LA Stages Unite to Present Music & Movement for Upcoming Dramatic Biddy Mason Play

Biddy Mason Play Inner City Arts

DTLA history buffs are in for a treat as the The Fountain Theatre’s “Fountain for Youth” arts education wing joins forces with Inner-City Arts, The Autry Museum of the American West and CounterBalance Theater to present Biddy Mason, a theatrical blend of video projection, music, song, movement and dramatic storytelling that brings the powerful and inspiring true story a former slave turned Los Angeles real estate mogul/philantropist to life.

Featured photo: Mary Hill & Aziza Stewart – Photo by Paul Kennedy

Based on a short story by Dana Johnson and adapted and directed by Annie Loui, Biddy Mason dramatizes theremarkable, little-known story of Bridget “Biddy” Mason who, born enslaved, who after marching 1700 miles on foot alongside her owner’s wagon train from Mississippi to California, won her freedom in court, saved money she earned as a midwife and nurse, and transformed herself into a successful businesswoman and philanthropist who built schools, fed the poor, and helped launch the First AME Church.

“Biddy Mason’s life unfolds from enslavement to entrepreneurship, inspiring audiences young and old,” says Loui. “Her tale must be told — particularly to inner-city young people, who feel empowered watching an exceptional woman of color rise from hopelessness and poverty to become a leading citizen of Los Angeles. This production will be the first live, professional performance of a theatrical work for many inner-city students. They will remember this experience all their lives.”

The Ensemble – Photo by Paul Kennedy

Founded in 1989, Inner-City Arts brings the benefits of a safe, creative environment to children in downtown neighborhoods, engaging young people in the creative process in order to shape a society of creative, confident and collaborative individuals.

Abel Garcia and Julian Tushabe – Photo by Paul Kennedy

The Fountain Theatre’s Fountain for Youth arts education umbrella also includes Fountain Voices, providing students in under-served schools with the opportunity to tell their own stories while engaging with each other through acting games and writing exercises.

Together with The Autry Museum of the American West known for bringing together the stories of all peoples of the American West, and CounterBalance Theater  located on the campus of UC Irvine that constructs physical theater based on great literature, the 

Ten student performances of Biddy Mason will take place May 20 through May 24. Two public performances will take place on Friday, May 31 and Saturday, June 1, each at 8 p.m. Parking is free in the lot across the street from the theater. The Inner City Arts Theater is located at 720 Kohler St. 
Los Angeles, CA 90021.

Author: Jackson Roberts

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