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WUAL Presents “Wake Up To Life: Out of the Ashes”

Wake Up to Life: Out of the Ashes

This innovative project is a collection of one-act plays and scenes from four emerging African-American playwrights. The featured Playwright’s Showcase is co-directed by Jeannine Gaskin and Ansley Valentine. Please join us as we reflect on themes of self-esteem and health issues.


WHEN:


6PM Saturday, May 15, 2021


3PM Sunday, May 16, 2021



WHERE:


Zoom (via private invite after ticket purchase)


CLICK BELOW for more information about this project and how you can get involved!

In collaboration with:

Meet the Playwrights to “Wake Up to Life: Out of the Ashes”

Adetokunbo Knowles Borishade, Ph.D.

Adetokunbo Knowles Borishade, Ph.D. is an emerging local producer, playwright, and screenwriter. She is a semi-retired professor who uses her scholarship and expertise in Africana Studies to continue teaching knowledge of African history and culture in the field of performing arts rather than limiting it to academics. Since her retirement in 2013, Dr. Borishade has written five stage plays of which four have been produced. Upon request from a film producer, she is translating her last stage play into a screenplay.

  • “Created in God’s Image”; (2015) Garden Valley Neighborhood House Theater
  •  “Ancient African Prophecy of Imhotep”; (2018) Bristol Manor Conference & Event Center
  • “Prophecy of Imhotep”-The Skit; (2019) Pattison Park
  • “The Ancient Prophecy and the Maafa” (The Stageplay); (2019)
  • “To Be or Not to Be African”; (2019) Wake Up and Live with the Arts
  • “The Ancient Prophecy and the Maafa” (The Screenplay); (2021)

Dr. Borishade is a member of several Performing Arts professional organizations: The Dramatists Guild; Playwrights Local; and NEohioPAL. Dr. Borishade holds three degrees and one certificate: Post-doctoral certificate in Latin American Studies-University of Southern Florida;  Ph.D. in Africana Studies-Temple University;  M.A. in Rhetorical Communications-Ohio State University; and B.A. in Communications-Wilberforce University.


Evonne Fields-Gould

Evonne Fields-Gould received her Associate of Applied Science degree from Cuyahoga Community College in August of 1980. She studied history and English at Kent State University from 2009 to 2016. Fields-Gould became a writer, co/writer and a featured voice performer in various audio drama productions, including Space Traveler Jim, From 1997 to 2001, for Little Beth Audio Group. The audio plays wer aired on WJCU, John Carroll University.  

In 2016, Fields-Gould completed writing her first stage play, Life, Love and Boobs, which was performed at the Fade to Black Play Festival in Houston, Texas, in June 2017.  She is currently submitting plays to theatres for production and to publishing houses for publication. Ms. Fields-Gould’s monologue, entitled, Can There be Justice for TJ?, was performed at the 2018 Seneca Falls Dialogue conference and is published for academic study in the Seneca Falls Dialogue Journal in 2019. In August 2019 Evonne was honored to have her short stage play, For the Love of April, published by the distinguished London, U.K. publishing house, Lazy Bee Scripts.

In 2018 Fields-Gould published her first novel, A Bond of Love.    


Peter Anthony Fields

As a young man in his twenties, Fields made several independent films during the early and mid-1990s.  In the late 90s, he stepped away from filmmaking and focused his attention on improving his skills as a storyteller, specifically as a writer.  With his brother, Cornelius, sister, Elizabeth, mother, Evonne, and friends, Fields wrote and performed in dozens of radio plays which were aired on WJCU, John Carroll University. In 2003, as a director, editor and co-writer, Fields shepherded fourteen short and feature-length, independent films.  His film work awards include a Telly® Award and a Communicator® Award. 

Fields’ work as a filmmaker ended when Fields was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s disease in 2015.  “I knew something was changing in me a few years before, which was making it harder for me to work as a producer, director and editor, and handle all of the physical and cognitive stress that that kind of work brings, but I thought it was just age.”

Despite this life challenge, Fields knew that he must keep telling stories.  So, he turned his attention and skills to live theatre.  He was determined that he would learn the language of the stage and become a playwright, which he says is, “much easier on me—physically and cognitively.  I can continue to tell stories and do not have the stress that came with filmmaking.”

Fields has written seven stage plays which have been read or performed at festivals in Ohio, Texas, Wisconsin, and London, U.K.  His play, “About Michael,” was awarded the second place Audience Appreciation Award at the Sky Blue Theatre Company’s British Theatre Challenge: Act II.  In 2018, Fields achieved another long time goal and published his first novel for middle school readers, entitled, A Faraway Place.


