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And In This Corner, Cassius Clay - January 27-March 3

And In This Corner, Cassius Clay - January 27-March 3

AND IN THIS CORNER: CASSIUS CLAY JANUARY 27-MARCH 3 Black Theatre Troupe and Childsplay Team Up To Perform Story of Muhammed Ali PHOENIX – Childsplay, the acclaimed theater for young audiences, and Black Theatre Troupe, one of the longest consecutive running Black theater companies in the United States, are joining forces to produce AND IN THIS CORNER: CASSIUS CLAY. Designed for families and audiences of all ages, AND IN THIS CORNER: CASSIUS CLAY is a captivating story of the young Muhammed Ali growing up in the segregated South of the 1950s. AND IN THIS CORNER: CASSIUS CLAY will be performed Saturdays and Sundays from January 27-March 3 at the Helen K. Mason Performing Arts Center, 1333 E. Washington St. Phoenix, AZ 85034. Tickets are $25 and are on sale at blacktheatretroupe.org or childsplayaz.org or by calling 602-258-8129. At the sound of the bell, young Cassius Clay Jr. takes his first step into the ring and starts becoming the man the world would come to know as Muhammad Ali. Before he became one of the world’s greatest boxers and civil rights advocates, he was a 12-year old boy navigating friendships, family and learning to fight for himself and his community in the segregated South of the 50s. AND IN THIS CORNER: CASSIUS CLAY is directed by Michael Jerome Johnson and features Raphael Hamilton in the title role. Raphael has appeared in several productions with Black Theatre Troupe including last season's Seven Guitars and Broke-ology in 2017. Michael Jerome is a nationally acclaimed fight director and master instructor whose work has been seen at The Kennedy Center, Arena Stage and The Shakespeare Theatre. AND IN THIS CORNER: CASSIUS CLAY CAST & CREATIVES Michael Jerome Johnson Director Raphael Hamilton Cassius Clay Shawn Hansen Eddie/Young Soapbox Guy Louis Farber Joe Martin Kyle Bilton Cash/Fred Stoner Cynnita Agent Odessa Frederick Alphonso Rudy/Reporter Katie McFadzen Announcer/Waitress Sten Eikrem Ziggy Pietrzkowsk AND IN THIS CORNER: CASSIUS CLAY PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE At the sound of the bell, young Cassius Clay Jr. takes his first step into the ring and starts becoming the man the world would come to know as Muhammad Ali. Before he became one of the world’s greatest boxers and civil rights advocates, he was a 12-year old boy navigating friendships, family and learning to fight for himself and his community in the segregated South of the 50s. All performances at Helen K. Mason Performing Arts Center, 1333 E. Washington, Phoenix AZ 85034 Tickets: $25 at blacktheatretroupe.org or childsplayaz.org Sunday, January 27, 2019 at 4:00 pm Saturday, February 2, 2019 at 4:00 pm Saturday, February 2, 2019 at 7:00 pm Sunday, February 3, 2019 at 2:00 pm Saturday, February 9, 2019 at 4:00 pm Saturday, February 9, 2019 at 7:00 pm Sunday, February 10, 2019 at 2:00 pm Saturday, February 16, 2019 at 1:00 pm Sunday, February 17, 2019 at 2:00 pm Saturday, February 23, 2019 at 1:00 pm Saturday, February 23, 2019 at 4:00 pm Sunday, February 24, 2019 at 2:00 pm Saturday, March 2, 2019 at 1:00 pm Saturday, March 2, 2019 at 4:00 pm Sunday, March 3, 2019 at 2:00 pm About Black Theatre Troupe At the beginning of the long hot summer of 1970, a City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Supervisor named Helen Katherine Mason noticed the distinct absence of one rich and resonant voice within the arts communities of the Valley and the State of Arizona at large. She dedicated herself to giving that voice a platform from which it could be lifted and heard by all. From that simple dream, The Black Theatre Troupe, Inc. was born and is now a nationally celebrated company. During its fledgling years the company performed in several city facilities before getting its first home in 1976. One of the most important facilities that the City of Phoenix provided during those times was a meeting room at Eastlake Park in downtown Phoenix. Eastlake Park has served the inhabitants of Phoenix since the late 1880’s. Originally known as Patton’s Park, it was developed by the Phoenix Railway Company to serve as a recreational area for the white patrons of the city’s trolley system. The park eventually became a place where people of all races could meet to relax and celebrate special events without violating separatist laws which existed in the nation and state during the first half of the 20th century. After moving from that community room at Eastlake Park the company used various locations in the City, until 1983 when they purchased the historic Temple Beth Hebrew Synagogue in downtown Phoenix, in the heart of what is now the Roosevelt Row District. After an electrical fire in 2001 the company again used multiple facilities. In 2006. a city of Phoenix Bond Election awarded the company $2.5 million for a new home. On February 1, 2013, after a long and successful capital campaign to raise additional funds, BTT celebrated the opening of their new home, The Helen K. Mason Performing Arts Center. This new state of the art facility is located at Washington and 14th Street in downtown Phoenix – exactly two blocks from where it all began: the historic Eastlake Park. About Childsplay Founded in 1977, Childsplay is a nationally and internationally respected professional theatre company whose chosen audience is children. At Childsplay we believe that young people deserve to experience challenging, thought-provoking theatre of the highest artistic quality. Our respect for children’s intelligence and creativity drives us to produce new and innovative works by theatre’s finest artists. Equally, our understanding of the challenges facing Arizona’s classroom teachers leads us to offer arts education resources in 40 communities annually. In the past 36 years, we have educated and inspired more than four million young people and families. We have grown to serve an average annual audience of 200,000 students, teachers, and families. Founder David Saar recognized during his MFA studies that children could reap great benefits from experiences with professional theatre. After graduating, Saar gathered classmates in a 1964 Chevy Impala, and equipped with basic sets and costumes, began performing in local classrooms. Today, performing in schools remains a core Childsplay activity with three annual touring productions that visit hundreds of schools throughout Arizona. It is estimated that one in five Arizona K-6 students will see a Childsplay production at their school. More than half of this audience lives at or below the poverty level. Alongside the tour season, Childsplay’s annual programming includes: nine months of in-house productions for school and family audiences at the Tempe Center for the Arts; an on-site academy of theatre classes throughout the year; and a variety of education outreach programs embedded throughout the greater Phoenix community. # # #

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