City and Jacksonville, FL having launched its Mainstage of Theatre, Dance, and Music in 2000 under the leadership of Darryl Reuben Hall. Stage Aurora began as an opportunity to provide the underserved community of Jacksonville's Northside with professional theatre reflecting the African-American experience. In New York City, Stage Aurora is quickly making its mark with original productions The Dinner and Drawn from the Water, having received some support from the Dramatists Guild Fund, Actor's Equity Association, National Alliance for Musical Theatre, and the Queens Council on the Arts. The Main Stage has produced 200+ productions including Pulitzer Prize Winners The Color Purple, Fences , Driving Miss Daisy, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Piano Lesson; and Tony Award Winners For Colored Girls Who... , Dreamgirls, The Wiz, and A Raisin in the Sun. Other favorites include Steel Magnolias, Crowns, Miss Ever's Boys, Mama, I Want to Sing, and Disney's High School Musical. Original works include Sinner Man by Roumel Reaux, Trent Armand Kendall's Louis and Ella, Noble Lee Lester's Apostasy 360, Alzheimer's and Darryl Reuben Hall's Frat House, The Dinner, Harlem of the South, A Very Merry Jacksonville Christmas, and the upcoming Drawn from the Water. Children's include FRIENDS: James, Mary, and George, SONG AND DANCE, and Field Trip Safari. Critical success abounds: Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun 'was both splendid and captivating', Langston Hughes' Black Nativity 'All color and life and unbelievable, this is a miraculous spectacle of Biblical and artistic proportions'; Tom Stolz's Mahalia as 'an exceptional masterpiece', and Darryl Reuben Hall's Frat House 'Impressively choreographed, energetic, and lots of fun.' Local, Statewide, and National recognition is seen through a variety of awards: State of Florida Division of Cultural Affairs' Diversity and Inclusion Award, Rosetta LeNoire Award Nomination for Diversity from Actors' Equity Association; the Onyx Award, Individual Arts Award from the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, among others. National celebrities who've graced our stage at Stage Aurora include: Ella Joyce, Tony Award Winner Melba Moore, T'Keyah Crystal Keymah, Daniel Beaty, Kim Coles among Artistic Associates: Angela Robinson (Tyler Perry's The Haves and The Have Nots, Broadway's The Color Purple), Sondra Bonitto (Broadway's Ragtime), Jannie Jones (Broadway's The Full Monty), Roumel Reaux (Broadway's The Wiz), and Natasha Yvette Williams (Broadway's The Gershwin's Porgy and Bess).


Darryl Reuben Hall (Founder /Executive Director of Stage Aurora Theatrical Company) holds a Bachelor's Degree in Architecture from the University of Florida. He is an alumnus of Lincoln Center Director's Lab, Creative Capital, Eugene O'Neill Theater Center Fellow, a member of the Board of Directors at Amas Musical Theatre, National Alliance for Musical Theatre, Theatre Communications Group, and has served as a Panelist for the New York State Council of the Arts, Queens Council on the Arts, and Florida Department of State Division of Cultural Affairs' State Touring Roster and Cultural Support Programs for Community Theatre. Professional union affiliations include Actor's Equity Association, Screen Actor's Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, American Guild of Variety Artists, and American Guild of Musical Artists. He has worked on Broadway, Off-Broadway, National and International Tours, and in Regional Theatre. He has penned Darryl Reuben Hall's Frat House (winner of (2) Festival Favorite Awards in the Atlanta Black Theatre Festival), Dinner with Booker T. (premiered in the 2019 National Black Theatre Festival, The Dinner (Midtown International Theatre Festival, Harlem of the South, and the upcoming musical Drawn from the Water.

Kenneth Bevel is a native of Jacksonville, Florida and has been a member of Sherwood Baptist Church since February 2007. After 20 years of active service in the United States Marine Corps, including tours of duty in Irag and Afghanistan, Ken retired to serve in the ministry. Associate Pastor of Assimilation and Events" at Sherwood Baptist Church. In addition to his daily responsibilities, Ken may be recognized by his role as Lieutenant Michael Simmons in the 2008 inspirational movie Fireproof and for his role as Nathan Hayes in Courageous.Ken is a graduate of the University of Memphis with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering Technology and a graduate of the Naval Postgraduate School with a Master of Business Administration degree in Logistics Management. He has been interviewed on numerous TV shows including "Fox and Friends."