Rebecca Morris

Rebecca Morris is a native Clevelander who started singing and traveling through the United States and Europe as a member of the famed Singing Angels Performing Chorus. Rebecca was a featured actress in the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s “My City, My Paper” campaign. She has appeared on the cover of Cleveland Public Power’s annual report and on the cover of the Karamu House Theater Aspirations financial report and the vision poster. Rebecca has performed as a featured singer for the Football Hall of Fame Gold Coats inductee ceremony, with Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys, and with Professional Flairs with Ben Vereen and at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.  Morris is an award-winning theater actress with credits for: Sassy Mamas; Repairing a Nation; Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grilll in the role of Billie Holiday; Caroline or Change; Raisin, the Musical; Spirit North; Simply Heavenly; Crumbs from the Table of Joy; Blues for an Alabama Sky; Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies; and Little Shop of Horrors.

Rebecca’s film credits include, The Antwone Fisher Story and Native Sun. Rebecca has directed Legally Blonde, Jr, the Musical and The Wisdom of God, an inspirational drama. 

“Wake Up to Life: Out of the Ashes” Play Synopses

This innovative project is a collection of one-act plays and scenes from four emerging African-American playwrights. The featured Playwright’s Showcase is co-directed by Jeannine Gaskin and Ansley Valentine. Please join us as we reflect on themes of self-esteem and health issues.

Synopses:

“To Be or Not to Be African” by Adetokunbo Borishade

Kyra Johnson, a conflicted 35-year-old Black American woman, stands alone in her bedroom trying to make a life-changing decision about her life’s path. She has been offered the job of a lifetime with a multinational corporation, an opportunity of which she is worthy in every respect. However, she would be required to completely represent mainstream “white” American culture at all times. To be or not to be African? That is Kyra’s question. 

“Where Winter Rests on a Wounded Heart” by Evonne Fields-Goulde

A senior woman who is challenged with dyslexia shares her story of how her impairment has affected her self-esteem, her relationships with family and friends, and how it has climaxed to this most critical moment in her life.

“That Guy” by Peter A. Fields

A playwright who receives inspiration by interacting with the imagined characters from the play that he is currently writing, is struggling through writer’s block as his characters       have stopped “talking” to him. He soon begins to experience a resurgence of depression and anxiety, along with other physical and cognitive impairments. After receiving a devastating medical diagnosis, he is determined to get his life headed in a productive and positive direction. But despite his best efforts, everything that matters most seems to be on the verge of falling apart.

“Au Pair” by Rebecca Morris

A highly creative mother and daughter both have dreams and become successful. We see how the mother’s attainment of her goal impacts Holly, her daughter. Payne is a single mom and aspiring artist with great potential and a growing following. She wanted international acclaim and respect. Payne travels to Paris and meets Henri. After a night of celebrating Payne awakens with a hangover — and pregnant.                  

In collaboration with:

CASTING CALL for “Wake Up To Life: Out of the Ashes”

presenting:

“Wake Up to Life: Out of the Ashes” – A playwright’s showcase directed by Jeannine Gaskin and Ansley Valentine

We are seeking African American actors for the following productions:

  • “To Be or Not to Be… African” by Adetokunbo Borishade
  • “Where Winter Rests on a Wounded Heart” by Evonne Fields-Gould
  • “That Guy” by Peter A. Fields
  • “Au Pair” by Rebecca Morris

Interested? We need:

  • Resume/CVV
  • Headshot(s)
  • 1-2 minute monologue

please email above requirements to wakeupandlives@gmail.com by April 1, 2021.

Meet the “Wake Up to Life: Out of the Ashes” Co-Directors!

Jeannine Gaskin

Jeannine Gaskin, a Cleveland actress and director, is excited to be co-directing this showcase of new plays with Ansley Valentine. She just finished co-directing “Until the Flood” by Dael Orlandersmith at Malone University with Craig Joseph. She had her directorial debut at Baldwin Wallace University in “Devised Blues: Uncut & Funky” and she was the Assistant Director at Ensemble Theatre in Lynn Nottage’s “Intimate Apparel”. She was last seen on stage at the Belkin Black Box Theater in Ntozake Shange’s “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf”. She also performed at Cleveland Public Theatre in the world premiere of Lisa Langford’s “Rastus and Hattie”. As well as the world premiere of Central Concern written by Pandora Robertson. Previous Karamu performances include “Day of Absence” by Douglas Turner Ward and “You Can’t Take It With You” by George Kaufman. She was seen at Convergence Continuum in her award-winning performance as Hester La Negrita in “In the Blood” by Suzan-Lori Parks. Other plays include the unconventional comedy “Neighbors” by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and Margaret Alexander in “The Amen Corner” by James Baldwin. While theatre is her first love, she has been a part of multiple film projects in Cleveland. She landed her first principal role in the Lifetime film “With This Ring”. She had a lead role in the 2016 48hr Film Festival Award Winning short film “A Sweet Christmas”. She also had the lead role in a local film “Milkweed” written by John Dayo-Aliya.


