Residency: February 24 - March 7, 2015
A new play by Brooklyn playwright Amy Evans, created with UK-based director Mark Rosenblatt and actor Noma Dumezweni, The Champion is inspired by the life of Nina Simone, and offers a rare look into the heart and mind of an artist known as much for her indictment of American racism as her artistic brilliance. Based on extensive research including personal interviews with Simone’s former bandmates, friends and family members, the play is an intimate portrayal of a cultural icon, the outstanding musicians who worked with her, and the turbulent era during which they rose to fame.
A post-showing artist and audience dialogue will be moderated by Jeff Lieberman, an award-winning journalist, producer and documentary filmmaker whose company, RE-EMERGING Films, is currently developing a new feature length documentary called The Amazing Nina Simone.
Amy Evans attended Goldsmiths College in London in 2001 where she pursued an MA in Theater Arts with a concentration in Writing for Performance. By the end of her studies, she had completed her first full-length play (Achidi J’s Final Hours, 2002 Verity Bargate Award winner), was invited to join the Bloomberg Writers’ Group, and was commissioned by Context Theatre Company UK to write Whisper, a play about immigration politics and asylum seekers in Britain. After receiving her MA, she relocated to Berlin where she began teaching a seminar in performance writing as a tool for social change at Humboldt University. In 2004, Achidi J’s Final Hours premiered at the Finborough Theatre in. Amy moved to New York where she joined the HB Playwrights Foundation Writers’ Group in 2004, and her play The Next Question was produced at HB Studios in their 2005 festival of new short plays. Her full-length scripts received readings at venues including the Tenement Theater, CUNY Graduate Center, the Culture Project, Playwrights’ Horizons, the New Group and the Joseph Papp Public Theater. She has had residencies at BRIClab in Brooklyn, Hedgebrook Women Writers’ Retreat, and the Institute of Cultural Inquiry Kulturlabor in Berlin. Amy continues to collaborate with London-based companies and practitioners on work that responds to the current political climate, including military recruitment in the United States (The Big Nickel, commissioned by the National Youth Theatre in 2005) and race and identity in Germany (UnStoned, commissioned by NYT in 2006). Her play Many Men’s Wife was produced as part of a festival of short plays at the Tricycle Theatre addressing the genocide in Darfur and was later published in the volume How Long is Never? (Josef Weinberger Publications, 2007).
BRIClab is a commissioning and residency development program for both emerging and established local artists to explore and expand the possibilities of their work in music, dance, theater and multi-disciplinary performance.
The intimate, flexible studio space within BRIC House is dedicated to emerging and mid-career artists, with an audience capacity of 50-75 for rehearsals and performances in a workshop setting.
For ticketed events, the Box Office opens one hour prior to show time. Advanced tickets can be purchased online.