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rogue, (rôg), n. [<16th-c. thieves' slang <L.rogare, to ask]


Recipient of the
2012 American Theatre Wing
National Theatre Company Award

 

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The Cast of 'Celia, A Slave'

While set in the past, this unflinching, brutally honest play is relevant to many of the issues facing our nation to this day.
—Andrew Brown, Arizona Public Media

Images and thoughts from Celia keep tapping on my shoulder unexpectedly since Friday.
—Christopher Wendel, Audience Member

Incredible, important, and heart breaking.
—Chrysta Faye, Audience Member

Friends, do something for your soul and go see Celia, A Slave,
a most-timely and remarkable production by the The Rogue Theatre,
written by our very own Barbara Seyda, a brilliant genius.
Actors are fully embodied and incredible, choreography by Barbea Williams is magic,
music by Jake Sorgen and Vicki Brown lifts the theatre,
and incredible direction and staging by Cynthia Meier brings to life the cruelty and grace of a horrific era.
A story set in 1855 Missouri could not have more relevance to every year that followed, including this one.
Art is what we need. Go see it.
—Kimi Eisele, Audience Member

'Celia, A Slave' by Barbara Seyda

Celia, A Slave

by Barbara Seyda

PRODUCTION SPONSORS:
PAT AND JOHN HEMANN

Directed by Cynthia Meier
Music Direction and Original Composition by Jake Sorgen

September 7–24, 2017

Thursday–Saturday 7:30 P.M., Sunday 2:00 P.M.
plus 2:00 P.M.matinees Saturday, September 16 & 23
All remaining performancs are sold out.
You may call The Rogue Ticket Line at 520-551-2053
to be added to a waiting list.

Discussion with the cast and director follows all performances

Performance Schedule

The Rogue Theatre at The Historic Y
300 East University Boulevard

Free Off-Street Parking
See Map and Parking Information

Winner of the prestigious 2015 Yale Drama Series playwriting competition.
Based on court records of an 1855 case of the killing of a slaveholder by one of his slaves
whom he had repeatedly raped over the course of years.
An unflinching confrontation with an American original sin.

 

Producer Andrew Brown of Arizona Public Meida has created a nine-minute video on Celia, A Slave,
with footage from two rehearsals and interviews with actors and the director.

 

Vaune Suitt as Celia and Sterling Boyns as George

Vaune Suitt as Celia and Sterling Boyns as George

At the dance

At the Dance

 

Don't tell this story

“Don’t tell this story”

All photos by Tim Fuller

 

Supporting Materials

Barbara Seyda, Playwright

Barbara Seyda, Playwright

Dr. Stephanie Troutman         Dr. Kevin Byrne

Drs. Stephanie Troutman  and Kevin Byrne, UA Africana Studies

On Saturday, September 2nd, 2017, The Rogue presented a free open talk with Playwright Barbara Seyda and Drs. Stephanie Troutman and Kevin Byrne from UA Africana Studies. They discussed the writing of the play, black female slave narratives and African-American representation in theatre.

Listen to a podcast of the open talk.

For more background on the play, check out Jerry James’ essay
“A Short History of Slavery in the United States”

This open talk was supported in part by a generous gift from Pat & John Danloe.

Also, enjoy this KLPX “Straight Talk with Debbi.” radio interview
with Vaune Suitt and Sterling Boyns from the cast of Celia, A Slave.

Poster

View the full-sized poster for the play

Celia, A Slave poster image courtesy of the University of Missouri, Kansas City,
School of Law “Famous Trials” project, is believed to depict the slave Celia.

More information and links to other resources on Celia’s trial can be found here.

 


 

Press

Celia, A Slave filled with timeless wisdom

Review of Celia, A Slave by Chuck Graham on September 12 in Let The Show Begin! at TucsonStage.com

Powerful Celia is a play for our time

Review of Celia, A Slave by Kathleen Allen to appear in the September 14 Arizona Daily Star

Read others’ reviews of The Rogue Theatre, or write your own review on TripAdvisor!

