About Ugly Is A Hard Pill

Offering a hilarious and sometimes emotional glimpse into the lives of those looking for love in all the wrong places, UGLY IS A HARD PILL centers on African American couple Keef & Lena...both are "on the down low" and their love lives are scandalous! But as this couple's false realities are shattered, sexual orientation proves to be the least of their concerns in this ballsy and moving comedy that reminds us of our ability to impact our own lives in positive and sometimes very ugly ways.

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT & CO-PRODUCER

Photograph of Andrea J. FultonAndrea J. Fulton, born and raised in Chicago, is the youngest of a family who all but her, hail from the New Orleans area. At eight, she began writing poetry, then songs, presentations, speeches and other literary work that garnered acclaim.  By the age of 17 she had won numerous awards for her poetry, in science, for writing, for public speaking and in engineering.  While still a young adult, she designed a motivational seminar inspiring peers and adults alike to think positively, expect the most from themselves and see the best in others.  She maintains a goal of communicating in classic ways wherein her work including her songs transcend time and maintain relevance for people regardless of age or background.  She enjoys challenging common ways of thinking and likes to remind people of the importance of family, the value of kind thought and deed and the power of love, faith and acceptance, not only of others but also of ourselves. Andrea is a graduate of Northwestern University, has managed Community Organizations, served on community leadership panels and in New York City government for 30 years.  She maintains a goal of raising the bar in the writing and production of great theatrical showcases.  “One Drop”, based on some of her family history is 1800’s Louisiana is an award winning play of hers that inspires conversations about skin color and racial disharmony from a previously untold perspective. She most recently enjoyed a successful run of her latest play Ugly is a Hard Pill which enjoyed full houses and standing ovations and has been invited to tour.  She has three new plays currently in development.

ABOUT THE ASSISTANT TO THE PLAYWRIGHT & CO-PRODUCER

Photogragh of DaisyLee H. SprauveDaisyLee H. Sprauve is new to this pivotal role. Chosen as Toastmaster of the Year by Federal Toastmasters 2009-2010, DaisyLee enjoys stepping up without hesitation or delay, takes pride in being where she needs to be, and doing whatever she needs to do to be indispensable.  And she is!  An expert in exercising superior organizational skills and diplomacy, she uses her Midas touch to bring calm and order under pressure.  Her outgoing manner, confidence, quick smile & wit teamed with resourcefulness, and a swift yet tempered demeanor ensures she is an awesome right hand person truly garnering respect and cooperation and making a difference with every goal of this organization and with every aspect of this production.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR / CHOREOGRAPHER

Photograph of Leslie DockeryLeslie Dockery made her Broadway directorial debut with Rollin’ on the T.O.B.A.  Her directing/choreographing credits include the revival of Don’t Bother Me I Can’t Cope (Tony Award Season / Crossroads Theater) and the original workshops of Broadway’s Smokey Joe’s Café and Off-Broadway’s Beehive. Dockery received Audelco Award Best Choreography nominations for Off-Broadway’s Little Ham, From My Hometown and The Shaneequa Chronicles. Also, Leslie’s choreography was featured in Dr. May Edward Chinn and supported Imani’s Audelco Award win for Best Director.  At the National Black Theatre, she served as choreographer for Moms starring the late great Clarice Taylor and as director / choreographer for Just A Night Out.  Regionally, she served as choreographer of the revival of One Mo’ Time at the Crossroads Theater.  Her PureGospel Musicals franchise she conceives, directs and choreographs, includes: A Pure Gospel Christmas, A Pure Gospel Valentine and A Pure Gospel America, touring and receiving rave reviews!  Leslie also choreographed Harlem Boys & Girls Alumni Choirs Special Events and Rochester’s Mercury Opera House’s production of Show Boat. In New York, she directed Cole: Revisited; A Tribute to Nat King Cole at the Triad Theatre and shared a 2010 Bistro Award for Off-Broadway’s Winds of Change. Other Broadway and regional projects included 70’s funk musical, The Funkentine Rapture, a 2011 Florida tour of Bosom Buddies and a tribute to the late Eartha Kitt in 2012.  As a performer, Leslie appeared in the Broadway productions of Eubie!, Sophisticated Ladies, The Tap Dance Kid and Amen Corner. She worked with Cab Calloway on Bubbling Brown Sugar and starred in her own critically acclaimed one woman show at the Lambs Theatre, Barbara’s Keys. Recent performances include the role of Mother Superior in Agnes of God, produced by the DeBradley Culture.  Between engagements, Leslie, who staged and choreographed Hal Jackson’s Talented Teens International Scholarship Competition for over 10 years, enjoys teaching dance and giving back to the young ladies of tomorrow. She is thrilled to be handling direction and choreography for this wonderful new piece.

