Common Ground, the new musical by Granville Wyche Burgess and Stan Wietrzychowsk, tells the yet-untold story of what really necessitated the Emancipation Proclamation. This special book-in-hand presentation, will be Monday, December 9 at 7:00 p.m. at The Actors Temple, 339 West 47th Street, NYC. Common Ground begins with a veiledly racist President Lincoln, carrying a country-at-war on his back, deliberating on how to make peace with his foes and forge an alliance with the formidable Frederick Douglass. Douglass, a literate, courageous “Moses” to his people, must show President Lincoln a new realty. Reservations are required for this event. Contact Liz Cope at JMAE.firstname.lastname@example.org or call 347-497-4814.
This special presentation of a production poised for greater things, Five-Star will follow the young, ambitious players forging this story and readying it to be seen by a new audience.
SPOTLIGHT ON: MAURIO BROWN
Maurio has been with this particular play for over two years, playing various roles and now, comfortably settling in to the pivotal role of the pragmatic Reverend Leonard
Tell us about yourself as an artist
I have been performing since I was a child in Charleston, SC. The stage has always been an escape for me. It allowed me to be someone else and show a part of me that I was often to shy to show. To this day, the stage is still my escape from my own reality. I love being able to tell other people’s stories and step into a new world for a few minutes or hours. Being an artist is a way of life and I thrive on being able to tell stories and help others see a new point of view.
Do you feel an added sense of responsibility when handling apiece of history like this?
Yes, as an African-American male this story is very important to me and I’m honored to be able to tell it. I was told about Douglas and Lincoln for many years, but never heard this point of view. This is a story that needs to be shared. It is very important that the strength of my ancestors are shown and it is partially my responsible to portray it that way.
Tell us about a staged reading … pros cons
On the one hand a stage reading is only a sneak peak, and some may not be able to see the full potential or vision. On the other hand, a stage reading forces the audience to listen and use their imagination. There are no stage distractions when it comes to a reading and audience members get to hear the true essence of story telling.
This is will be my third stage reading for Common Ground and it gets better every time. I am looking forward to seeing this show on the stage and the audience reactions to the this amazing story.