Rolonda Watts joins Vineyard and WP Theater’s sandblasted. New dates announced.
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 03:06 pm EST 01/13/22

Rolonda Watts
joins the cast of
Vineyard Theatre and WP Theater's
World Premiere Production of
By Charly Evon Simpson
Directed by Summer L. Williams

Beginning previews now on February 6
Opening Night February 27


(New York City, NY - January 13, 2022) Vineyard Theatre (Artistic Directors Douglas Aibel and Sarah Stern, Managing Director Suzanne Appel) and WP Theater (Producing Artistic Director Lisa McNulty, Managing Director Michael Sag) announce that Rolonda Watts ("Rolonda") will join the cast of the upcoming World Premiere of sandblasted as ADAH, replacing the previously announced Khandi Alexander. Previews will now begin on February 6 with opening night set for February 27 at Vineyard Theatre (108 East 15th Street).

Watts joins the previously announced Marinda Anderson (Miss You Like Hell), Brittany Bellizeare (The Bluest Eye) and Andy Lucien ("The Blacklist"), who star in the newest work from Charly Evon Simpson (Behind the Sheet), recipient of The Vineyard's 2019 Paula Vogel Playwriting Award and a 2018-20 WP Theater Lab Alum. sandblasted will be directed by Elliot Norton Award-winning director Summer L. Williams in her New York City debut.

Angela (Bellizeare) and Odessa (Anderson) are on a sandy search for something that might not be real but they are determined to make a way out of no way. When they stumble upon ADAH (Watts), that's right THE Celebrity-turned-Wellness-Maven Adah, they decide to follow her lead not knowing that the journey could very well be the cure. sandblasted is a deeply stirring, funny, theatrically daring story of waiting and hoping, time and healing.

sandblasted will begin previews at the Vineyard Theatre (108 East 15th Street) February 6, 2022 and run until March 6 with an opening night set for February 27 .

The design team will include Matt Saunders (Scenic Design), Montana Levi Blanco (Costume Design), Stacey Derosier (Lighting Design), Sadah Espii Proctor (Sound Design), Cookie Jordan (Hair & Wig Design), and Kelly Gillespie (Casting Director).

Tickets are now on sale to the general public at www.vineyardtheatre.org or by calling 212-353-0303.

About Vineyard Theatre

Vineyard Theatre is an Off-Broadway theatre company dedicated to nurturing the voices of daring artists and developing and producing work that pushes the boundaries of what theatre can be and do. One of the country's preeminent centers for the creation of new plays and musicals, our work seeks to challenge and inspire all of us to see ourselves and our world from different perspectives.

The Vineyard's 2021-22 season will also feature Obie Award-winning playwright David Cale's return to Vineyard Theatre in the spring of 2022 with the world premiere of Sandra. The season's additional offerings include part two of the critically acclaimed Lessons In Survival, in front of a live audience, created with and performed by The Commissary and directed by Tyler Thomas; and commissioned works from Vineyard favorites Ngozi Anyanwu, Kirsten Childs, Jared Mezzocchi, Polly Pen, and Madeline Sayet.

The Vineyard's productions of Tina Satter's Is This A Room, named "Best Theater of 2019 and 2021" by The New York Times, Time Out and New York Magazine and winner of the Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience; and Lucas Hnath's Dana H., chosen as The New York Times and Time Out "Best Theatre of 2020 and 2021" and winner of the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Solo Show, played on Broadway in repertory at the Lyceum Theatre this fall. Paula Vogel's How I Learned to Drive, which premiered at The Vineyard 25 years ago, will open on Broadway this spring reuniting original cast members Mary-Louise Parker, David Morse and Johanna Day with director Mark Brokaw.

Notable Vineyard Theatre premieres include Ngozi Anyanwu's Good Grief; Jeremy O. Harris' "Daddy"; Mara Nelson-Greenberg's Do You Feel Anger?; David Cale's Harry Clarke (2018 Drama Desk, Obie, Lucille Lortel Awards); Paula Vogel and Rebecca Taichman's Indecent (two 2017 Tony Awards); two Pulitzer Prize-winning plays, Paula Vogel's How I Learned To Drive and Edward Albee's Three Tall Women; Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' Gloria; Nicky Silver's The Lyons; Marx, Lopez and Whitty's Avenue Q (Tony Award, Best Musical); Kander, Ebb, and Thompson's The Scottsboro Boys; Bell and Bowen's [title of show]; Polly Pen's Goblin Market; Tarell Alvin McCraney's Wig Out!; Jenny Schwartz' God's Ear; Will Eno's Middletown; Becky Mode's Fully Committed; Colman Domingo's Dot, and many more.

During the pandemic shutdown, The Vineyard produced Bill Irwin's The Busking Project outdoors and seven digital programs, including the eight-episode series, Lessons In Survival, which was named "Best Theater of 2020" by The New York Times .