 

Direction

Cynthia Meier, Director

Cynthia Meier (Director) is Co-Founder and Managing and Associate Artistic Director for The Rogue Theatre where she has adapted and directed James Joyce’s The Dead, Kafka’s Metamorphosis and F. Scott Fitzgerald's Tales of the Jazz Age, and directed The White Snake, Miss Julie, Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, The Merchant of Venice, Waiting for Godot, Jerusalem, Betrayal, Arcadia, Richard III, Journey to the West, The Winter’s Tale, Shipwrecked!, New-Found-Land, Old Times, The Tempest, Naga Mandala, The Four of Us, Othello, Animal Farm, Orlando, Happy Days, The Good Woman of Setzuan, The Fever and The Cherry Orchard. She holds a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from the University of Arizona. She is co-founder of Bloodhut Productions, a company performing original monologues and comedy improvisation, which toured throughout the western United States. She also directed The Seagull (featuring Ken Ruta) for Tucson Art Theatre, and she directed Talia Shire in Sister Mendelssohn and Edward Herrmann in Beloved Brahms for Chamber Music Plus Southwest. Cynthia received the Mac Award for Best Director, Drama for Richard III in 2013, and for Arcadia in 2014. She has been nominated for seven Mac Awards for Best Actress from the Arizona Daily Star, and in 2008, she received the Mac Award for Best Actress for her performance of Stevie in Edward Albee’s The Goat at The Rogue Theatre.
Cynthia Meier’s direction of Celia, A Slave is supported in part by a generous gift from John & Diane Wilson.

Notes from the Director

One night in rehearsal, I was encouraging our youngest cast member, Destiny, to speak louder. I told her to imagine someone really special, someone who needed to hear her story in the center of the back row. She considered what I said, and asked, “You mean, someone like the President?” All of us in the room looked down at our shoes or at each other, not quite knowing what to say to this young girl’s question. Finally, I said, “No, Destiny, I don’t think we want the President here right now.” Without missing a beat, Destiny said, “How about Michele Obama?” We all smiled. “Yes, Destiny, imagine Michele Obama, right there in the center of the back row.”

When we decided last November to produce Barbara Seyda’s Celia, A Slave, the 2016 Presidential race had just concluded. Joe McGrath and I had read the script and both of us were impressed by it. Barbara Seyda had been a silent guest in our rehearsal hall for years, and we were thrilled by her winning of the Yale Drama Prize. We were moved by the language and characters and ideas in the play, but we wondered about our ability to produce the play in Tucson. Who would we find to be in it? How would our audience react to it? At the same time, we felt we had an important responsibility as theatre artists to present plays that would help us all think deeply about our current world. What better time and place was there to produce this work? We decided to dive in.

We have found incredibly devoted cast members, musicians, crew members, and supporters. We have learned about slavery and the Civil War, about hog-keepers and hangmen, about Missouri law, economics, rape, and ‘possum soup. We have talked about current events in light of the issues in the play. We have cried and laughed, danced and sung together. We have grown to understand each other a little more while working to bring this play to life.

Our hope is that you, too, will understand each other a little more after experiencing the play. We hope that as a result of this play, hundreds of people across the entire Tucson community will have conversations about race—about who we are and what we want our community, our country to be like.

Of course, we also hope Michelle Obama will come see the play. But if she can’t, we know that someone really special is already here in the audience. It’s you. Thank you being here. May your thoughts and conversations create positive change in our world.

Cynthia Meier, Director
director@TheRogueTheatre.org

 

Playwright

Barbara Seyda (Playwright) has a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an M.F.A. from Mason Gross School of Art, Rutgers University. She has been a free-lance editor for The Southwest Center, Rio Nuevo Press and the University of Arizona Press with a focus on native art, culture, history, ethnography and oral traditions of the American Southwest. She has taught at Pratt Institute, The New School for Social Research, Rutgers University and University of Arizona’s Continuing Education Program. Her publications include Nomads of a Desert City (University of Arizona Press) and Women in Love (Bulfinch, imprint of Little, Brown & Company). Although never studying writing or theatre formally, she has 38 years of production work, primarily as a costume/wardrobe technician. Regional companies include Arizona Opera, Utah Shakespeare Festival, New Articulations Dance Company, Sonora Theatre Works, Arizona Theatre Company, Flam Chen, U of A Dance and Broadway in Tucson. Celia, A Slave is her debut play, published by Yale University Press in 2016.

