Yvonne Farrow and Yvette Heyliger
The Council of the City of Los Angeles adopted a Resolution for Twinbiz’ National Black HIV & AIDS Theatre Initiative. Recommended by Councilmember Bernard C. Parks, the motion was seconded and signed by all fifteen Councilmembers of the City of Los Angeles. The resolution reads in part:
Now therefore be it resolved that by the adaptation of this resolution, the Los Angeles City Council hereby commends and congratulates Twinbiz on the occasion of its First Annual NATIONAL BLACK HIV & AIDS THEATRE INITIATIVE and for improving the quality of life in our community. The contributions they have made are truly valuable and will be long cherished by many. Best wishes for continued success in all future endeavors.
Twinbiz partners, Yvette Heyliger and Yvonne Farrow (twins in the business), write, direct and produce original works for stage, television and film, which seek to educate, entertain and serve. Twinbiz has been producing quality projects, coast to coast, since 1996. The idea for the National Black HIV & AIDS Theatre initiative was inspired by Tunde Allen Samuel, the late producing artistic director of Barbara Ann Teer’s National Black Theatre in Harlem, who expressed a wish to playwright Yvette Heyliger that Black Theatre do more to address the relentless HIV infection rate in our communities.
The Initiative kicked-off this this year on National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, February 7, with the reading of Heyliger’s multiple-award winning show, What Would Jesus Do, a play with music about family, church, sex and HIV, at the Lucy Florence Cultural Center in Leimert Park Village.
Blacks account for almost half of our nation’s new infection rates. The Theatre Initiative hopes to inspire playwrights and producers to have readings and/or productions of new plays on this topic annually in Black theatres, churches, senior citizen homes, youth centers and college campuses, until this preventable disease is eradicated.
The What Would Jesus Do ‘theatre ministry’ swept the 2010 Audelco Recognition Awards for Excellence in Black Theater in New York, winning seven of its eight nominations including: Dramatic Production of the Year to the Billie Holiday Theater, Lead Actress to Yvonne Farrow (who originated the role of Mrs. Wilson and is also an Ordained Metaphysical Minister), and the August Wilson Playwright Award to playwright and director, Yvette Heyliger.
What Would Jesus Do debuted in 2006 at the Hollywood Court Theatre, where Yvonne Farrow (Twinbiz) and Larry Farrow (Piano Man Productions, also the show’s composer and Minister of Music) were nominated Best Producer (Local) by the Beverly Hills Hollywood NAACP 18th Annual Theater Awards. From there, WWJD was selected for a main stage production at the 2007 National Black Theatre Festival where it was a hands-down favorite among audiences.
For information about the National Black HIV & AIDS Theatre Initiative, email firstname.lastname@example.org.