 

ABOUT THE CO - DIRECTOR

Photograph of Gabrielle C. ArcherGabrielle C. Archer, is proud Assistant & Co-Director to Leslie Dockery. Gabrielle attended The Lycée Français and graduated from Amherst College, Massachusetts. Throughout her educational career, she studied theatre and performed at every opportunity -from great American musicals to classic French theatre like Molière. Upon graduating she studied at the Stella Adler and T. Schreiber Studios in NYC. For three years she was part of a Brooklyn-based traveling theatre troupe that performed a short dramatic play, One Hour 2 Live, for middle and high schools affected by gang violence throughout NY and NJ. She is a proud member of the talented network of OneWayorAnother Productions for which she has starred in films and the TV Pilot, Abandoned. Most recently, Gabrielle was part of the Harlem Shakespeare Festival as Virgilia in Coriolanus: The African Warrior. She is grateful for her ride-or-die friends & supporters. She extends a big, warm thank you to Leslie and Andrea for their vote of confidence in giving her a shot at being on The Other Side. She believes it's been a wonderful learning experience and thanks the actors, for their support!

ABOUT THE DRAMATURGE

Photograph of Susan Watson TurnerSusan Watson Turner, (Dramaturge), earned a BFA from Ohio University and MFA from Columbia University in Theatre Directing and Management.  Ms. Watson Turner has directed theatre regionally and off-Broadway for over 15 years.  Ms. Watson Turner most brings a wealth of story-telling experience from the theatre.  She has worked for the world renowned Negro Ensemble Company as Producer, Director and Board Member.  During her tenure she worked on award winning production ‘A Soldier’s Play’ with Samuel L. Jackson and Denzel Washington, toured internationally and directed ‘North 17th Street’ by Clay Goss.  NYT reviewer hails Ms. Watson Turner’s directing as ‘elegant choreography.’  Her adaptation ‘The Fire Inside – The story and poetry of Nikki Giovanni’ was produced by Karamu Theatre /Ingenuity Festival in Cleveland, Ohio; Chicago State University and The Negro Ensemble Company in New York.  She directed The Journey of Seven Guitars’ a video documentary about the development of August Wilson’s Broadway play ‘Seven Guitars’, funded by AT&T.  She also directed a short film entitled ‘The Mattress Hustle’ and is the executive producer on feature length film ‘Blinded by Love’ and teleplay “Livin’” Ms. Watson Turner is currently a Professor of Theatre / Film at Lehman College – CUNY.

 

ABOUT THE STAGE MANAGER

Photograph of Joyce PenaJoyce Pena has been in the business for over  20yrs. She has touched on many jobs in this business, from Stage Managing, Props, ASM, Lights, Sound, Hair Dressing, you name it. Some of the plays she has worked on are "Isaiah's Dream"  New York Artists Unlimited, "Three" at The Swedish Cottage, "Rock My Soul" at The Riant Theatre, "Ebony Black" NY Artists Unlimited.  She has also worked at The World Famous Laugh Factory Comedy Club.  She states it is a pleasure to work with Andrea again, wishes God’s Blessings for everyone and encourages the Cast to break a leg.

ABOUT THE SOUND DESIGNER & TECHNICAL ENGINEER

Photograph of Jacqui AnscombeJacqui Anscombe from Harlem, NYC is making her Sound Design debut with this production.  She has experience as a Sound Technician in theater and film and has been a Stage Manager, done acting and singing, is a playwright and has worked as an Administrative Assistant, Production Assistant, Technical Consultant and Promoter for Harlem Theatre Company and The Negro Ensemble Company. Jacqui earned a Bachelor of Technology degree in Entertainment Technology from The NYC College of Technology and won a scholarship from Meyer Sound to the Broadway Sound Master Classes at NYU. Credits include CORIOLANUS THE AFRICAN WARRIOR with The Harlem Shakespeare Festival, THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST with Take Wing And Soar Productions, DYLAN with City Tech Theatreworks; KNOW THY ENEMY, and A BOLT FROM THE BLUE with the HADLEY Players, ANTONY & CLEOPATRA with The Harlem Shakespeare Festival, BLACK WALL STREET with Shades of Truth Theatre and more.  Jacqui is grateful for yet another opportunity to work at what she loves: Theatre.