Ansley Valentine

Ansley Valentine is a professional director and choreographer for the theatre and musical theatre and an educator with experience teaching professionally at the collegiate level and in both public and private performing arts high schools. Ansley holds an M.F.A. in Directing from Indiana University. He is currently a proud member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC) and Actors’ Equity Association (AEA). Ansley is also a graduate of the Arts Midwest Minorities in Arts Administration Fellowship, a program funded by the Ford Foundation to increase minority representation in leadership roles at American not-for-profit organizations. After his fellowship at The Cleveland Play House in marketing and development, he went on to serve as Theatre School Director at Studio Arena Theatre, a former LORT C theatre in Buffalo, New York. Ansley oversaw a wide variety of youth arts programming in Western New York. The Theatre School’s flagship program, The Creative Empowerment Program, sought to teach inner-city youth non-violent conflict resolution skills as well as playmaking. More recently, as Director of the Forest Roberts Theatre at Northern Michigan University, Ansley programmed many new works including world premieres through the Panowski Play Prize, two plays about the American relationship with the Middle East, and a touring production to surrounding Michigan counties designated as being underserved by the arts. His many awards include a 2014 Telly Award, and a Kennedy Center Gold Medallion. He is past National Play Program Chair for Region III of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. In that capacity, he helped to foster the writing and development process of a number of young playwrights including producing readings of new work. Currently, he is an associate professor of acting and directing at Indiana University Bloomington. In the summer, he is Artistic Director of the Ohio Youth Ensemble Stage, a company that provides an inclusive performing arts experience for students regardless of ability or financial resources.

Meet Peter A. Fields and Evonne Fields-Gould

Check out my interviews with Peter Fields and Evonne Fields-Gould on their playwrights’ artistic writing process of: “That Guy” and “Where Winter Rests on a Wounded Heart.” These plays are part of the “Wake Up to Life: Out of the Ashes” projects funded by Cuyahoga Arts and Culture and supported by Rainey Institute.

Do check out the bios and extra information after the video.

Peter A. Fields

As a young man in his twenties, Peter Fields made several independent films during the early and mid-1990s.  In the late 90s, he stepped away from filmmaking and focused his attention on improving his skills as a storyteller, specifically as a writer.  With his brother, Cornelius, sister, Elizabeth, mother, Evonne, and a small group of friends, Fields wrote and performed in dozens of radio plays which were aired on WJCU radio (John Carroll University).

In 2003, he stepped back behind the camera as a director, editor and co-writer, and from 2003 to 2015, Fields shepherded fourteen short and feature-length, independent films.  He has won numerous awards for his film work, including a Telly® Award and a Communicator® Award.

His work as a filmmaker came to an end when he was diagnosed with young onset Parkinson’s disease in 2015.  “I knew something was changing in me a few years before, which was making it harder for me to work as a producer, director and editor, and handle all of the physical and cognitive stress that that kind of work brings, but I thought it was just age.”

Faced with this life challenge, Fields knew that he absolutely had to keep telling stories.  So, he decided to turn his attention and skills to his other artistic passion—live theatre.  He was determined that he would learn the language of the stage and become a playwright, which he says is, “much easier on me—physically and cognitively.  I can continue to tell stories and not have the stress that came with being a filmmaker.”

To date, Fields has written seven stage plays which have been read or performed at festivals in Ohio, U.S.A., Texas, U.S.A., Wisconsin, U.S.A., and London, U.K.  His play, About Michael, was awarded the second place Audience Appreciation Award at the Sky Blue Theatre Company’s British Theatre Challenge: Act II.  About Michael and another of his one-act scripts entitled, Monster, are both published and licensed by Lazy Bee Scripts.  Additionally, in 2018, Fields achieved another long time goal and published his first novel for middle school readers, entitled, A Faraway Place.  Fields has a BA in Theatre Studies: Theatre and Society, from Kent State University, and is a member of the Dramatists Guild.

Evonne Fields-Gould

Evonne Fields-Gould received her Associate of Applied Science degree from Cuyahoga Community College in August of 1980.  She studied History and English at Kent State University from 2009 to 2016.  Fields-Gould became a writer, co/writer and a featured voice performer in various audio drama productions, including, Space Traveler Jim, from 1997 to 2001, for Little Beth Audio Group.  The audio plays were aired on a local radio station, WJCU: John Carroll University. 

In 2016, Fields-Gould completed writing her first stage play, Life, Love and Boobs, which was performed at the Fade to Black Play Festival in Huston Texas, in June 2017.  She is currently submitting plays to theatres for production and to publishing houses for publication consideration, while working on her next stage play.  Ms. Fields-Gould’s monologue, entitled, Can There be Justice for TJ, was performed at the 2018 Seneca Falls Dialogue conference and is published for academic study in the Seneca Falls Dialogue Journal in 2019.  In August of 2019, she was honored to have her short stage play, For the Love of April, published by the distinguished London, U.K. publishing house, Lazy Bee Scripts. 

In 2018 Fields-Gould, published her first novel, A Bond of Love.

*****