Blue stage play
Actresses: Lynn Shirley, Faylin Johnson
The mystery behind the title BLUE reveals a well-crafted, intricate story of a search for love, self-acceptance and freedom; every character’s journey and persona shows their need and vulnerability in the search.
It’s the main character’s love story and journey to freedom and self-acceptance that grips your curiosity and emotion at it’s core. Maddie’s truth is wrapped up in the secret of BLUE and she can no longer protect herself from the truth of who she is and how she came to be. Facing her past becomes the way she finds the love, self-acceptance and freedom she has longed for.
The genius of this production lies in the set, the costumes, the music and the dialogue. They are as monumental and impacting as the plot itself. The authenticity of the set and the costuming were superb. The vibrancy and accuracy of the furniture and props made the late 50s come alive in front of your eyes. The costuming was amazing, helping create another dimension for each persona, one that made them real to the audience. Both elements easily made the audience feel transported to the late 1950’s Baltimore, where the story is set. As for the music, I’m still singing songs like “Something Ain’t Right”, “Gotta Asks the Right Questions” and the pivotal, beautiful soul searching “Free”. Not only were they masterfully written, arranged and composed but performed with the energy, passion and skill of dedicated and ridiculously, talented singers.
This play is smart. It’s a nostalgic, period piece, but the conversation around issues such as womanism, racism, colorism, and classism parallel contemporary discussions sure to spur subsequent discussions and debate among viewers. The writing and insight of the remarkable Susan Small is without question praiseworthy and makes her one of the premier talents to watch locally and as one emerging onto larger venues.
- Leslie Gibson
Dancers: Naj Danz, Myasia Williams
Set in 1920’s Harlem, Club 44 is a riveting, must-see production that contemplates life, love and loss. Playwright and Director, S. Charli compels us with a trio of word, song and dance that rivals a long-running Broadway production. A dramatic twist on the Biblical story of Abraham, Sarah and Hagar, this toe-tapping musical features a talented ensemble cast and a simple, yet sophisticated set. The opening number draws you into the Harlem nightlife and makes you aware that "things aren’t what they seem". Immediately, you find yourself wondering what secrets are lurking behind the paneled bar and glitzy costumes.
Whispers and innuendo are rife among the sultry ballads and immaculately performed choreography. Dreams are both realized and unraveled in the midst of tragedy. It is that acute reality that allows Club 44 to soar higher with each scene, leaving the audience yearning for the next revelation. Unlike many Broadway shows, everything is not tied up in a neat package, but you are left keenly aware of you own experiences as you ponder the fate of the characters. When you walk out of the theatre tapping your feet to the fading hum of “Club 44 is the place to be”, you suddenly realize that you are no longer in Harlem and find yourself longing for just one more rendezvous.
-Cala M. Allison
Club 44 establishes Susan Charli Small and S. Charli Productions as a formidable company to also watch closely if you have a palate for theater delivered with the pinnacle of excellence, education, and entertainment at its core and throughout its complexion, embodiment, and delivery.
- Michael Way
B.S. Journalism/Mass Media Communications
Graduate Freedom Repertory Theatre PATP
Screenwriter, Playwright, Poet
Princess Nylah & the Journey to the Magic Window
Actress: Nathia Tucker
TO MAGIC WINDOW
This musical fairy tale centers around Nylah, a self-proclaimed Princess who embarks on an epic journey beyond the "Magic Window" where she discovers the importance of courage and friendship. With rousing musical numbers like "Find Your Magic" and "Together", this production focuses on themes such as faith and the importance of discovering ones "magic".
This fairy tale follows the adventures of Nylah and her friends, Imani & The Purple Owl, through The Betterlands as they try to escape the bone eating Queen Lucinda and the Leukeameanors and the discovery of a little MAGIC along the way!
I was so excited to hear of S. Charli Productions first children play, Princess Nylah and the Journey to the magic window.
Susan Small is known for putting on amazing quality plays and this play is no exception. As a performing arts teacher I look for quality plays that will inspire my students and this play did just that. My students could not stop talking about the acting, music and children who were in the play.
Princess Nylah and the journey to the magic window is a children's play but anyone of any age will become so invested into this play as soon as the curtain opens.. It has the perfect recipe for a production that will be around for a long time and inspire many children.
Director, Arts without Boundaries LLC.
Playwright: Kevin White & cast of "The Dismissed".
THINK CREATE INSPIRE THEATRE FESTIVAL
The THINK| CREATE| INSPIRE Theater Festival created a first-of-its-kind platform in Philadelphia, for new playwrights to showcase original works. The festival connected artists to resources while working to provide solutions to common problems in the industry like expensive venue costs, lack of marketing and dwindling opportunities for writers to connect with actors, producers and sponsors.
The new works will played out under the shining lights of the state of the art, 250-seat venue at Venice Island Performing Arts Center for 6 days. During the day, theater enthusiasts will have access to acclaimed directors and producers John W. Graves and Christina May who have both produced award winning works. The lineup will included 4 short 30 minute productions along with 4 full length 90 minute productions.
This stellar event proved to be a celebration of great writing, storytelling and performance from a host of incredible talent.
Multi Media Producer