ABOUT THE ACTORS

*actor appears as a courtesy of Actor’s Equity Association

Photograph of Kymbali Craig

Kymbali Craig, (Lena), is a Multi-Talented rising star who uses her talent and skill to impact audiences and communities everywhere. Look out for Kymbali in award winning film "Pariah" and others. A true renaissance artist she also debuts as a filmmaker with "Skin Deep Skin Tight" a theatrical graphic poetic film that takes an artistic look at the impact of Race relations within American culture. For more info, Checkout YouTube.com, Kymbali.com, LUGyourshare.com.

Photograph of Jeffrey Holliman

Jeffrey Holliman, (Keef), born in Brooklyn, is a multi-talented gent who has been in and around the arts since high school where he began his journey training as a classical dancer.  Business administrator by day and gifted actor by night, Jeff also enjoys biking and making time for his clients who seek to be trained by this certified group and individual fitness trainer who loves motivating others in the gym and inspiring others when on stage.  He is honored to be a part of this team, up for the significant challenges of this role and looking forward to delivering memorable performances.

Photograph of Donnell E. SmithDonnell E. Smith, (Keef), continues to immerse himself in work that produces the thrill and challenge he seeks in his career through his work on productions including, "A Raisin in the Sun" (directed by Phylicia Rashad), "Camp Logan," "Flambéaux" (directed by Roderick A. Warner), and most recently, "IYOM," Donnell  is humbled by the opportunity to creatively express himself through continuous work and graciously thanks his family, friends and mentors for their invaluable love & support. Ephesians 3:20.

Actor Gareth E. Lawson, (Wick)Gareth E. Lawson, (Wick), a Brooklyn native, is an aspiring attorney holding a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice.  Some of his theater credits include lead roles as Othello in Othello, Sgt. Vernon C. Waters in A Soldier’s Play and multiple roles in the Coloured Museum, including Miss Roj and most recently a drunken writer in Marry Me, a comedy in two parts.  His musical theater credits include Scott Joplin’s Treemonisha, and Danny Ashkenasi’s The Blues According to Langston Hughes.  He received training at the Sledge Project Studio under the direction of Ward Nixon.  His main inspiration comes from Ephesians 3:30 – Now unto Him who is able to perform, exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us”.

Photograph of Mark LangMark Lang, (John), has appeared on television in multiple episodes of the MGM/UA show, “The Young Riders” and Nickelodeon’s “Hey Dude”. He continues to work extensively in independent film.  Recent stage credits include ‘Squire Alworthy’ in the musical comedy “Tom Jones”, ‘Jerry’ in “Three of a Kind with Two Wild Cards”, ‘Roy Bryant’ in “Whistle in Mississippi: The Lynching of Emmett Till”, ‘Dag Hammerskjold’ in “A Season in the Congo”, ‘Capt. Zuelke’ in “Camp Logan” and ‘White Cop’ in “The Bronx is Next”.

Photograph of Allen CriagAllen Craig Harris, (Nutty Lee), has worked as an M.C., a Maitre‘d, Concierge and an international model but he found his true love in the theatre where he has worked as an actor, director, singer, stage manager and assistant producer.  He has been seen in numerous plays including a run of Debra Chappelle - Polk’s “Forgiveness of Sins” and “Sunnyside Up”.  He has worked as an Assistant Producer for multiple shows including “Black Man Rising” by James Chapman and directed by Patricia R. Floyd and “Playing with Heine Muller” at the Castillo Theater.  He worked in stage management for “Dreams Heavier Than Air” by Jackie Roberts, “Flowers Behind the Mountain” by Barbara Bennion, “Rising” by Carolyn Nur Wistrand, “The Winter View” at the Harlem School of the Arts and for the NYC Housing Authority's 42nd and 43rd Annual Talent Shows, the latter of which appeared at the World famous Apollo Theater.  He was also Stage Manager for the 35th Annual Senior Show “Ageless” at the great Symphony Space – Peter Jay Sharp Theater on Broadway.  He thanks Andrea for the opportunity to direct the Equity run of her play “One Drop” and is delighted to work on this latest play with such talented and passionate artists.