Barbara Seyda, Director

Choreography

Barbea Williams, Choreographer

Barbea Williams (Choreographer) is honored to share her artistic findings and cultural knowledge with The Rogue Theatre production of Celia, A Slave. Barbea is known for her contributions and dedication to ethnic dance, theatre and visual cultural traditions that derive from Africa and the African Diaspora, as an Arts Educator, Performing and Visual Artist. Currently, Barbea is the Artistic Director of Barbea Williams Performing Company (BWPC) in her 16th year as Faculty for the School of Dance at the University of Arizona and serving as an Arts Specialist in various school districts. Barbea was recently selected by Southwest Folklife Alliance for one of their 2017 Master-Apprentice awards. She has performed with, choreographed and/or designed costumes for Arizona Theatre Company, Black Theatre Troupe, Borderlands Theatre, Invisible Theatre, Ododo Theatre and others. Barbea has received awards from John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, YWCA, Tucson/Pima Arts Council, Buffalo Soldiers of Southern Arizona, COPE, LULAC, NAACP, Jewish Community Relations Council, Pima Community College, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Tucson Metropolitan Ministries, Arizoni Award, and Young Audiences of Southern Arizona. Her passion is “Keeping the Culture Alive!”

 

Cast
in order of appearance

Jingo Darwin
Viola T Loving
Mildred Louisa Rawlins Molly McKasson
Bethena Ida Rhem
Polly Newsom Holly Griffith
Ulysses Darwin
Coffee Waynescot Luka Vonier
Solace T Loving
David Newsom Ryan Parker Knox*
Matt Andrew Wilson
William Powell Joseph McGrath*
George Sterling Boyns
Dr. Hockley Young Ryan Parker Knox*
Virginia Waynescot Holly Griffith
Vine Destiny Wells
Benjamin Sheets Ryan Parker Knox*
John Jameson David Greenwood*
Euphrates Ida Rhem
Judge William Augustus Hall Joseph McGrath*
Felix Bartey Ryan Parker Knox*
Higgler Joseph McGrath*
Celia Vaune Suitt
  *Member of Actors’ Equity Association,
the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States

 

Sterling Boyns (George)

Sterling Boyns (George) recently graduated from The University of Arizona with his BFA in Acting. He has appeared with The Rogue in Macbeth, The White Snake and Angels in America, Part One. His past credits include The Man Who Came to Dinner, The Glass Menagerie, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Lend Me a Tenor, Barefoot in the Park and Rent (Arizona Repertory Theatre). In addition, he has appeared in Fences and Romeo and Juliet (Arizona Repertory Theatre). He has also performed in ATC Café Bohemia’s staged readings of Catapult and Octagon.
Sterling Boyns’ performance is supported in part by a generous gift from Kristi Lewis.

Sterling Boyns as George

Sterling Boyns as George

 

Darwin (Ulysses, Jingo) has been an active part of Tucson’s arts community for over thirty-five years, as both an actor and singer. He has performed with several local theater groups including, ODODO, La Jinbu, AKA Theatre, Barbea Williams Company, St. Francis Players, Tucson Gilbert & Sullivan, Namib Theatre, Quicksilver Productions, Tucson Pastorela, Mystery Dinner Theatre and was a resident member of S.A.L.A.C. Film credits include Trade-In, Madhouse, Desperado, Ruby Jean & Joe, and The Junk Food Generation. Darwin is a featured soloist with the “Sons of Orpheus - the Male Choir of Tucson,” and was part of their 2012 concerts at St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican, and 2016 at the Cathedral de Notre Dame. He was recently elected to Independent Film Arizona’s Top 100 Actors List for 2015. Darwin is also Artistic Director for Transformational Ministries, which provides “end-of-life” spiritual support for persons of diverse faith, cultural and life-style backgrounds.
Darwin’s performance is supported in part by a generous gift from Joan Warfield.

Darwin (Ulysses/Jingo)

Darwin as Jingo

Darwin as Jingo

 

David Greenwood (Jameson)

David Greenwood (Jameson) has appeared at The Rogue in Macbeth, The White Snake, The Bridge of San Luis Rey, By the Bog of Cats, Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, The Merchant of Venice, Waiting for Godot, Jerusalem, Awake and Sing, Purgatorio, Arcadia, Measure for Measure, Mistake of the Goddess, Richard III, Metamorphosis, Mother Courage, The Night Heron, Journey to the West, The Winter’s Tale, As I Lay Dying, Major Barbara, The Real Inspector Hound, The Decameron and The Rogue’s first production, The Balcony. David has appeared locally in Shining City and The Birthday Party at Beowulf Alley Theatre and The One-Armed Man, The Disposal and The Glass Menagerie at Tucson Art Theatre.
David Greenwood’s performance is supported in part by a generous gift from Sally Krusing.

