Double Play Connections and Doing Life Productions, Jane Dubin, Executive Producer, and Director Brent Buell, collaborators on Antigua-born poet, author, painter, and playwright Iyaba Ibo Mandingo's unFRAMED: A Man in Progress, are fostering relationships and communication by participating in community driven programming. Dubin, Buell and Mandingo have stepped outside the theater to "continue the conversation we start with this powerful show," says Dubin, a TONY award-winning producer. The three have been seen connecting with many different communities – making African masks with an afterschool class in Newburgh, NY; writing poetry with the women in residence and the high school girls at the YWCA White Plains; to presenting the play to over 200 prisoners and staff inside Sing Sing Correctional Facility.
The play takes the audience into the artist's studio where Mandingo tells the story of his life as an immigrant in America. unFRAMED is returning to Manhattan for five performances in June as part of the soloNOVA Arts Festival at Off-Broadway's New Ohio Theatre (154 Christopher Street, inside the landmark Archive Building). Performances begin Monday, June 4 and continue through Saturday, June 16. Tickets are $20 and are available at www.terranovacollective.org.
According to Mandingo, "unFRAMED has allowed me the opportunity to continue my work as a master teaching artist with an entirely New Group of students, such as the women and girls of the YWCA in White Plains and the adult students of the Literacy Volunteers of Stamford and Greenwich. The added visibility has also afforded me wonderful performing opportunities too, like participating in the World Aids Day concert in New London, CT, or participating in the first ever Westchester Poetry Festival, or being a part of the Caribbean Art celebration at Lincoln Center this summer."
"I taught in Sing Sing and other New York maximum security prisons for ten years and witnessed the transformative power of theater," reflects director Buell. "I am proud to be directing Iyaba Ibo Mandingo's unFRAMED because its powerful message does outside the walls what I'm so proud happened inside: it changes people."
"In unFRAMED writer and performer Iyaba Ibo Mandingo tells the story of his journey from Antigua to America. It wasn't without tribulations; navigating treacherous times without a father, Mandingo turned to art. unFRAMED puts the art front and center: Mandingo uses painting, poetry, prose and song to tell a story that echoes the lives of many." – Times Herald Record.
When asked why unFRAMED: A Man in Progress was chosen to be part of the OUTSIDE THE FRAME Festival in Philadelphia, InterAct Theatre's Producing Artistic Director Seth Rozin explained, "unFRAMED is a compelling performance piece in which the very striking Antigua native Iyaba Mandingo details his incredible journey to America while simultaneously painting his self-portrait on stage in front of the audience. His story is both deeply personal and starkly political, revealing a man whose identity literally and figuratively changes through the course of his extraordinary saga to become an American. While our government continues to focus on the challenges and complexities of U.S. immigration from Mexico, I found myself drawn to Mandingo's story, which invites us into the psyche of an émigré of singular talent and determination."
unFRAMED plays the following schedule as part of the soloNOVA Arts Festival:
Perf #1 - Monday, June 4 at 7:00 pm
Perf #2 - Saturday, June 9 at 7:00 pm
Perf #3 - Sunday, June 10 at 4:00 pm
Perf #4 - Wednesday, June 13 at 7:00 pm
Perf #5 - Saturday, June 16 at 9:00 pm
Tickets are $20 and are available online at www.terranovacollective.org or directly at http://bit.ly/unFRMAEDtixatSOLONOVA. Tickets may also be purchased in-person at Box Office ½ hour in advance of the performances.
Running Time: 85 minutes, no intermission