Photograph of Denise Fair-GrantDenise Fair-Grant, (Cope), is relatively new to the stage but she has been told all her life, she is a natural.  So, after Andrea promised her more than 15 years ago that one day she would help her break into acting, she was thrilled when Andrea popped up with a role she had designed just for her so she could make good on that promise.  Having been a teacher of “the little ones” in the New York City Public School system for over 20 years, Denise feels fortunate to now have another opportunity to act in a play written by her pal Andrea.  She loves being inspired by and learning from more experienced cast members and thrives on developing her talent further.  For her, the fun and challenges never stop and she is proudly pursuing acting more vigorously since she has retired from teaching.

Photograph of Illona S. DixonIllona S. Dixon, (Sway), is an alumnus of the High School of Music & Art where she majored in voice and Queens College where she minored in Musical Theatre. Ms. Dixon has performed at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, The New York Philharmonic, Radio City Music Hall, Avery Fisher Hall and Madison Square Garden and is a member of the All-City Concert Reunion and Brooklyn Inter-denominational Choirs. Ms. Dixon, an accomplished pianist, received formal training at The Brooklyn Music School and Playhouse. Credits include: Fame (original movie); The Wiz (original stage play); Guys and Dolls; Merrily We Roll Along; Carmen; and Finian’s Rainbow.  She also enjoyed the honor of writing a song for, singing in and holding the position of Musical Director for Andrea’s highly acclaimed play “One Drop”.

Photograph of Lori LaingLori Laing, (Sway, Understudy), is thrilled to be making her debut at Theatre for the New City in this exciting production!  Lori is a graduate of Georgetown University and a native New Yorker. Her most recent credits include The Holocaust Remembrance Project, directed by Rajendra Maharaj of Red Shirt Entertainment, as well as Dividing the Estate, by Horton Foote with The Heights Players Theatre in Brooklyn Heights. She was also featured in director Linda Nieves-Powell's award winning short film, "Stereotypically Me" that appeared at the Big Apple Film Festival this fall.

Photograph of Ken BolanderKen Bolander,* (Demon), is thrilled to be working on another new piece.  Ken is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio. He appeared in the Saroyan one act “Hello, Out There,” for Out of the Box Theatre Company.  Prior to that, he played Paul, the Vietnam Vet  in “Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens” for Sweet and Tart Productions.  Ken did a reading for a new musical, “The Really Big Pirate Show.”  He has performed in many Regional Theatres, Tours and Cruise Ships.  His bread and butter roles have been Rooster in “Annie” and Pa in “Laura Ingalls Wilder.”  Ken had the opportunity to create many roles with ArtsPower National Touring Theatre.  He was lucky enough to be in Alaska, Hawaii and the Caribbean performing on Cruise Ships.  As a day job, he is a Captain for Great Performances Catering and Catherine Louise Schubert Catering; so if you need a caterer, let him know.

Photograph of Virgous "Vee" LuncefordVirgous “Vee” Lunceford, (Delroy), born in New York but raised in Georgia was always the stand up comic in his family.  So, being able to successfully entertain is nothing new to him.  The stage IS new though but he has taken to it like a bee to honey and the result is very sweet.  His hobbies are restoring cars and homes as he is good with his hands, learns quickly and enjoys helping make a difference.  He is a family man that is getting a late start on stage but for everyone who sees him they know it is better late than never as he is a joy to watch and hear as he is also good at doing impressions and accents.  He is happy to be a part of this cool cast who are all doing what he lives so much, making people laugh!

Photograph of J'rome Andre J’rome Andre (Evilness), is an award winning performer born in St. Louis, Missouri who has performed since age 14, with such greats as Tramaine Hawkins and Stephanie Mills.  He starred  as James Thunder Earley in “Dreamgirls” in New York, and with Dee Dee Bridgewater in “Ain’t Misbehaving” in Montreal.  He also starred as Cookie with David Peaston in “I’m Doing the Right Thing with the Wrong Man”.  J’rome received an Audelco award for his starring role in “Satan Never Sleeps” and has performed on the David Letterman Show.  He sang in “The Handszame Blues Festival in Belguim, “Blues Estafette’ in Holland and in the U.S. Tour of “Motown Revue”.  J’rome has toured Europe  recording with Bettye Lavette and also recorded on Hershey Barr Records.  Recently he appeared with the world’s most recorded drummer, Bernard Purdie at Jimmy Mak’s in Portland, Oregon.  This inspired him to record the sultry, smooth jazz cd “Evolution”.  J’rome’s recent DeepHouse release “Tell Me” is available on Tracksource.  He performs internationally, laying down his dance tracks.  His unique and memorable voice will pierce your soul.  J’rome Andre is grateful and thoughful and is an ideal complement to this project.