David Greenwood as John Jameson

David Greenwood as John Jameson

 

Holly Griffith (Polly Newsom, Virginia Waynescot) is a member of the Acting Ensemble at The Rogue Theatre and has appeared in A House of Pomegranates, Macbeth, The White Snake, Uncle Vanya, Angels in America Part One, Tales of the Jazz Age, The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Miss Julie, By the Bog of Cats, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Hamlet, The Merchant of Venice, The Lady in the Looking Glass, Jerusalem, Purgatorio and Arcadia. She has also served as Box Office Assistant, Dramaturg, Stage Manager, and Co-Producer of the John & Joyce Ambruster Play-Reading Series at The Rogue. Holly dabbles in tap, jazz, and ballet dance, and has performed and choreographed for Emerson Dance Company, X-Dance, and Emerson Urban Dance Theatre in Boston, Massachusetts. Holly holds an MA in English Literature from the University of Arizona, teaches Freshman Composition, and has a fierce interest in the history, culture, and literary tradition of Ireland.
Holly Griffith’s performance is supported in part by a generous gift from Marianne & Bill Leedy.

Holly Griffith (Polly Newsom/
Virginia Waynescot)

Holly Griffith as Polly Newsom

Holly Griffith as Polly Newsom

 

Ryan Parker Knox (Newsom/Young/Sheets/
Bartey)

Ryan Parker Knox (Newsom, Young, Sheets, Bartey)   Celia, A Slave marks Ryan’s 26th production at the Rogue spanning more than five seasons as a member of the Acting Ensemble. He remains humbled by the fierce intellect of his fellow company members and the gracious support from the faithful Rogue patrons. Ryan is a South Dakota native and graduate from USD in 1999 with a BFA in Acting, and also spent over a decade performing in Minneapolis/St Paul before arriving in Tucson in the autumn of 2011. He would like to sincerely thank his family and friends for all their support through all the ups and downs.
Ryan Parker Knox’s performance is supported in part by a generous gift from Maura Brackett.

Ryan Parker Knox as Benjamin Sheets

Ryan Parker Knox as Benjamin Sheets

 

T Loving (Viola/Solace) has had the honor of working with numerous Tucson theatre companies and was most recently engaged as a member of the 5th World Collective – Shooting Columbus, Boston Marriage (Anna), Julius Caesar (Brutus), Gnawing the Bone (Zellandine-Sleeping Beauty), Migration Project (Moyonatsva). With a background in theatre/guerrilla theatre, gender-bending arts, and social service/public health, T feels fortunate to be able to interweave human service and theatre and to use the skills and experiences in both to address challenges and work towards change. Nea onnim no sua a, ohu (s/he who does not know can know from learning).
T Loving’s performance is supported in part by a generous gift from Julia Royall & Ryan Kahin.

T Loving (Viola/Solace)

T Loving as Solace

T Loving as Solace

 

Joseph McGrath (W. Powell, W. A. Hall, Higgler)

Joseph McGrath (W. Powell, W. A. Hall, Higgler) is Co-Founder and Artistic Director for The Rogue Theatre and has appeared in Macbeth, Penelope, The White Snake, Angels in America Part One, Tales of the Jazz Age, Miss Julie, Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Merchant of Venice, Waiting for Godot, Jerusalem, Awake and Sing, Arcadia, Measure for Measure, Richard III, The Night Heron, Journey to the West, The Winter’s Tale, The New Electric Ballroom, Shipwrecked!, Major Barbara, New-Found-Land, Old Times, The Tempest, Ghosts, Naga Mandala, Othello, Krapp’s Last Tape, A Delicate Balance (2009 Mac Award for Best Actor), Animal Farm, Orlando, Happy Days, Six Characters in Search of an Author, Red Noses, The Goat, The Cherry Orchard, The Good Woman of Setzuan, Endymion, The Dead, and The Fever. Joe is a graduate of the Juilliard School of Drama and has toured with John Houseman’s Acting Company. He has performed with the Utah Shakespearean Festival and has been a frequent performer with Ballet Tucson appearing in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and for seventeen years as Herr Drosselmeyer in The Nutcracker. He has also performed with Arizona Theatre Company, Arizona Opera, and Arizona Onstage. Joe owns, with his wife Regina Gagliano, Sonora Theatre Works, which produces theatrical scenery and draperies.
Joseph McGrath’s performance is supported in part by a generous gift from Kate Phillips & Sheldon Trubatch.