The Vineyard's Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, Susan Stroman Directing Award, and Colman Domingo Award provide residencies to early-career artists and our education programs serve over 700 NYC public high school students annually and culminate in presenting Developing Artists' REBEL VERSES Youth Arts Festival. Works developed and premiered at our home in Union Square have gone on to be seen around the world and The Vineyard is proud to be the recipient of special Drama Desk, Obie and Lucille Lortel Awards for artistic excellence.

The Vineyard's 2021-2022 Artists-in-Residence include The Commissary, Ryan Haddad, Michael R. Jackson, Tyler Thomas, Reggie D. White, with more to be announced.

Vineyard Theatre's leadership includes Artistic Directors Douglas Aibel and Sarah Stern and Managing Director Suzanne Appel.

About WP Theater

WP THEATER now in its 44th Season, is the nation's oldest and largest theater company dedicated to developing, producing, and promoting the work of Women+ at every stage of their careers.

For over four decades we have served as leaders of a global movement towards gender parity, and the example we set and the artists we have fostered have grown into a robust, thriving community in theater and beyond. WP empowers Women+ artists of all kinds to reach their full potential, challenging preconceptions about the kinds of plays they write and the stories they tell.

Founded in 1978 by Julia Miles as Women's Project Theater, WP Theater has earned acclaim as a home for Women+ theatermakers, historically marginalized in the field, to hone their craft while becoming leaders, change-makers, and advocates in the industry. To date, we have produced more than 600 Mainstage productions and developmental projects and published 11 anthologies of plays by Women+ artists. WP Theater is proud of the ways in which we have made a difference in the artistic landscape of New York and beyond, and we continue to forge forward by offering these artists a platform to develop and present their stories.

Today, WP accomplishes its mission through several fundamental programs, including: the WP Lab, a celebrated two-year mentorship and new play development program for Women+ playwrights, directors, and producers; the Domestic Partner residency program; the Pages to Stages Program, in partnership with the extraordinary viBe Theater Experience, the Developmental series of workshops and readings; the Commissioning program, and the Mainstage series, which features a full season of Off-Broadway productions written and directed by extraordinary theater artists.

Current artists under commission are: Donnetta Lavinia Grays, Emily Kaczmarek, MJ Kaufman, Sylvia Khoury, Zoe Sarnak, and Leah Nanako Winkler. Cori Thomas is WP's Mellon Playwright-In-Residence.

WP Theater received a 2018 Lucille Lortel Award, a 2019 Obie Award, both for Outstanding Body of Work, and a 2020 Special Drama Desk recognizing WP and its founder, Julia Miles. As the premier launching pad for some of the most influential artists in theater, television, and film, our work has a significant impact on the field. Nearly every notable female theater artist has been through our doors, including: 2019 Tony Winner Rachel Chavkin; two-time Pulitzer Prize Winner Lynn Nottage, 2018 Pulitzer Prize Winner Martyna Majok; 2018 MacArthur "Genius" Grant Winner Dominique Morisseau; 2013 Tony Winner Pam MacKinnon; and 2013 Tony Winner Diane Paulus. At WP, these powerful women found an early artistic home and are a testament to our role as a driving cultural force.

When we say Women+ we mean people who are cis women, trans, non-binary, or gender-nonconforming people, and all gender identities which have been systematically oppressed throughout history in the theater and beyond.

WP Theater's leadership includes Producing Artistic Director Lisa McNulty and Managing Director Michael Sag.

www.vineyardtheatre.org www.wptheater.org

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Find the show at #sandblastedVTWP



Rolonda Watts (Adah) For almost four decades, her name, face, and distinctive voice have been known by audiences everywhere, thanks to her many award-winning works in television, radio, film, digital media, comedy, and her romance suspense novel, Destiny Lingers, which is endorsed by Dr. Maya Angelou. Most know her by one name, Rolonda, under which she launched her own internationally syndicated talk show (1994-1998), produced by King World Productions in association with her company, Watts Works Productions. Years before her talk show, Rolonda was an Emmy Nominated investigative news reporter, anchorwoman and producer for Inside Edition, WABC-TV Eyewitness News, WNBC, New Jersey Nightly News, and WFMY-TV. Ro's deep, rich, and raspy voice is one of the most recognized in the VoiceOver business where she is also a top voice coach with her Voice Acting Master Class. Rolonda was the Announcer and Promo voice for "Divorce Court" (FOXTV), "Judge Joe Brown" (CBS), "The Daily Helpline" and "Temptation," the game show. In animation, Rolonda voices the role of Professor Wiseman on "Curious George" (Universal), Mary Sinclair in "LEGO City Adventures," Madagascar, King Fu Panda, Cannon Busters, and stars with Tyler Perry in his first animated movie, Tyler Perry's Medea's Tough Love (Lionsgate) In video games, Rolonda is the voice of Warrior Priestess Illaoi in League of Legends. In TV & movies, Rolonda stars in the new MCLyte sitcom, "Partners in Rhyme" on ALLBLK and guest stars as Adaline Palmer, Chunk's mother, on "Bull" (CBS). Ro was recently seen on Lifetime TV's Psycho Nurse and My Daughter's Psycho Friend and played the recurring role of FBI Forensic Pathologist, Dr. Melissa Meyers, on "Criminal Minds" (CBS). Rolonda holds degrees from Spelman College and Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and an Honorary Doctorate from Winston-Salem State University. Visit Ro's website at rolonda.com. Follow Rolonda on social media @rolondawatts

