Paley Premieres 'On The Way to Timbuktu' at Ensemble Dec.6
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by BWW News Desk
Ensemble Studio Theatre proudly announces the World Premiere of On The Way to Timbuktu, a new play written by and starring Petronia Paley, directed by Talvin Wilks. Performances begin December 6 as a limited engagement through December 21 only. Ensemble Studio Theatre is located at 549 West 52nd Street (between 10th & 11th Avenues).
"Dr. Selene Slater-Bernaud, also known as Slim, teaches a class scrutinizing Shakespeare's sonnets titled The Poetics of Race…The Politics of Beauty. After years in a caring interracial marriage, she finds herself in love with a female student. Grappling with personal demons that threaten to destroy her, Slim's past and present collide as she confronts the poetry and politics of her heart," explain press notes.
On The Way to Timbuktu will have music composed and performed by Min Xiao-Fen as well as scenic and lighting design by Maruti Evans, costume design by Suzanne Chesney, and projections designed by Maya Ciarrocchi.
Petronia Paley last performed in Electra as Clytemnestra at the Classical Theatre of Harlem. Other credits include Gertrude, in Hamlet at the Take Wings and Soar Productions; The New Federal Theatre's It Hasn't Always Been This Way; Dr. Iris Preston in the Ensemble Studio Theatre's Relativity (Audelco nomination); Gratiana in The Revenger's Tragedy (Red Bull); On Golden Pond (Broadway and the Kennedy Center); Madame Ranevskya in The Cherry Orchard (Audelco nomination), The Classical Theatre of Harlem; Jocasta/Eurydice, The Oedipus Plays (Shakespeare Theatre); Regan, King Lear (Yale Repertory); Hecuba, Trojan Women (Shakespeare Theatre, Helen Haynes nomination); and Prosecutor, The Trial (New Federal Theatre, Audelco Award). She is a veteran of daytimeTV, creating long running characters on "Guiding Light" and "Another World." She is artistic director of FIRST READINGS at the Nuyorican Poets Café, presenting play readings of emerging playwrights and has written the plays: The Empty-Hand Traveler Set No Limit to Her Desires, The Psycho-genesis of Sexuality in a Woman, The Moon Bearer and a children's book She is a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre, the Red Bull Theatre and the Actor's Studio and the Dramatist Guild.
Talvin Wilks is a playwright, director and dramaturg. His plays include Tod, the boy, Tod, The Trial of Uncle S&M, Bread of Heaven, and An American Triptych. Directorial projects include the world premiere productions of UDU by Sekou Sundiata, Pagan Operetta and No Black Male Show by Carl Hancock Rux, Legends by Leslie Lee, and the Obie/AUDELCO Award winning, The Shaneequa Chronicles by Stephanie Berry. He received an AUDELCO Award nomination for Best Director for the New York premiere of Relativity by Cassandra Medley. He has served as co-writer/dramaturg for seven productions in Ping Chong's ongoing series of Undesirable Elements, and dramaturg for four collaborations with the Bebe Miller Company, Necessary Beauty, Going to the Wall, the Bessie Award winning, Verge, and Landing/Place for which he received a 2006 Bessie Award. He is currently writing a book on black theatre, Testament: 40 Years of Black Theatre History in the Making, 1964-2004.
Tickets for On The Way to Timbuktu are $18 (Students/Seniors $12) for all performances, which are Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 8PM with matinees Sunday at 2pm. Tickets available through Theatermania.com at 212/352-3101. Visit E.S.T. on the Internet at www.ensemblestudiotheatre.org