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Take Wing And Soar Productions and Voza Rivers/New Heritage Theatre Group present the World Premier of MASSINISSA And The Tragedy Of The House Of Thunder | A New Epic Play in 2 Acts Written & Directed by Lorey Hayes | Limited Engagement December 7th – 18th at the Poet’s Den Theater


[New York, NY - December 1, 2011]  Take Wing And Soar Productions in partnership with Voza Rivers/New Heritage Theatre Group present the World Premier of Lorey Hayes’ MASSINISSA And The Tragedy Of The House Of Thunder for a limited engagement at The Poet’s Den Theater from December 7 – 18, 2011.


Massinissa And The Tragedy of the House of Thunder is the story of Massinissa, the man who betrayed Hannibal to Rome.  Based on true events, Circa 218 B.C., over the span of 50 years, in Rome, Carthage, Numidia, Spain, and The Alps.  Rome-Italy and Carthage-Africa are at war fighting for world dominion. Join us as Playwright/Director Lorey Hayes leads a multi-racial troupe of 18 Classically Trained Actors in this dramatic story about love, passion, revenge, honor, betrayal and a friendship that changed the course of history.  


Featured in the cast are Elijah Black, Phillip Burke, Debra Ann Byrd*, Bryant Carroll*, Tino Christopher, Lodric D. Collins, Phillip de la Cal*, Treasure Davidson, Dianne Dixon, Stacey J. Dotson*, Michal Fraser, Kirt A. Harding, Dennis Jordan*, Anja Lee*, Tom Martin, Dayo Olatokun, Michael Raimondi, Brendan Sokler, Lawrence Winslow*, Natasha Yannacaňedo*.


MASSINISSA is designed by an award winning design team featuring Celebrity Scenic Designer Chris Cumberbach, Broadway Costume Designer Gail Cooper-Hecht, Audelco Award Winning Sound Designer David D. Wright and Lighting Designer James Carter with Choreography by Phillip de la Cal; Casting by TWAS Casting, Sara Koch Casting and Lawrence Evans Casting; and Marketing by Shabazz Communications, Inc.


Lorey Hayes [Playwright /Director] Broadway, Television/Film Actress turned writer (an original cast member of “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide”) Lorey Hayes’ is the proud recipient of a 2011 Harlem Arts Alliance; Harlem Community Arts Fund Award in Performing Arts to create a new historic play. She is also a 2011 Princess Grace Playwright Finalist, earned by submission of her dramatic play with music, “Haiti’s Children of God” which recently closed a critically acclaimed run in Harlem at the Dwyer Cultural Center (February/March 2011) The play ran following a successful April 2010 run and was produced in a co-production between Mr. Voza Rivers ( Broadway’s “Sarafinia”/”Asinamali”) and Mr. Rudy Shaw’s Caribbean Arts Repertory.  Several of Hayes’ scripts were developed in major mentoring programs including: the Bill Cosby Screenwriting Fellows program, Mark Taper Forum, The New York Theater Workshop, Alabama Shakespeare Festival’s Southern Writer’s Project, LA First Stages, New York’s 13th Street Theater, The Negro Ensemble Company, Frederick Douglas Creative Arts Center, Los Angeles Women’s Theater, Frank Silvera’s Creative Workshop and Danny Glover/Ben Guillory’s Los Angeles Robey Theater Company.   “The Dragonfly Tale” co-written with Robert Crear is winner of the 2007 Alabama Shakespeare Festival’s Southern Writer’s Project and a finalist for the Eugene O’Neill 2006 Playwright’s Conference from more than 800 entries.  Several plays have enjoyed acclaimed productions.  “Power Play” enjoyed an extended run at The Billie Holiday Theater, earning Lincoln Center Library’s honor of inclusion in their prestigious Bound Edition of “Highlights from the 2005 New York Theater Season”.  In its previous production, “Power Play” won the coveted Audelco Award for Best play.


Debra Ann Byrd | Take Wing And Soar Productions, Inc. [Producer] founded in 1999 by classically trained actress Debra Ann Byrd, is a women-led, New York State, 501© 3 Professional Theatre Arts Corporation, dedicated to supporting women, youth & especially classically trained actors of color.  In its brief history, Take Wing And Soar Productions has enjoyed many successes including the creation of The TWAS Theatre Project, The TWAS Classical Lab Reading Series, The Take Wing And Soar “Spirit of Excellence Awards” and the Hackney Harlem International Youth Project. The theatre company is the 2009-2010 recipient of the LPTW Lucille Lortel Award, presented in recognition of the theatre’s body of work in the community, audience development in Harlem – and in celebration of the “International Exchange Program” between Take Wing And Soar Productions and London’s Hackney Empire Theatre. Other honors include five AUDELCO Awards & 24 AUDELCO  Award  nominations for  its  mainstage  productions  of  Richard III, The Darker Face of the Earth, Hamlet, Medea, King Lear, Pecong and ANTONY & CLEOPATRA.  MASSINISSA is TWAS’ 31st production and tenth main stage project. For more information about Take Wing And Soar visit us online at www.takewingandsoar.org.


Voza Rivers | New Heritage Theatre Group [Producer] is the oldest Black nonprofit theater company in New York City. NHTG was originally established in 1964 under the name New Heritage Repertory Theatre by the late Roger Furman, a revered playwright, director, actor and lecturer who began his career in the 1940s with the American Negro Theatre in Harlem. It was created to present entertaining, informative and quality productions and to preserve and institutionalize classic works of Black theatre. In 1983, Voza Rivers, an award winning music and theatre producer took over the company.  Today, New Heritage Theatre Group serves the community through presentations of entertaining, informative and quality productions of performing arts events, stage readings, and documentary shorts and films. Through its umbrella organizations Impact Repertory Theatre, Furman Theatre Rep and New Heritage Films we reach out to the New York City and world community, giving training, exposure and experience to new and emerging artists. Our works reflect the historical, social, and political experiences of African and Latino descendants in America and abroad. We seek to bring attention to works by international writers, directors and performing artists who have achieved success in their respective country but lack exposure in the United States.                                      


*Denotes Member AEA



  DATES & TIMES:   December 7 – December 18, 2011

                                      Tues – Sat @ 8pm, Sun @ 3pm & 8pm      


             THEATRE:        The Poet’s Den Theater

                                      309 East 108th Street [Just Off 2nd Avenue]


               TICKETS:       $18 . General Admission | $15. Students & Seniors | Group sales available 10+

                                      $30. Opening Night Gala Performance and Reception [December 7th at 7pm]


RESERVATIONS:      OvationTix  (212) 352-3101 or visit www.takewingandsoar.org





This Mainstage Production of MASSINISSA is presented in part by The New York City Department Of Cultural Affairs, New York City Council, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, New York City Council Member Inez E. Dickens, The New York City Council Committee On Cultural Affairs, Libraries And International Intergroup Relations, Jimmy Van Bramer, Chair, The New York State Council On The Arts with the support of Govenor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Lesilature, and The Arlen Charitable Trust.  The actors appear courtesy of Actor's Equity Association.  Take Wing And Soar Productions is a member theatre of The Broadway League.  New Heritage Theatre is a member theatre of The Coalition of Theatres of Color.