Thursday, February 11, 2010


February Events at Ashé Cultural Arts Center

Saturday, February 6, 20, 27, 2010 – 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. CLOSED SAT., FEB. 13
Ashé Cultural Arts Center
1724 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.
Kuumba Institute Winter Saturday Program for children ages 6 to 16. The institute is directed by Kesha McKey, with instructors that include professional dancers, actors, singers, poets, drummers, and other artisans. The 12-week program started on January 26 and ends April 10, 2010. The per-day cost is $20 per child. However, monthly costs are $50 for one child; $70 for a family of up to three children. Registration is still open. Call (504) 569-9070.

SISTAH'S MAKING A CHANGE – February Schedule
Mondays and Thursdays 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Ashé Cultural Arts Center
1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.
Get fit with the “sistahs” as you exercise and dance your way to wellness. A nutritious meal is served after each class.
Mon., Feb. 1 ► 6:00–7:00 p.m. Dance with Giselle 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. With Every Heart Beat There is Life
Thurs., Feb. 4 ► 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. – Dance with Giselle 7:00 – 8:00 p.m., A Free Style with Stephanie
Mon., Feb. 8 ► 6:00–7:00 –Dance with Giselle 7:00 – 8:00 p.m., With Every Heart Beat There is Life
Thurs., Feb. 11 ► 6:00–7:00 p.m. – Dance with Giselle 7:00 – 8:00 p.m., A Free Style with Stephanie
Mon., Feb. 15 ► NO CLASS
Thurs., Feb.18 ► 6:00–7:00 p.m. – Dance with Giselle 7:00 – 8:00 p.m., A Free Style with Stephanie
Mon., Feb. 22 ► 6:00–7:00 p.m. – Dance with Giselle 7:00 – 8:00 p.m., With Every Heart Beat There is Life
Thurs., Feb. 25 ► 6:00–8:00 p.m. Sistah's Night Out at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club (see description below)
For more information, call (504) 569-9070.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010 8:30 – 11:00 a.m.
Ashé Cultural Arts Center
1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.
Panel discussion presented by the Restaurant Opportunity Center of New Orleans.

Thursday, February 11, 2010 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Ashé Cultural Arts Center
1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.
The seniors of Mercy Endeavors will celebrate at their annual Mardi Gras Ball. By invitation.

Friday, February 19, 2010 12:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Ashé Cultural Arts Center, 1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.
A press conference has been scheduled to provide information on the Hope for Hatian Children Foundation, Inc. initiative. The organization supports and advocates for Foyer Espoir Pour Les Enfants Orphanage and Foyer Pour La Renovation D’Haiti Orphanage, both located in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The organization is committed to fostering a structured nourishing communal environment to further serve children’s emotional, educational, medical and social needs through the development of alternative programs that will help guide them on life’s journey and prepare them well for their destinations in life. Marie Jose Poux is the founder and director of the foundation. She is a native of Haiti and works and resides in New Orleans. She is a hospice nurse who makes several trips a year to Haiti to work with orphans, traveling at her own expense and with whatever donations she can get in order to distribute those donations to the orphanages.

Sunday, February 21, 2010 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Ashé Cultural Arts Center
1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.
On Sunday, February 21, 2010, from 4-6 p.m., the community is invited to gather for a sing-along, led by local vocalists. Given the success of, and community involvement in the Lift Every Voice and Sing Concert in January, Ashé Cultural Arts Center will host A Community Sings. Producer Michaela Harrison calls it an opportunity for reconnecting with friends and family in a positive and fun way. It gives individuals a chance to forget about their problems, leave their stressors behind, meet new people, and just sing. Participants are encouraged to share one or two of their favorite songs, and hear them come alive when the entire group gets involved in the crooning. If you plan to share a song, please e-mail the lyrics to Michaela Harrison by February 18 at so that they can be projected during the sing-along. Bring a notebook to write down the words so that you can keep singing and sharing them when you go home.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Ashé Cultural Arts Center
1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.
Stay tuned for film titles.

Thursday, February 25, 2010 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club
1931 St. Claude Avenue, New Orleans, LA
The sistah's will step out for a night on the town. Join them at “Desire Cabaret” at Sweet Lorraine's, 1931 St. Claude Avenue. Call (504) 569-9070 for special pricing if you would like to go as part of the “Sistahs Making a Change” group. Tickets $12 at the door. Call Sweet Lorraine’s at 504) 945-9654.

Friday, February 26, 2010 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Ashé Cultural Arts Center
1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.
Join renowned clinical social worker and ordained minister Torin Sanders, PhD, as he presents a series of discussion topics relevant to rebuilding and/or strengthening your relationship with your spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend. This month's discussion is entitled Everything You Need to Know about Infidelity. Cost: $25 per person, $45 per couple. Refreshments will be served. For reservations and information, visit, or call (504) 579-4499.