Vaune Suitt as Celia and Joseph McGrath as William Powell

Vaune Suitt as Celia and Joseph McGrath as William Powell

 

Molly McKasson (Mildred Louisa Rollins) has appeared at The Rogue as Marina in Uncle Vanya. Her theater career began in Chicago at the Body Politic, doing story theater with Paul Sills. For six years she continued to work with Sills in numerous productions—twice on Broadway, once at the Mark Taper and the Kennedy Center, as well as on tour. In New York she worked in a variety of off and off-off Broadway shows, before returning home to join Arizona Theatre Company’s first professional company. She’s been a member of the Invisible Theater ensemble and the improv team of Mols & Suz. As a playwright her work has been produced by ATC and I.T., where she continues to perform.
Molly McKasson’s performance is supported in part by a generous gift from Lori Levine & Gary Benna.

Molly McKasson (Mildred Louisa Rollins)

Molly McKasson as Mildred Louisa Rawlins

Molly McKasson as Mildred Louisa Rawlins

 

Ida Rhem (Bethena/Euphrates)

Ida Rhem (Bethena, Euphrates) is a native of San Diego, mother of three, and grandmother to 12 beautiful grandchildren. She had been in several plays in San Diego before moving to Tucson in 2009 to be closer to her grandchildren. Her first play in Tucson was Chicago, playing the role of Mamma Morton. In San Diego, Ida was presented with an Aubrey Award for Best Leading Actress for her role as Mahalia Jackson. Ida was also awarded the Aubrey for Best Actress in a comedy for her role as Clemma Diggins in Neil Simon’s Proposal. Her first CD is For Your Glory, and she is currently singing with Voices of Prayze, backup singers for Jason Mraz. Ida has been in eight commercials and five films (including Skid Marks) and was awarded Best Supporting Actress for her role in the movie The Diner. Her passion is for theatre, film, singing, living her life for God and trying to keep up with her grandchildren.
Ida Rhem’s performance is supported in part by a generous gift from Nick Soloway and Kay Ransdell.

Ida Rhem as Euphrates

Ida Rhem as Euphrates

 

Vaune Suitt (Celia) is a freshman at the University of Arizona and plans on majoring in theater. Some of her past shows include The Sound of Music, Beauty and the Beast, Tarzan: The Musical, South Pacific, West Side Story, Cats, and Oklahoma. She has also competed in the Southern Arizona Ben Vereen awards twice, as well as performed alongside Ben Vereen in his show, Steppin’ Out Live with Ben Vereen.
Vaune Suitt’s performance is supported in part by a generous gift from Shawn Burke.

Vaune Suitt (Celia)

Vaune Suitt as Celia

Vaune Suitt as Celia

 

Luka Vonier (Coffee)

Luka Vonier (Coffee) is currently a high school senior and is thrilled to be working with The Rogue for the first time! In the past he has worked with Arizona Onstage as an Assistant Stage Manager for The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical and then as an actor in Bad Jews. He has also been in school productions of Aida, Harvey, RENT, Failure: A Love Story, The Importance of Being Earnest, Lucky Stiff, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He has participated as an actor in ATC’s summer education program Summer on Stage in their productions of Anyone Can Whistle, The Winter’s Tale, Urinetown, and The Addams Family Musical. He also won second place in the Arizona Thespian Regional Acting Festival at the U of A for his original co-written comedic play The Reverend, The Romantic, and The Rapper.
Luka Vonier’s performance is supported in part by a generous gift from Paul Winick and Ronda Lustman.

Luka Vonier as Coffee Waynescot

Luka Vonier as Coffee Waynescot

 

Destiny Wells (Vine) is delighted to be performing in her very first production. She is a 5th grade student in Vail School District.
Destiny Wells’ performance is supported in part by a generous gift from Julia Annas.

Destiny Wells (Vine)

Destiny Wells as Vine

Destiny Wells as Vine

 

Andrew Wilson (Matt)

Andrew Wilson (Matt) was born in Southern California and has been a Tucsonan since 2006. He’s a passionate photographer, vlogger, and cinematographer. He stars in and produces videos for his YouTube channel, Hunter Paul Vlogs. He is a 7th grade student at Mansfeld Middle School and his favorite subject is science. He loves to skateboard and is incredibly athletic. Andrew is humorous, kind hearted, and loves the theater. He is blessed with an older brother and sister who he describes as his heroes and inspiration. You’ll almost always find Andrew in a happy and energetic mood. He is known for his ability to adapt to new situations and transform any negative aspects into positive silver linings.
Andrew Wilson’s performance is supported in part by a generous gift from Norma Davenport.

