Isaiah Washington and Keith David featured in Antwone Fisherâ€™s Stage Debut of “Finding Fish”
Isaiah Washington and Keith David are performing in the debut of the first one act play by award-winning writer, Antwone Fisher (“Antwone Fisher”) at Santa Monicaâ€™s Highways Performance Space for only one night on Saturday, August 22, 2009 at 8:30 pm.
The project is called, “Finding Fish” based on Fisherâ€™s New York Times bestselling book of the same titled that explored his life in foster and having a troubled time in the Navy. He initially told the story in “Antwone Fisher,” the critically-acclaimed film he wrote that starred Denzel Washington and Derek Luke. In fact, with the help of Eso Won Books, Fisher will sign copies of “Finding Fish” at the play.
On being able to have such strong, theatrically trained actors perform in his first play as a work-in-progress, Fisher states, “With their extremely busy schedules, Iâ€™m very, very honored that Isaiah and Keith considered the play worthy of their participation.” Their busy roster of films includes Washington starring in the highly-anticipated, “Hurricane Season” about the true story of a high school basketball team of Hurricane Katrina survivors that go to the state championships. While David stars in Disneyâ€™s upcoming animated film, “The Princess and the Frog” featuring their first African American princess.
“Finding Fish” is part of “Creative Provocateurs, Vol. 1,” a collection of three original works that aside from Fisherâ€™s piece also includes: award-winning writer, Tina Andrews (“Sally Hemings: An American Scandal”) new one act play, “Charlotte Sophia,” and the third piece, “Uh-Uh!: Parts 1&2,” is by writer-producer, J.M. Morris, who has been an invited artist at Highways since 2005.
Fisher was approached by Morris, a fellow Writers Guild of America member, to give playwriting a try because of the creative freedom theater allows writers, as well as, the Off-Broadway feel of Highways. With “freedom” being the operative word, Fisher understands that doing “Finding Fish” as a theatre piece offers him an opportunity to tell the story in a more real, raw manner. He notes, “After writing the book and the movie, now that Iâ€™m older the philosophy about my story has evolved. The play allows me to tell it from this new perspective.”
As for Andrews, whose work “Charlotte Sophia” is on Friday, August 21, sheâ€™s no stranger to the stage. She studied theater at NYU, and began her career as an actress on Broadway, then moved to TV and
film. However, after late renowned writers, Judi Ann Mason (to which the plays are dedicated) and the legendary Alex Haley, convinced her to begin writing, Andrews has never looked back. The recipient of several awards for her work (including the WGA Award from her peers), Andrews is continuing her penchant for provocative projects with “Charlotte Sophia.” Based on extensive research and records that confirms Englandâ€™s Queen Charlotte was of African descent, Andrews is writing the one act with a cutting-edge take on race. When also asked by Morris to debut “Charlotte Sophia” at Highways, Andrews states, “I am thrilled to be able to bring this work-in-progress to Highways, with its great reputation of presenting edgy and diverse projects. This is the perfect place to debut this work.” Andrews is currently developing “Charlotte Sophia” to eventually go to Broadway, as is Fisher for “Finding Fish.”
“Uh-Uh!: Parts 1&2,” will feature Morrisâ€™ signature satiric to dramatic writing with characters of diverse backgrounds, but linked by the universal phrase, “uh-uh,” and all its cultural variances. Her pieces range from a dramatic piece about an Iranian who decides to join the current political protests in a very unique manner to a satiric “expose” about who really was behind Robert Downey, Jr.â€™s portrayal of a Black man in “Tropic Thunder.” As with Morrisâ€™ previous works at Highways, “Uh-Uh!: Parts 1&2” will be directed by award-winning independent filmmaker, Charles Burnett (“Killer of Sheep,” “To Sleep With Anger”, the recent “Namibia: Struggle for Freedom” with Danny Glover).
Erica Gimpel, the popular actress-singer of the TV hit, “Fame” and many other TV series is also featured Saturday in a special music performance. Gimpel also has a new CD coming out this year.
The Friday, August 21st performance includes: “Charlotte Sophia” and “Uh-Uh!: Part 1.” The Saturday, August 22nd?performance features: “Finding Fish” and “Uh-Uh!: Part 2.” On both nights showtime is 8:30 pm?at?the Highways Performance Space, located at 1651 18th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404 in the 18th Street Arts Center (off the corner of Olympic Blvd. and 18th Street).??
As can be imagined, tickets are going fast, and as of press time are still available at $20/general and $15/students. For reservations/tickets callÂ (310)Â 315-1459 or go to the Highways website at “http://www.highwaysperformance.org” www.highwaysperformance.org to purchase online.
“Creative Provocateurs, Vol. 1” is produced by J.M. Morris and Highways Performance Space, a cultural non-profit considered Southern Californiaâ€™s boldest center for new work that has promoted the development of contemporary, socially-involved artists and art forms from diverse communities since 1989. The Executive/Artistic Director of Highways is Leo Garcia, and the Executive Producers for “Creative Provocateurs, Vol. 1” are Indigo Fishtales, Inc., JES III Productions, Tao Entertainment and Thinkinâ€™ Outta The Box Productions.