University of Pittsburgh
September 29, 2004

Pitt's Kuntu Repertory Theatre Presents Community Workshop, Poetry Slamm, and Broadway's Sophisticated Ladies, in October


Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH— Pitt's Kuntu Repertory Theatre will present a free "How to Audition" workshop from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 2, at Pitt's Department of Africana Studies, 4140 Posvar Hall, 230 S. Bouquet St., Oakland. New York-based director and actress Elizabeth Van Dyke, who will direct Kuntu's production of Sophisticated Ladies Oct. 21-Nov. 6, will conduct the workshop. Participants should be prepared to deliver a brief monologue.

Van Dyke has directed Things of the Heart: Marian Anderson Story for the 2004 Bermuda Arts Festival, Pretty Fire at the St. Louis Black Repertory Theatre, and Great Men of Gospel at the New Federal Theatre and the Paul Robeson Performing Arts Center in Syracuse. She is the artistic director of the Ensemble Studio Theatre's Going to the River, a program that supports and celebrates African American women playwrights. She serves on several New York and New Jersey theater boards and has received a number of awards, including the President's Award from the Black Theatre Network.

At 7 p.m. Oct. 12, Kuntu will host a Poetry Slamm, an opportunity for poets to recite one of their works before a panel of judges. Three winners will be selected and invited to perform their pieces during intermissions of the first three days of Sophisticated Ladies. For more information and to register, call 412-624-7298.

Sophisticated Ladies opens with preview shows Oct. 21 and 22 and Opening Night Oct. 23 in the Seventh-Floor Auditorium of Alumni Hall, 4227 Fifth Ave., Oakland. The musical revue, written by Donald McKayle, debuted on Broadway in 1981 and features the big band sound made famous by Duke Ellington, including "It Don't Mean a Thing," "Satin Doll," and "Solitude." The cast includes Gary E. Vincent, a singer, actor, and dancer who is a native of Washington, D.C., and a graduate of Howard University's School of Fine Arts. Vincent received the prestigious Woody Award for "Best Male in a Musical" for his portrayal of Jesus in Godspell. He has performed in Pippin, Guys and Dolls, Dreamgirls, The World Goes Round, and other shows. A live jazz quartet will provide the music, under the direction of James Alston, supervisor of music for Pittsburgh Public Schools.

Performances are at 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 4 p.m. Sundays. Two additional matinees have been added at 11 a.m. Nov. 4 and 1 p.m. Nov. 5. For ticket and group sales information, call 412-624-7298. Season subscriptions as well as student and senior discounts are available.

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