Andrew Wilson as Matt

Andrew Wilson as Matt

 

Music

Vicki Brown
Jake Sorgen

 

Jake Sorgen (Music Direction)

Jake Sorgen (Music Direction and Original Composition) was music director for A House of Pomegranates, Macbeth, Penelope, The White Snake, Uncle Vanya, Angels in America Part One, The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Miss Julie, By the Bog of Cats, Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, The Merchant of Venice, The Lady in the Looking Glass, Waiting for Godot, Jerusalem and Awake and Sing at The Rogue Theatre, and has performed as a musician at The Rogue in Purgatorio and Betrayal. Jake is an improviser/composer/musician originally from Woodstock, New York, and has composed for and performed with musicians, actors, and dancers in Amsterdam, Austin, Boston, New York, and Tucson. He performs solo and in music and interdisciplinary ensembles around the world and is currently recording his 4th solo album. Most recently Jake studied guitar with Ed DeLucia, improvised music with violist Mary Oliver, and movement with dancer Katie Duck and performed and studied with members of the Instant Composers Pool and the Creative Music Studio in the Netherlands and New York.
Jake Sorgen’s music direction is supported in part by a generous gift from Sally Krusing.

Vicki Brown (Violin) is a composer and musician with a wide stylistic range. Collaboration is a cornerstone of her work, and she thrives on the exciting alchemy of working with a variety of artists, including choreographers, dancers, filmmakers, writers, painters and actors. She has created original scores for theater productions (Kore Press, Arizona Repertory Theater) and choreographers and dance filmmakers (Kimi Eisele, Tori Lawrence + Co, Jeremy Moss, New ARTiculations, Kore Press, Katherine Ferrier and Kathy Couch). She has been resident musician with compositional improvisation dance artists The Architects and Tucson’s Movement Salon. Music from her two solo albums, Winter Garden (2006) and Seas & Trees (2009), appears in the Oscar-nominated HBO documentary films, GASLAND (2010) and GASLAND II (2013). Vicki has also toured and recorded with numerous bands nationally and internationally since 2006. She received her PhD in Psychology from the University of Arizona in 2003 and currently works with international aid organizations and environmental agencies.

JVicki Brown (Violin)

Music Director’s Notes

“What are these songs, and what do they mean? I know little of music and can say nothing in technical phrase, but I know something of men, and knowing them, I know that these songs are the articulate message of the slave to the world. They tell us in these eager days that life was joyous to the black slave, careless and happy. I can easily believe this of some, of many. But not all the past South, though it rose from the dead, can gainsay the heart-touching witness of these songs. They are the music of an unhappy people, of the children of disappointment; they tell of death and suffering and unvoiced longing toward a truer world, of misty wanderings and hidden ways.”

—W. E. B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk

Du Bois goes on in this chapter entitled “The Sorrow Songs” to explain the progression from African music to African American music to simply American music as the hymns and folk songs mix with the Anglo fiddle tunes of Appalachia and lose their distinctly African qualities but in turn exude that “unvoiced longing” of American music’s origins. My musical partner, Vicki Brown, and I have compiled a wide array of songs that intend to reach to the very core of this dark American truth. The lightness of St. Anne’s Reel and the Waltz Quadrille sometimes bear the same weight of unvoiced longing as the spiritual proclaiming, “No more driver’s lash for me!”

It has been a true privilege—in every modern sense of the word—to explore and play this music. These songs are the very best in the American cannon and expose the very worst of American history and culture. This music belongs to all of us whether we want it to or not. For some these songs are to be sung as instruments of resistance, for others they are to be heard as an indictment of truths which we cannot deny.

—Jake Sorgen, Music Director and Composer

Music in the Play

Instrumental music in the pre-show and heard throughout the play includes:

Carve Dat Possum (Sam Lucas)
Coloured Aristocracy (Traditional Cakewalk Dance)
Grasshopper Sittin’ on a Sweet Potato Vine (Traditional Fiddle Tune)
Lover’s Waltz (Jay Unger & Molly Mason)
Pa Janvier (Traditional Cajun Waltz)
St. Anne’s Reel (Traditional Fiddle Tune)
The Waltz Quadrille (Traditional)

with original music composed by Jake Sorgen and Vicki Brown

Spirituals sung in the play:

Soon Ah Will Be Done (Spiritual/Traditional)
Ida Rehm, soloist
No More Auction Block (Spiritual/Traditional)
Ida Rehm, soloist
This May Be The Last Time (Spiritual/Traditional)
Darwin Hall, soloist
We Are Climbing Jacob’s Ladder (Spiritual/Traditional)
Vaune Suitt, soloist

 

We Are Climbing Jacob's Ladder

We Are Climbing Jacob’s Ladder

Photo by Tim Fuller

 

Designers

Costume Design Cynthia Meier

Costume design is supported in part by a generous gift from Bev & Bob Bechtel

Scenic Design Joseph McGrath
Lighting Design Deanna Fitzgerald

Lighting design is supported in part by a generous gift from Andy & Cammie Watson.

