A singer at a crossroads seeks a spiritual rebirth
in the life and people she left behind
Black is the Color of my Voice
In Association with Midtown International Theatre Festival
A singular talent who rose from child prodigy in the 1930â€™s American South to become the soulful voice of a generation looks for redemption inÂ Black is the Color of my Voice,Â a one-woman musical drama written and performed byÂ singer and actress Apphia CampbellÂ about choices, family ties and the ever-present sting of racial hatred.
Directed by Arran Hawkins and presented by Play the Spotlight Productions,Â Black is the Color of my VoiceÂ will be performed at the Jewel Box Theater atÂ 312 West 36th StreetÂ on Monday, July 22nd atÂ 9pm, Friday, July 26th atÂ 6pmÂ and Sunday, July 28 atÂ 1:30pm.Â Â The approximate running time of the show is 1 hour, 45 minutes.
When Mena Bordeux started playing the piano at the age of three, she seemed destined for greatness until she found her path blocked by prejudice. Supported by those who believed in her, she continued to pursue her dream of being a classical pianist until, needing money for school, she became a salon singer, warbling bluesÂ and other tunes which her mother called â€œthe devilâ€™s musicâ€.Â Â Mena’s passion for music grew even as it drove many of those she cared for away â€“ including the man she loved.
In the 1960â€™s with the civil rights movement beginning and the world about to explode, Mena finds a new outlet for her passions and her music. But whenÂ youthful idealism smashes into the concrete bulwark of reality, all thatâ€™s left is a downward spiral of wrong choices, where even an attempted spiritual awakening may be too late to make things right.
Inspired by the life of an American soul legend,Â Black is the Color of my VoiceÂ looks at one womanâ€™s breathtaking and heartbreaking journey from her religious beginnings to the soaring heights of possibilities and the inevitable fall and attempt to rise again that follow.Â Songs performed in the show include “Feeling Good,” “I Put a Spell on You” and many others.
Black is the Color of my VoiceÂ was first performed in May & June of this year inÂ Shanghai, where it was sold out for all its performances and received enthusiastically positive critical reviews.Â Â It will debut in NYC atÂ the Jewel Box Theater, located atÂ 312 West 36th Street, on the fourth floor. Performance times are Monday, July 22nd atÂ 9pm, Friday, July 26th atÂ 6pmÂ and Sunday, July 28 atÂ 1:30pm.Â Â Tickets are $18, $15 for students and seniors and are available by callingÂ 866-811-4111Â or online atÂ https://web.ovationtix.com/
Apphia CampbellÂ is a trained singer and actress from theÂ United StatesÂ who has been performing since the age of four.Â Â She attendedFloridaÂ InternationalÂ UniversityÂ where she graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Theatre Performance. There, she was a founding member of Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe,Â which has been in existence now for 10 years, and has won several performance awards inSarasota,Â FL.Â She moved toÂ New YorkÂ after graduation where she performed in regional theatres and off-Broadway houses. In 2009, she moved toÂ ShanghaiÂ where she has been singing blues, jazz, and pop in venues such as Cotton Club, Park Hyatt, Brick, and Le Meridian Hotel.Â Â She wrote and producedÂ Josephinaâ€™s HolidayÂ – a modern day Motown Christmas story, and has performed with Blue Lane Theatre Group as Ines in Sartreâ€™sÂ No Exit.Â Â Black is the Color of my VoiceÂ is the third play sheâ€™s written, and the one she feels most passionate about. Apphia believes that pursuing your passion is showing appreciation for the gifts you receive.
Arran HawkinsÂ is an actor, director and artist fromÂ Cornwall,Â UK, who has been involved in theÂ ShanghaiÂ theatre scene since 2008. Recent theatre credits includeÂ A Christmas CarolÂ (Marley’s ghost),Â King LearÂ (Cornwall),Â Private Ado About NothingÂ (Benedick),Â The Real Inspector HoundÂ (Moon) andÂ The Snow Queen, which he co-wrote and directed.Â Â In addition to directingÂ Black is the Color of my VoiceÂ he is currently working on an adaptation ofÂ Alice In WonderlandÂ for production in 2013.Â Â ArranÂ recently played the lead inÂ The Collector, an independent feature film shot inÂ Hong KongÂ in 2012 and also appeared inÂ ShanghaiÂ Calling, Ghosts of theÂ ImperialÂ Palace,Â andÂ Shanghai Strangers.
Play the Spotlight ProductionsÂ was founded by Apphia Campbell and Rami Abunameh, and its focus is on developing new works which are cultural, musical, and entertaining.
Midtown International Theatre Festivalâ€™sÂ 2013 Season runs from July 15 â€“Â August 4, 2013.Â John ChattertonÂ created the MITF in 2000, a Midtown alternative to other theatre festivals, as a way to present the finest Off-Off Broadway talent in convenience, comfort, and safety.Â In 2003, the MITF moved its activities to their current location, theÂ TheatreÂ BuildingÂ onÂ W. 36th St., where it has been successfully ensconced since.Â In 2008 the Festival expanded from two theatres in that building to four, at the WorkShop Theater Company and Abingdon Theatre Company spaces. The MITFâ€™s artistic emphasis is on the script itself, and therefore the Festival focuses on effective but minimal production values.Â For more information, visitÂ www.midtownfestival.org.