About this project
The play “Holding On ~ Letting Go” by Bryan Harnetiaux which had its World Premiere at the Fremont Centre Theatre in South Pasadena, has been chosen to be a Mainstage show at the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, North Carolina July 29, 2013-Aug 3, 2013!
Why we feel this project is important:
Holding On-Letting Go is an affirmation of living that evokes tremendous understanding of end of life issues and our theatergoers have praised this beautifully written and performed play as having affected them in a deeply meaningful way. We feel that it is important to bring it to a wider audience.
About The Play:
Holding On~Letting Go by Bryan Harnetiaux is about a long-married couple, Bobby and Lee. Bobby, a 51-year-old basketball coach-turned-insurance salesman, is in failing health.
As his physical condition declines further, Bobby finds himself confronted by choices: fight for every breath and explore every conceivable avenue in the hope that things will improve, or make preparations for a graceful exit.
Yet there are still many things left unsaid and undone between Lee and Bobby. Now that time may be running out, these things are brought into sharp focus.
This production re-unites director James Reynolds and playwright Bryan Harnetiaux, who last worked together on the World Premiere production of National Pastime, the hit play about Jackie Robinson that ran for half a year at the Fremont Centre Theatre.
The Cast (in alphabetical order): Amentha Dymally, Lamar Hughes, Christian Malmin, Iona Morris, Jill Remez and Barry Wiggins.
Praise for "Holding On~Letting Go"
"Bryan Harnetiaux's play,Holding On~Letting Go,offers a great night of theatre,full of humor,warmth, and rich relationships. It also provides a rich opportunity for self-examination and community dialogue on fundamental questions surrounding death and dying." - Lisa McGahey Veglahn, Senior Program Officer,Hospice Foundation of America.
"I sat transfixed by the play, connected to its emotions, linked to its realities…magnificently directed by James Reynolds… ." -Al Martinez, Daily News
"To say more would be to spoil the brilliantly staged Holding On ~ Letting Go, which is as good as it gets as far as theatre going goes." -Courtney Blackburn, Pasadena Independent
“Intelligently written, passionately acted….so many in the audience are so touched….The true strength of this production is the performers themselves, who take this gentle script and make it vividly real.” -Frances Baum Nicholson, Pasadena Star-News
Iona Morris "gives an impassioned, award-winning performance...Engrossing, on the edge of your seat drama….There wasn’t a dry eye in the house…Touching, gut-wrenching….The chemistry between Morris and Wiggins is on point…James Reynolds’ directing is tight yet fluid.” -Darlene Donloe, Donloe’s Lowdown
"Directed with gut-wrenching realism by James Reynolds, assisted by his son Jed…Barry Wiggins, as Bobby, gives a heartfelt and brilliantly focused performance….Jill Remez gives a touchingly compassionate portrayal…Amentha Dymally as Bobby’s quirky mother is a bittersweet riot…" -Pat Taylor, The Tolucan Times
“Bryan Harnetiaux gives us a clear view of honesty from which we can identify….Barry Wiggins’ performance is powerful and flawless….The Reynolds’ dedication to the arts is evident in the quality of performance they provide through their shows throughout the year.” -Kristi Tisor Ambriz, Life In LA
“GO! This is, in many ways, a drama about capitulation, made both chastening and harrowing by its attention to clinical and psychological details.” -Steven Leigh Morris, LA. Weekly
With your support we will be able to:
- Buy airline tickets for cast and crew
- Pay for additional hotel rooms for crew
- Mail props and costumes
- Buy equipment
- Build set in North Carolina
- Print promotional materials
- Van rental
- Produce two preview Bon Voyage shows at the Fremont Centre Theatre, before leaving to North Carolina, for the National Black Theatre Festival
Join Us at the National Black Theatre Festival!
To purchase tickets for "Holding On~Letting Go in North Carolina, visit their website: www.nbtf.org.
Performance Dates: Friday August 2nd - Saturday August 3rd @ 3pm & 8pm. Location: Wake Forest Main Stage in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. We look forward to seeing you!
About the National Black Theatre Festival
The National Black Theatre Festival (NBTF) was founded in 1989 by Larry Leon Hamlin in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Serving as its executive director, Hamlin’s goal in creating the Festival was "to unite black theatre companies in America to ensure the survival of the genre into the next millennium". Held biennially since 1989 for six days, the NBTF showcases the best in African-American theater.
Today, The NBTF brings nearly 60,000 people to Winston-Salem. In addition to over 100 theatrical performances, highlights of the Festival are the Opening Night Gala, the Readers' Theatre of New Works, and the Youth/Celebrity Project.
Risks and challenges
When we closed our original run of "Holding On-Letting Go" at the Fremont Centre Theatre in the summer of 2012, we thought, wouldn't it be wonderful to take this play to the National Black Theater Festival In Winston-Salem, North Carolina. We knew there would be a risk in getting the play accepted, going back to rehearsal and producing this special theatrical work again. However, taking a risk and moving forward is always the challenge of art. The excitement of art is the empty canvass, the blank page, the unshaped block of clay and the unoccupied stage.
As each of the actors eagerly said yes to recapturing their roles, we knew that the adventure was beginning once more. Our excitement grew when our stage manager, crew, and designers said yes to working with us again.
It is difficult financially to move a production of this quality from one coast to another. With your help we will step toward the risk and embrace the challenge.
-James Reynolds, Director, "Holding On~Letting Go"Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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