 

Production Staff

Stage Manager Shannon Wallace
Choral Rehearsal Director Elizabeth Schauer
Scenic Artist Amy Novelli
Set Construction Joseph McGrath & Christopher Johnson
Costume Construction Cynthia Meier, Nanalee Raphael & Barbara Seyda
Assistant Lighting Designer Shannon Wallace
Master Electrician Peter Bleasby
Lighting Crew Melissa Arnaud, Brie Gonzalez, Tori Mays, Amber Rudnick, Shannon Wallace & Mack Woods
House Manager Susan Collinet
Box Office Manager Thomas Wentzel
Box Office Assistants Kara Clauser, Holly Griffith, Allie Knuth & Rebekah Thimlar
Program Advertising Paul Winick
Poster, Program & Website Thomas Wentzel

 

Deanna Fitzgerald (Lighting Design)

Deanna Fitzgerald (Lighting Design) is a professional Lighting Designer and member of United Scenic Artists, as well as an Associate Professor and head of lighting design and technology at the University of Arizona, where she also serves as the Associate Director of the theatre program and the Director of Graduate Studies. Her lighting design credits include theatre, dance, opera, circus-themed, puppets, architectural lighting and more. She is also a registered yoga and meditation teacher and conducts classes and workshops focused on using these and other "quietive" practices to enrich creative processes. Some of Deanna’s career highlights include the lighting designs of Cirque Mechanics: Boom Town, which toured for 2 years with an off-Broadway appearance at The New Victory Theatre, and Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo US Tour. She designed the lighting for the world premiere STOMP OUT LOUD, the Las Vegas version of the internationally acclaimed STOMP. Other design credits include the San Francisco Opera’s Merola and Coconut Grove Playhouse’s Young Artist programs, as well as numerous original dance designs for choreographers such as Deborah Hay, Ben Levy and Andy Vaca. Other credits include 6 years as the Lighting Director on the International Tour of STOMP; Production Director of the Opera Theater Music Festival in Lucca, Italy; Lighting Supervisor/Assistant Lighting Designer at the Santa Fe Opera; Lighting and Tour Consultant for the Original Broadway Cast tours of the Greater Tuna trilogy and Assistant Lighting Designer at the Cincinnati Ballet.

Shannon Wallace (Stage Manager) has served as stage manager for The Rogue Theatre productions of A House of Pomegranates, Macbeth, Penelope, Uncle Vanya, Angels in America Part One, The Bridge of San Luis Rey and The Picture of Dorian Gray, and as assistant director for The White Snake. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, focusing on both stage management and lighting design. During her time in school she worked on over 25 productions with Arizona Repertory Theatre, including: Bat Boy: The Musical, Avenue Q, Love Song, Cymbeline, Nine, Boeing Boeing, The Man Who Came to Dinner, Oklahoma!, Lend Me A Tenor, The Full Monty and Othello. She also worked at Arizona Theatre Company on their Summer on Stage productions of Elephant’s Graveyard and Legally Blonde: The Musical. Additionally, she had the opportunity to work as assistant stage manager for Oklahoma City Philharmonic’s The Christmas Show 2014. And she enjoyed a summer with the Contemporary American Theatre Festival in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, working as part of the company and events management team.
Shannon Wallace’s Stage management is supported in part by a generous gift from Kristi Lewis.

Shannon Wallace (Stage Manager)
Peter Bleasby, Master Electrician

Peter Bleasby (Master Electrician) lit his first show at 13. Professionally, he was with BBC-TV for several years, and was an assistant to UK lighting designer Richard Pilbrow during the inaugural production of the National Theatre (Hamlet, directed by Olivier.) He transferred to architectural lighting, but maintained his theatre interests by lighting many shows on both sides of the Atlantic. When the Rogue established itself at the Historic “Y” in 2009, he volunteered for the initial season, returning in 2013 with  lighting designer Don Fox, and later working with Deanna Fitzgerald. He devised the installation of the permanent wiring system that enables lighting teams to devote more time to the creative process. For the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation he directs the technical and logistical aspects of fundraisers, including the fashion show Moda Provocateur.

