WEBEIME inaugurates new home for Negro Ensemble Company 3/28 (NYC) — Layon Gray , Negro Ensemble Company — AAPEX

Sunday, March 23, 2008

WEBEIME inaugurates new home for Negro Ensemble Company 3/28 (NYC)

The Negro Ensemble Company (NEC) will inaugurate its new theatre home at the Harlem School of the Arts with WEBEIME (We-Be-I-Me) , a play about an imprisoned black man who reflects on his life and the events that may or may not have put him there. The play will run for five weeks with preview performances beginning Friday, March 28. Opening night will be on Saturday, April 5 at 7:30 PM.

Layon Gray, one of the eight cast members who tell the protagonist’s story in dialogue, song and dance, wrote WEBEIME. Mr. Gray, who will also direct, has become one of Los Angeles’ top playwrights after creating the African-American Repertory Theatre there in 2003. He has won local and national awards for his theatre work and his hit play DIARY OF A CATHOLIC SCHOOL DROPOUT is in pre-production for a feature film.

Charles Weldon, the artistic director of the NEC, said he chose WEBEIME because, "it reminded me of the early plays at the Negro Ensemble Company. It was exciting cutting edge theatre."

Mr. Weldon was speaking of NEC productions of "The River Niger" and "Soldier’s Play," both of which went on to Broadway.

"The effect of WEBEIME was so exiting that I knew I wanted us to bring it to New York," said Mr. Weldon, who saw the play at the National Black Theatre Festival in North Carolina last summer. "I think New Yorkers will feel the same way I felt when they see it."

The Harlem School of the Arts is located at 645 St. Nicholas Avenue, just north of 141st Street, and south of the A Train stop at 145th Street. Tickets/group sales are available through Ticket Central (212-279-4200) or on line at www.ticketcentral. com and http://www.necinc.org/.

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