Photograph of Grabrielle C. ArcherGabrielle C. Archer, (Understudy for Evilness).  is proud Assistant & Co-Director to Leslie Dockery. Gabrielle attended The Lycée Français and graduated from Amherst College, Massachusetts. Throughout her educational career, she studied theatre and performed at every opportunity -from great American musicals to classic French theatre like Molière. Upon graduating she studied at the Stella Adler and T. Schreiber Studios in NYC. For three years she was part of a Brooklyn-based traveling theatre troupe that performed a short dramatic play, One Hour 2 Live, for middle and high schools affected by gang violence throughout NY and NJ. She is a proud member of the talented network of OneWayorAnother Productions for which she has starred in films and the TV Pilot, Abandoned. Most recently, Gabrielle was part of the Harlem Shakespeare Festival as Virgilia in Coriolanus: The African Warrior. She is grateful for her ride-or-die friends & supporters. She extends a big, warm thank you to Leslie and Andrea for their vote of confidence in giving her a shot at being on The Other Side. She believes it's been a wonderful learning experience and thanks the actors, for their support!

Photograph of M. James EalyM. James Ealy, (Understudy for Wick, Nutty Lee & Delroy), hails from West Palm Beach, FL via Indiana. He has studied acting at Cornell University, AIA Studios and Harlem Theatre Company. After over a decade hiatus from New York stages, he returned in 2012. He has been gaining momentum ever since. He dedicates his performances in this piece to all of his male cousins, brothers, uncles and friends who constantly inspire his characters to live bravely and truthfully.

Photograph of Leicester LandonLeicester Landon*, (Understudy for Demon & John), is a proud graduate of the Brown/Trinity Rep MFA program in Acting & Directing. Credits include CHARLES/CORIN - As You Like It; LABO - Melena - (a new play by alum Emily Young @ Playwrights Rep). Favorite roles studied include ESTRAGON - Waiting For Godot; BERTRAM - All's Well That Ends Well. He is the artistic intern for The Civilians, most recently helping to develop their series Let Me Ascertain You. Leicester is grateful to Ken and the company for his Theater for the New City debut.

ABOUT THE MAKE-UP ARTIST & HAIR STYLIST

Aaron Williams is also a fashion stylist  and a singer and has been an Alvin Ailey Dancer.  Aaron has worked for Fashion Fair, Revlon and Mac Cosmetics.  He is a hair extension specialist who has done hair and makeup for print, runway, showroom, theater and television.  Clients have included Chaka Khan, Diana Ross, Patti Labelle, Cindy Crawford, Mary J. Blige, Queen Latifa, Jesse Jackson, Coretta Scott King and Oma Bongo, President of Gabon, South Africa.  He has won numerous competitions during his 15 years of working in the beauty, fashion and entertainment industries.

MORE OF THE PROFESSIONALS ON OUR TEAM

SET DESIGN - MARK MARCANTE

ASST. SET DESIGN & SET DRESSING -LYTZA COLON

LIGHTING DESIGN - ALEX BARTENIEFF

WARDROBE DESIGN - ANITA ELLIS

VIDEOGRAPHY - CORENE STEWART

PHOTOGRAPHY - BRIGITTE EMANUEL

GRAPHIC ART - APRIL SERRETTE

PUBLICITY - SAM MORRIS PR

Anderson & Bert Cade Fulton Foundation

                       Preforming Arts for Adults

"The writing in some parts of this play is so exceptional that if I didn't know it was impossible, I'd think the play was written by Lorraine Hansberry." - Bill Bradford, Theater Aficionado

    Board of Directors    

            Andrea J. Fulton

Founder & Executive Director

 

           Illona S. Dixon

               Treasurer

                   Carol L. Hawkes

                    Secretary

                  Denise Fair-Grant

 

                  Allen Craig Harris

 

                        Crista E. Noel

 

             LaVerne M. Reid, Ph.D.

 

Consultants

                Crystal Field

   Co-Founder & Executive Director

        Theater for the New City

                L. Earl Ford, Ed.D.

              President / Founder

 Nia Theatrical Production Company

                   Ward Nixon

         Director & Acting Coach

             TCA Acting Studios

                           Michael Scott-Price

          Director of New Projects

         Theater for the New City

©2016 Anderson & Bert Cade Fulton Foundation. All rights reserved.