Wednesday, December 11, 2019
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Homelessness Takes Center Stage in ‘Under the Freeway’
By Cora Jackson-Fossett, Religion Editor
Published September 4, 2019

              Brandi Burks (Courtesy photo)

Six years ago, playwright Brandi Burks opened a new theatrical production, “Under the Freeway,” to highlight homeless people facing the consequences of their life choices.

Fast-forward to 2019 and homelessness has reached rampant proportions with the number of individuals in this status escalating at an alarming rate. No longer is it only substance abuse and mental disorders that lead to homelessness, but also economic reasons, housing shortages and a myriad of contributing factors.

In light of the today’s situation, Burks is reviving “Under the Freeway” to present the musical stage play on Saturday, Sept. 7, at 8 p.m., at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre, 4401 Wilshire Blvd., in Los Angeles.

“My goal is to shed light on the homeless epidemic in Los Angeles and across the nation. By partnering with the Healthy Housing Foundation (HHF), my hope is to help as many of these people in need find a home and put their life back together,” explained Burks, who has written other faith-based plays such as “This Is Not My Destiny.”

Burks also aims to change perceptions that some people, believers and non-believers alike, hold about people who are homeless.

“Homeless individuals are humans just like us and we can end up in the same situation with one stroke of bad luck. After seeing ‘Under the Freeway,’ I think the crowd will better understand that these people that we pass on the street every day and ignore are no different in us,” she said.

Since Burks first opened this play, many aspects of her life have changed. She is now married and mother of a young son. Combining those elements with production requirements have proven challenging, she said, but she wants to keep the topic in the forefront of people’s minds.

Her next goal is to take ‘Under the Freeway’ on the road to other cities to enlighten minds and attitudes about homelessness.

“I’m asking pastors, politicians, and people of all colors and denominations to stand with me as we fight homelessness,” she said. “Join me and my cast on this journey as we tell the untold stories of these lost souls. Not only will you be supporting a great cause, but you will get to enjoy an incredible musical stage play!”

The ticket donation for “Under the Freeway” is $50 for orchestra seats and $40 for the balcony and available at the Wilshire Ebell box office or brownpapertickets.com. To learn more, call (310) 489-7208 or visit happy4show.com.

Categories: Crenshaw & Around | Religion | Theater
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