Sunday, February 28, 2010 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Crowley Rice Theater
424 N. Parkerson Avenue, Crowley, LA
RESERVED SEATING - Admission, $20; Students and Senior Citizens, $15 ¨ Door Prizes
Ashé Cultural Arts Center's award winning original theater piece, The Origin of Life on Earth: An African Creation Myth, based on the book of the same name by Dr. David Anderson, is headed to Crowley, LA for a matinee performance at the newly renovated Crowley Rice Theater. The dance/theater adaptation is directed by Dollie Eaglin-Monroe, choreographed by Michelle Gibson with original music by Lloyd Daly. Carol Bebelle is the executive producer. The story is an African Myth about how the first people on Earth were created, according to Yoruba Culture of West Africa. This creation story connects the African Diaspora to the arrival of West Africans in New Orleans and their legacy in New Orleans culture and tradition. This spectacular work includes master dancers, theater artists and musicians that bring the story to life. Further, it includes videography and music that take you from the beginning of time in Africa to the here-and-now in New Orleans.

Tickets can be purchased at: 1) The Crowley Art Gallery, 222 N. Parkerson, Crowley, LA. Call Susie at 337-783-3747; 2) Crowley Flower Shop, 1414 N. Parkerson, Crowley, LA. Call 337-783-1512; 3) Acadia Parish School Board, Title I Parental Involvement Office. Call 337-783-3664, ext. 253; 4) Crowley Middle School. Call Ms. Yolanda Langham at 337-785-2839; 5) Ashé Cultural Arts Center, 1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. Call 504-569-9070. Admission, $20; Students and Senior Citizens, $15 – Door Prizes

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


AMERIVILLE by Universes - Coming Soon!

Southern Rep Partners with Ashé Cultural Arts Center, Junebug Productions, and Tulane University for the Regional Premiere of Ameriville.

New Orleans — Southern Rep, Junebug Productions, Ashé Cultural Arts Center, and Tulane University Department of Theatre and Dance present AMERIVILLE by Universes, which runs February 24 – March 7, 2010. Opening night is Wednesday, February 24th. Performances continue through March 7th, Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Tickets for this LIMITED RUN are on sale now from $20 - $35 and may be purchased at (504) 522-6545 or

In AMERIVILLE, the critically acclaimed Bronx-based ensemble group gives an emotionally riveting performance that is not only about Katrina, but also about the struggles and heartbreaks that happened in New Orleans. With the unbelievable power and passion that Universes brings to the stage, stories, facts, and memories are brought back through a mixture of poetry, hip-hop, jazz, and theatre.

Ameriville is an experience on many levels: percolating, bubbling, and broiling, flooding the theatre to the very last row. Hold your breath and dive in. - Theatre Louisville

Southern Rep Artistic Director Aimée Hayes was drawn to this wide-reaching partnership out of a shared belief in the power of Universes' production.

When I saw AMERIVILLE in last year’s Humana Festival, I jumped to my feet along with the rest of the audience to applaud before the lights came down at the end of the show. After seeing a production that spoke to my hometown in such a ground-breaking and inspirational way, I knew we had to find a way to bring it here to share with our friends and neighbors. – Artistic Director, Aimeé Hayes

Created by Universes, AMERIVILLE gives new insight and urgency to our national re-examination of what it means to be American - with heart, impassioned stomps, and incandescent harmonies. It’s a jubilant cry to rebuild America itself. Universes has created their own brand of high-energy performance, rooted in hip-hop but drawing on a global multitude of lyrical and musical influences and performance styles.

It's the performers -- fierce, funny and bitingly intelligent -- who keep your toes tapping and your heart in your mouth. All are prodigiously versatile, handling the demands of the piece -- from dance to song to sound effects to tongue-twisting patter monologues -- with consummate professionalism and aplomb.- Los Angeles Times (Slanguage, 2004)

AMERIVILLE will be directed by Chay Yew, who is both a director and award-winning playwright, currently living in New York City. He has directed countless shows and is a recipient of the Dramalogue and OBIE Awards for Direction. As an alumnus of New Dramatists, he currently serves on the Executive Board of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers. Yew is a graduate from Boston University.

