Thursday, September 16, 2010


Ashe' Cultural Arts Center comes to the Rescue for Local Playwright

Ashé Cultural Arts Center comes to the rescue for New Orleans playwright, Pamela Davis-Noland (Keen-Amity Publishing & Entertainment) as she experienced creative censorship for her controversial play depicting a modern may Jesus who is portrayed by an African-American male. Earlier this summer, the play was cancelled and the tour shut down in an East Texas town. Ashé has offered the playwright a venue to house her work.

WHY: After getting word about the creative censorship of the play, Carol Bebelle (Co-Founder and Executive Director) of Ashé CAC, personally called the playwright and offered her as many dates as she wanted as long as the calendar permittted.

WHAT: THE UNACQUAINTED: A GOSPEL, written by Pamela Davis-Noland is the story of the ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ with a modern day perspective and today’s challenges using biblical text to navigate the Savior’s journey with humor and witty characters that exist in everyday society.

Ashe' Cultural Arts Center, 1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., New Orleans, LA

FRIDAY, September 24, 2010 @ 8p, SATURDAY, September 25, 2010 @ 8pSUNDAY, September 26, 2010 @ 5p

Carol Bebelle (Co-Founder/Executive Director) of Ashé Cultural Arts Center
Pamela Davis-Noland (Author/Playwright)Keen-Amity Publishing & Entertainment
Presale-$20, At Door-$25; Students with ID-$15; 1-866-811-4111

For further information call Ernest Walters, III (EW3) 504.975-7100, 504-292-3429,

Saturday, September 11, 2010


José Torres-Tama Returns with ALIENS--Performances and Black & Brown Alliance Panel

ALIENS Immigrants and Other Evildoers

Performances September 16-19, 2010 @ 8 PM
Ashé Cultural Arts Center
1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., New Orleans, (504) 569-9070

The Shadowbox Theatre
Performances September 23-26, Sept. 30 - Oct. 3 & Oct. 7-10, 2010 @ 8 PM
2400 St. Claude Avenue, New Orleans

A Sci-fi Latino Noir Multimedia Solo by award-winning performance artist José Torres-Tama that satirizes the status of Latino immigrants as "aliens" and explores the rise in hate crimes against immigrants across the U.S. Torres-Tama shapeshifts into numerous Latino “extraterrestrials” who bilingually challenge the flaws of a country built by immigrants that vilifies the same people whose labor it exploits. ALIENS asks the hard question, “Since the Pilgrims arrived without papers and were the first illegals, why were they not deported?”

The ALIENS creative lighting design has been developed by John Grimsley of Dog & Pony Theatre Co. The video film shorts are done by Bruce France of Mondo Bizarro, and Billy Atwell, a key collaborator from New York, has created an engaging orginal sci-fi music score that accompanies some vignettes. The classical recordings of opera vocalist Claudia Copeland will also be featured in the production.

In New Orleans, ALIENS will have its national debut at the Ashé Cultural Arts Center from September 16-19. Ashé is located at 1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. ALIENS moves to the Shadowbox Theatre at 2400 Saint Claude Avenue for an additional three-week run through October 10.


September 18, 2010, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. - FREE
Ashé Cultural Arts Center

As part of the ALIENS performance community outreach Ashé will host a panel discussion of notable speakers, including Marcel Rivera from the Faith Health Alliance, John O'Neal from Junebug Productions, Ed Buckner from the Porch and Dennis Soriano from the Congress of Day Laborers. The panel will convene to discuss a variety of challenges that the Latino immigrant community is facing, including wage theft, housing, and health issues. These are issues that also affect the working class African American community. We believe it is of great importance to bring these two communities of color together, for they share a parallel history of struggle and marginalization. The diverse panel will engage in a discussion that invites the public and these two communities to develop better working strategies for greater allegiance and social change.


September 19, 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. (FREE to all interested in performance art)
Techniques for Theater & Performance Art: As part of the ALIENS performance outreach, José Torres-Tama engages participating students and/or community members in an interactive exchange exploring creative strategies such as movement, improvisation, visual rituals, personal stories, incantations/songs, and the effective used of one's voice in theater and performance practices. The workshop is designed to empower participants with a varied toolbox of skills for the creation of original theater and performance work.

Torres-Tama’s interdisciplinary performance workshops have been presented at Cornell, Duke, Rutgers, University of Michigan, Ohio State University, University of Maryland, Roehampton University in London, the Bluecoat Arts Centre in Liverpool and Centre for Performance Research in Aberystwyth, Wales.

ALIENS is a National Performance Network Creation Fund Project co-commissioned by MECA (Houston) in partnership with GALA Hispanic Theatre (D.C.), and the Ashé Cultural Arts Center (New Orleans), and the NPN. For more information:


Thank You for Helping to Make Swimming Upstream a Success

The Cast of Swimming Upstream
We wanted a New Orleans style send-off to the Apollo and we got it. The audience became part of the magic of the evening as they amened, applauded, laughed, cried with us through the evening's show. We went through it together those on stage and those in the audience.much as we have the disaster and the recovery.

We sang a love song to the spirit of New Orleans and New Orleans hollered back. Thanks for the part you play in our lives. "Swimming Upstream" is some of what we have to give in return.

We hope to do you proud in New York.

Carol Bebelle
READ The Times-Picayune advance story on the production: 'Swimming Upstream' inspires audience at Mahalia Jackson Theater >

READ Bloomberg News: Katrina's Women Recall Lost Dog, Disappearing Friends in New Ensler Play >

Monday, September 6, 2010


Tony Award Winner LaChanze Joins the Cast of Swimming Upstream

On September 10, 2010, at 8 p.m., Swimming Upstream hits the stage at Mahalia Jackson Theater, 801 N. Rampart Street in New Orleans for one night only.  The show will travel from the Big Easy to the Big Apple on September 13, for a one-nighter at The Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York.  We are very excited to announce that actor/singer/dancer/author LaChanze has joined the cast. 

Sure to ignite the stage, LaChanze has an extensive background on and off-Broadway. She received a 2006 Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical for The Color Purple, an Obie Award for Performance in 2005 for Dessa Rose, and in 1991 a Theatre World Award for Once on This Island. She has received numerous nominations for her theater work and has had roles on The Cosby Show (1988), Leap of Faith (1992), For Love or Money (1993), Law & Order: SVU (2008), and Sex and the City (1999), to name a few. LaChanze has also appeared in Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues.

Writing about one of her performances, Roma Torre of New York 1 News says, “The Color Purple is dominated by dynamite performances. LaChanze beautifully captures Celie’s stages of growth from a naïve innocent to an embittered and eventually enlightened adult, and she has us hooked on her harrowing journey every step of the way.”

Howard Shapiro of The Philadelphia writes of her performance in The Color Purple, “The lead character is Celie, played by the single-named, triple-threat LaChanze; she sings spectacularly, her acting is solid.”

She can’t help but bring a bit of Broadway to the New Orleans stage.

Do you have your ticket?  There’s still time to take advantage of a 20% discount. Ashé Cultural Arts Center has a limited amount of discount tickets available.  The $35 tickets are priced at $30.50 and the $50 tickets are $42.50. Tickets are also available at, through Ticketmaster or at the theater box office, (504) 287-0351. Ashé Cultural Arts Center is located at 1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.  For more information or to purchase a discount ticket, call (504) 569-9070.

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