R. Erin Craig presents staged readings of Mr. Rickey Calls a Meeting (written by Ed Schmidt) on Thursday, November 29th and Friday, November 30th in New York City. The industry-only staged readings are open by invitation only.
Mr. Rickey Calls a Meeting was produced early this year by the 2011 Tony Award-winning Lookingglass Theatre Company in Chicago. The Lookingglass production was also directed by J. Nicole Brooks and was nominated for three Joseph Jefferson Awards for Best Production, Best Director and Best Ensemble.
April 9, 1947 - Baseball’s Opening Day is one week away, and Branch Rickey, General Manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, will call up Jackie Robinson to break the color-barrier and play as the Major League’s first black ballplayer. If he does, Robinson will face loud and heated opposition from virtually every owner, manager, and player in baseball – and it won’t be a cakewalk with the fans, either. Who will be his allies if he makes the most daring and important play of his life?
J. Nicole Brooks (Black Diamond, Fedra: Queen of Haiti) directs this dazzling fast-ball script by Ed Schmidt. When 1947’s biggest African American personalities – baseball great-to-be Jackie Robinson, boxer Joe Louis, entertainer Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, actor and activist Paul Robeson – meet, ideas and ideals clash and sparks fly, and America’s national pastime will never be the same.
Mr. Rickey Calls a Meeting features Justiin Davis (“Boardwalk Empire”), Anthony Fleming III (Jitney at the Court Theatre, Mr Rickey Calls A Meeting), Dion Graham (An Enemy of the People), Javon Johnson (Lombardi, Mr Rickey Calls A Meeting), Ernest Perry (Puddin n’ Pete (Jeff Award Nomination), Mr Rickey Calls A Meeting) and Tom Wopat (Catch Me If You Can, Sondheim on Sondheim) as Branch Rickey. The reading is stage managed by Bernita Robinson with casting consultation by Wojcik | Seay Casting and general management by Bespoke Theatricals.
Ed Schmidt (Author) is best known for two plays he wrote and performed in his Brooklyn home: The Last Supper, in which he cooked a four-course meal for the audience, and My Last Play, in which he gave away all of his two thousand theater books, one to each audience member. His more conventional plays have been produced by the Lookingglass Theatre, Old Globe, Pasadena Playhouse, George Street Playhouse, Philadelphia Live Arts Festival, Bonn (Germany) Biennale, Kennedy Center, Composers Collaborative, Sacramento Theater Company, Chicago Theater Company, L.A. Theater Works, West Bank Café, Cornelia Street Café, and the Ironbound Theater.
J. Nicole Brooks (Director) is an actor, playwright, director, blogger and demigod. In 2007 her debut play Black Diamond: The Years the Locusts Have Eaten she co-directed with David Catlin (2007 Joseph Jefferson Award Nominations) was commissioned & produced by the Lookingglass Theatre to critical acclaim. She also penned Fedra Queen of Haiti (2009 Black Theatre Alliance Award) commissioned & produced by Lookingglass Theatre Company. She is recipient of the TCG Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowship (Round 4), also the 2011 American Theatre Wing Tony Award with Lookingglass Theatre Ensemble, Black Theatre Alliance Award Best Actress 2010, LA Ovation Award Best Featured Actress 2008. In 2011 she was invited by the ITIWorldwide global theatre congress in Xiamen, China as a US delegate to write & act in an original production collaborating with artists from 13 other countries around the world. The NPG (New Project Group) was directed by Frank Düwel and under artistic advisement of Gunther Beelitz and Emilya Cachapero. For the 2011-12 season she served as director to the critically acclaimed and Jeff nominated production of Mr. Rickey Calls A Meeting (BTAA, African American Alliance Award & Jeff Award Nominations) by Ed Schmidt and acted in Immediate Family (BTAA & Jeff Award Nominations) directed by Phylicia Rashad at the Goodman Theatre. She is an ensemble member with Lookingglass Theatre Company and an Associate of Collaboration Theatre. Currently she has several plays in writing development and continues building her acting career.
R. Erin Craig / La Vie Productions (Producer) is dedicated to developing, producing and managing new works, fostering new talent and attracting new audiences. Other current projects include Academy (by John Mercurio and Andrew Cato), Still Getting My Act Together (by Gretchen Cryer and Nancy Ford), Taking Step Three13 (a rock/funk/hip-hop adaptation of Dostoevsky's "Crime and Punishment"), Bridesburg (a new film based on the play) and How We Got Away With It (an original film directed by Jon Lindstom). Current general management projects include Let's Kill Grandma This Christmas, The Jazz Age, Spin, LIBERTY A Monumental New Musical, Managing Maxine and Hereafter, the Musical. www.LaVieProductions.com