Steven Sapp, Mildred Ruiz-Sapp, Gamal Abdel Chasten, and Ninja make up Universes. All four actors are the founders of the company. Steven Sapp, a graduate from Bard College, is a playwright/actor. Mildred Ruiz-Sapp is part of this group as a playwright/actress/vocalist. Gamal A. Chasten is a songwriter/poet/screenwriter whose work has toured in over 25 U.S. cities and 5 countries. Ninja (William Ruiz) is a playwright/director and also a graduate of Bard College. Universes is a National / International ensemble Company of multi-disciplined writers and performers who fuse Poetry, Theater, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Politics, Down Home Blues and Spanish Boleros to create moving, challenging and entertaining theatrical works. The group breaks the bounds of traditional theater to create their own brand, inviting old and new generations of theater crafters as well as the theater goers and new comers to reshape the face of American Theater.

Southern Rep is proud to be part of this expansive partnership project with Junebug Productions, Ashé Cultural Arts Center, and Tulane University Department of Theatre and Dance that brings together such a diverse group of stakeholders, including school principals, teachers, members of the media, church and business leaders, as well as organizations’ board members to ensure the widest possible impact of Universes’ work in New Orleans. Thanks to the support of the National Endowment for the Arts, Louisiana Division of the Arts, Arts Council of New Orleans, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation, and the National Performance Network, Southern Rep sees AMERIVILLE and Universes’ residency as fruitful and productive endeavor to benefit the New Orleans community at large.

Junebug Productions (JPI,) a professional African American arts organization located in New Orleans, Louisiana, produces, tours and presents high quality theater, dance and music that encourages and supports African Americans in the Black Belt South who are working to improve the quality of life available to themselves and others who are similarly oppressed and exploited. For the past 29 years, the company has toured the U.S. and performed internationally with John O'Neal, Junebug's Artistic Director who co-founded the Free Southern Theater in 1963 as a cultural arm of the southern Civil Rights Movement. Junebug Productions is currently creating the Free Southern Theater Institute (FSTI) to codify the particular techniques, ethics, and aesthetics developed by FST and Junebug Productions. Artists from around the region and the nation will be able to come to New Orleans, learn the FST and JPI technique and work with the local community and artists. Junebug is currently offering the third of three pilot program courses, "From Community to Stage," bringing in artists to work with community residents, high school and university students.

Ashé Cultural Arts Center is an effort to combine the intentions of neighborhood and economic development with the creative forces of community, culture and art to revive and reclaim a historically significant corridor in Central City New Orleans: Oretha Castle-Haley Boulevard, formerly known as Dryades Street. Ashé is a gathering place for emerging and established artists to present, create and collaborate in giving life to their art so as to activate the artistic, creative and entrepreneurial possibilities available in our community. Storytelling, poetry, music, dance, photography, and visual art all are a part of Ashé’s work to revive the possibility and vision of a true "Renaissance on the Boulevard."

The Tulane Department of Theatre and Dance is a multi-disciplinary program that offers a fusion of performance styles and techniques in the framework of a liberal arts setting. Their diverse and international faculty teaches a mix of approaches that allow their students to explore all aspects of the theatrical and dance arts in order to help them prepare for the world around them. After beginning with the solid foundation of a hands-on curriculum, students are allowed to individualize their journey by choosing study in numerous areas that include academic research, storytelling, regional and international dance styles, acting methodology, community action, directing, choreography, design and technical stagecraft. The Department’s goal is to create the beginnings of a well-rounded dance or theatrical artist who understands where she or he fits into a larger performance community.

Southern Rep celebrates its 23rd season as the region’s premiere professional theatre, continuing to produce bold world and regional premieres under the artistic leadership of Aimée Hayes, with Managing Director, Marieke Gaboury. In addition to its exciting Mainstage offerings; Southern Rep continues to offer educational programs such as free student matinees, $10 student rush tickets and Academy SRT; “Free Night of Theatre”; as well as providing an artistic home to new works in development in the New Play Bacchanal.

Southern Rep continues to show that it is staging the most important, challenging, and downright mesmerizing pieces of theater New Orleans audiences are graced to experience. - Theodore P. Mahne, The Times-Picayune Lagniappe

TICKETS AND LOCATION: Regular ticket prices range from $20-$35: $35 for Opening Night, Wednesday February 24 (includes post-performance reception); Individual tickets are $26-$29 with special discounts for students, seniors, K-12 teachers, active military, theatre professionals (with ID) and groups of ten or more. $10 Student Rush tickets are available 15 minutes before curtain on a cash-only basis, with student ID. On the edge of the French Quarter, Southern Rep Theatre is conveniently located on the 3rd floor of the Shops of Canal Place, where validated parking is available. For more information and to order tickets, call (504) 522-6545, or visit

Southern Rep Theatre is an NPN Partner of the National Performance Network (NPN). This project is made possible in party by support from the NPN Performance Residency Program. Major contributors of NPN include the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency), the MetLife Foundation and the Nathan Cummings Foundation.

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