Marinda Anderson (Odessa) - Off-Broadway: The Cake (MTC), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Mobile Unit), Teenage Dick, Miss You Like Hell (The Public); The Treasurer, Bella: An American Tall Tale, A Life, Far from Heaven (Playwrights Horizons); Sex of the Baby (Access Theatre); Obama-ology (The Juilliard School). Regional: Airness (Humana); A Doll's House (Huntington); Three Sisters (Playmaker's Rep); Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill, Intimate Apparel (Dorset Theatre Festival); Fairfield (Cleveland Play House). TV: "A League of Their Own", "New Amsterdam," "High Maintenance," "Madam Secretary," "Gotham." BFA: Howard University. MFA: NYU Graduate Acting Program. Marindaanderson.com IG: @Marindaanderson Twitter: @Marindanderson

Brittany Bellizeare (Angela) - Theatre: National Black Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, The Geva, Two River Theater, Baltimore Center Stage, The Guthrie, TheaterWorks Hartford, Northern Stage, La Jolla Playhouse and Berkeley Repertory. Named one of the Top 10 Actors of the Decade, for her performance as Pecola in The Bluest Eye (The Guthrie - Star Tribune 2019). TV/FILM: "American Rust," "The Blacklist," "Eye Candy," "The Knick" and was featured in Issa Rae's #shortfilmsundays YouTube series in "Honk for Jesus". Save Your Soul. Education: MFA in Acting, The New School for Drama; BS in Mathematics, Spelman College. www.brittanybellizeare.com IG: belle_tastic. Twitter: @bellibe

Andy Lucien (Jamal) - TV/Film credits include: "The Blacklist," Netflix's "Daredevil," "Elementary," "Madam Secretary," "Seven Lovers," Vox "Lux" and more including the upcoming film Pretty Doesn't Hurt , for which he also co-produced. He has been a part of productions at Lincoln Center Theater, Playwrights Horizons, Berkeley Rep, La Jolla Playhouse and Studio Theater as well as the Grahamstown Theater Festival in Grahamstown, South Africa. IG: @oooothatandylucien

Charly Evon Simpson (Playwright) is a playwright and TV writer based in Brooklyn. Her plays include Behind the Sheet, Jump, form of a girl unknown, it's not a trip it's a journey, and more. Her work has been seen and/or developed with Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Lark, P73, The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, PlayMakers Repertory Company, Chautauqua Theater Company, Salt Lake Acting Company, and others. She is a recipient of the Vineyard Theatre's Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, is a 2018/20 WP Theater Lab Alum, and received the Dramatists Guild's Lanford Wilson Award. She is a core writer at The Playwrights' Center and this fall, she will begin her seven year residency with New Dramatists. Charly has a BA from Brown University, a master's in Women's Studies from University of Oxford, New College, and her MFA in Playwriting from Hunter College.

Summer L. Williams (Director) is an award-winning director and Co-Founder/Associate Artistic Director of Company One Theatre in Boston, where she has directed more than 20 productions, including the world-premieres of Downtown Crossing and Leftovers, Wolf Play, Miss You Like Hell (with OBERON at American Repertory Theatre), Wig Out! (with OBERON at A.R.T.), Revolt, She Said. Revolt Again, and An Octoroon and Colossal (2016 Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Director for both productions). Other credits include The Arboretum Experience at American Repertory Theatre, Daddy Issues at Salt Lake City Acting Company New Play Sounding Series, School Girls, or The African Mean Girls Play at SpeakEasy Stage Company; Smart People at Kitchen Theatre Company and Geva Theater; Barbecue at Lyric Stage Company of Boston (2018 Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Director); Bootycandy at SpeakEasy Stage Company; Intimate Apparel at Lyric Stage Company; the New England Premiere of We Are Proud To Present…; How We Got On; By The Way, Meet Vera Stark at the Lyric Stage Company; The Brothers Size and Marcus; Or The Secret Of Sweet (2012 Elliot Norton Award-nominated for Outstanding Production; 2012 IRNE Award for Best Play); Neighbors; Grimm; The Good Negro; Voyeurs De Venus (2009 Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Director); The Bluest Eye (IRNE and Elliot Norton Award nominated); The Last Days Of Judas Iscariot; Spell #7; Jesus Hopped The A Train (2004 Elliot Norton Award for Best Fringe Production); and Twilight: Los Angeles 1992.
Link http://www.vineyardtheatre.org

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