Susan Collinet (House Manager) earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Creative Writing and English Literature from the University of Arizona in 2008. Decades before returning to college as a non-traditional student, Susan spent twenty years in amateur theater, mostly on the East coast, as well as in Brussels, Belgium in the American Theater of Brussels, and the Theatre de Chenois in Waterloo. She has worked in such positions as a volunteer bi-lingual guide in the Children’s Museum of Brussels, the Bursar of a Naturopathic Medical school in Tempe, Arizona, an entrepreneur with two “Susan’s of Scottsdale” hotel gift shops in Scottsdale, Arizona, and as the volunteer assistant Director of Development of the Arizona Aids Project in Phoenix. Susan continues to work on collections of poetry and non-fiction. Her writing has won awards from Sandscript Magazine, the John Hearst Poetry Contest, the Salem College for Women’s Center for Writing, and was published in a Norton Anthology of Student’s Writing. In addition to being House Manager, Susan serves on the Board of Directors and acts as Volunteer Coordinator for the Rogue.

Susan Collinet, House Manager

Our Thanks

        Tim Fuller       
      Tucson Weekly      
Chuck Graham
Patrick Baliani
Arizona Daily Star
Shawn Burke
       Jerry James    
      Our Advertisers      
Debbi Embry
Tucson Urban League
Arizona Illustrated
Andrew Brown
Bill Krauss & Kate McMillan
Chris Babbie, Location Sound
Prof. Stephanie Troutman
Prof. Kevin Byrne
University of Arizona School of Theatre, Film and Television 

Vaune Suitt as Celia

Vaune Suitt as Celia

 

Performance Schedule for Celia, A Slave

Location: The Rogue Theatre at The Historic Y, 300 East University Boulevard
Click here for information on free off-street parking

Performance run time of Celia, A Slave is two hour and 25 minutes, including one 10-minute intermission.
Run time does not include the music preshow beginning 15 minutes before curtiain, or post-show discussion.

Thursday, September 7, 2017, 7:30 pm DISCOUNT PREVIEW
Friday, September 8, 2017, 7:30 pm DISCOUNT PREVIEW
Saturday, September 9, 2017, 7:30pm OPENING NIGHT
Sunday, September 10, 2017, 2:00 pm matinee

Thursday, September 14, 2017, 7:30 pm
Friday, September 15, 2017, 7:30 pm
Saturday, September 16, 2017, 2:00 pm
Saturday, September 16, 2017, 7:30 pm SOLD OUT
Sunday, September 17, 2017, 2:00 pm matinee SOLD OUT

Thursday, September 21, 2017, 7:30 pm
Friday, September 22, 2017, 7:30 pm SOLD OUT
Saturday, September 23, 2017, 2:00 pm SOLD OUT
Saturday, September 23, 2017, 7:30 pm SOLD OUT
Sunday, September 24, 2017, 2:00 pm matinee SOLD OUT

 

Vaune Suitt as Celia and Joseph McGrath as William Powell

Vaune Suitt as Celia and Joseph McGrath as William Powell

Ida Rhem as Bethena with Sterling Boyns as George, Vaune Suitt as Celia, Holly Griffith as Polly Newsom, Ryan Parker Knox as Dr. Hockley Young and Joseph McGrath as William Powell

Ida Rhem as Bethena with Sterling Boyns as George, Vaune Suitt as Celia, Holly Griffith as Polly Newsom,
Ryan Parker Knox as Dr. Hockley Young and Joseph McGrath as William Powell

 

Vaune Suitt as Celia and Holly Griffith as Polly Newsom

Vaune Suitt as Celia and Holly Griffith as Polly Newsom

 

Sterling Boyns as George and Vaune Suitt as Celia

Sterling Boyns as George and Vaune Suitt as Celia

Vaune Suitt as Celia and Holly Griffith as Polly Newsom with Joseph McGrath, Ida Rhem, Ryan Parker Knox and Sterling Boyns

Vaune Suitt as Celia and Holly Griffith as Polly Newsom
with Joseph McGrath, Ida Rhem, Ryan Parker Knox and Sterling Boyns

Photos by Tim Fuller

 

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Updated on September 26, 2017

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