Sylvia Lynn Byrdis a native of Jacksonville and Rhythm and Blues, Gospel, and Jazz pianist and arranger, most recently Sylvia composed and produced Tailgate Country Funk, created original music for The Cool Crystal Show starring TV's T'Keyah Crystal Keymah, and the virtual concert 'Broadway Celebrates Veterans Day' featuring Vanessa Williams, Ben Vereen, Cady Huffman, Jarrod Emick, among many others. She released a demo, Pledged to Make a Difference -Songbyrd, and served as Minister of Music for the Rock of Our Salvation Church of Chicago, Harvest Church of Plainfield and True Vine Community Church of Jacksonville. She is Founder of TVM Videos and Jacksonville Videos. Lynn has over 20 years experience in musical development and arrangements. She is a graduate of Florida State University.

Isaac Gay is a worship leader at Church of the City. He is a singer and songwriter, who has written numerous songs about Christ with his wife, Emily Gay including: The Storm, Prodigal, and many more which you can listen to on his youtube channel or on The Church of the City's YouTube channel. Isaac and Emily wrote the music and lyrics for the Church of the City's first EP called, "WE BEHOLD," and they share that they continue to feel the fire of God's heart for the city.

Kayla Grizzard is an actress, mommy, wife, actress, singer, worship leader, dancer, artist, and friends fanatic, but the title she loves most is disciple. She is a graduate from Liberty University as a theater major and has had the opportunity to share the stage with amazing people like Quentin Earl Darrington and Laura Osnes and performed on stage at the Tony Award winning theater, Dallas Theater Center. She and her husband moved to New York city and started a ministry called THE HANG that ministers to artists in the city in 2017. Although she still loves to perform, she knows she is sitting in purpose with this directive from God. She has guest taught at Universities and teaches bible studies to the community at THE HANG where she encourages her people to be disciples first before all else.

Darryl Jordan is a singer, songwriter, a Music Professor at NYACK, a full-time Choir Director and Voice Teacher at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School, and a member of the Grammy Award-winning group, Broadway inspirational Voices. Jordan conducted Nyack's Off-Broadway production of West Side Story at the Lincoln Center, and is also proud to be the choral director at Mr. Lebanon Baptist Church in Brooklyn. Represented by Gregory Sheppard Artists Management, he has sung with Opera Ebony, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, St. Frances De Sales R.C. Church, Mott Haven Reformed Church, Randolph Noel and the Brooklyn Arts Ensemble, Dion Parsons, and the 21st Century Brand, Gregoire Maret and the Stephanie Fisher Voice Ensemble, Vincent Herring and the Nyack Jazz Ensemble, and "The Underground Railroad: A Spiritual Journey" at the Metropolitan Opera House. Jordan also has a neo-gospel-soul music group called FreeMind.

Angela Robinson is an actress and singer, best known for playing the role of Veronia Harrington in the Oprah Winfrey Network primetime soap opera "The Haves and the Have Nots", which she received a Gracie Award for "Outstanding Female Actor - One to Watch," in 2015. Broadway productions include The Color Purple with Fantasia, Wonderful Town, Bells Are Ringing, and Play On!. Off-Broadway productions: Radiant Baby, Call the Children Home, and City Center's ENCORES! She has participated in National Tours of The Color Purple, Dreamgirls, and The Wizard of Oz with Eartha Kitt. Other television/film credits include "Law & Order: SVU," "Another Bed" and several regional and national commercials. Favorite Regional theaters: Baltimore Center Stage, The Alliance Theatre (Atlanta), The Alley (Houston), Berkshire Theatre Festival, Marriott Lincolnshire (Chicago), The Asolo (Sarasota), Papermill Playhouse (Milburn) and many more. Favorite roles: Deena Jones (Dreamgirls), Shug Avery (The Color Purple), Diva Woman (Radiant Baby), Sylvia (Two Gents) and The Witch (Into the Woods).

Gregory Lamont Thomas is the CEO of Metromusic and Art and the Director of Music at Times Square Church, serving as worship leader, bandleader, and choir director-overseeing six worship services each week. Min. Thomas was called into the ministry at an early age, accepting his position as choir director at the age of thirteen. After receiving his Associates in Applied Science in Computer Technology he furthered his education in Business Management and Arts Management. Thomas facilitated music ministry workshops, worship seminars, and evangelistic crusades throughout the USA and abroad for over thirty years. Greg is committed to the demand of righteousness, accountability, and excellence within the music ministry of the Church of Jesus Christ.

Link http://www.stageaurora.org

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