New African Grove Theatre Company and PushPush Arts are presenting Lori Sinclair Minor’s The Coping Mechanism, October 29 – November 7. PushPush Arts is located at 1805 Harvard Ave, College Park, GA 30337.
Helmed by Keith Franklin, the cast features Isa J. Miles, Asante Williams, Rashiek (Roc) Whitlow and Jayla Cooper.
When Paul and Catherine decided to move forward with the illusion of living as if their son is still alive because their daughter hasn’t processed his loss, they didn’t realize this method of memory-keeping while coming from a place of love, would threaten their family bond and test their ability to fully heal.
The creative team includes Set Designer Natasha Young and Stage Manager Evelyn Rogers.
Friday, October 29 at 8pm
Saturday, October 30 at 2pm
Sunday, October 31 at 2pm
Friday, November 5 at 8pm
Saturday, November 6 at 8pm
Sunday, November 7 at 2pm
Tickets are $25. Get tickets at www.newafricangrove.com. For more information, call 404-579-5861.
Lori Sinclair Minor is a New York based playwright, actor and singer, born and raised in South Carolina. She’s always been a storyteller but has been a playwright since 2012. Her written work had been presented at the National Black Theater Festival in Winston Salem, NC, in NY with Blackboard Plays, The Bechdel Group’s 24-hour playwriting challenge, and the Quick Quarantine (virtual) play fest. As an actor and singer, some of her credits include Feinstein’s 54 Below’s Aretha Franklin tribute concert in New York and The NY Times critics pick Skinfolk: An American Show.
Keith Franklin (Director) is the Artistic Director of the New African Grove Theatre Company. He has been involved in productions across the Atlanta area. He was last seen as an actor in the role of Solly in New African Grove’s production of Gem of the Ocean. Some other favorite productions include performing in Louie & Ophelia, and the entire August Wilson Century Cycle and directing: Front Porch Society, Love You Better, Stories About The Old Days, and Long Time Since Yesterday.
Isa J. Miles (Catherine) is honored to be the first actress to play the role of Catherine in a staged production of The Coping Mechanism. She was most recently seen as Gwen in New African Grove’s 2020 production of A Song for Coretta. Prior to that, she portrayed the role of Ruth in Marietta’s New Theatre in the Square’s production of A Raisin in the Sun, a role which earned her a 2020 Taurean Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Some of her other favorite local stage credits include Blues for an Alabama Sky (Angel), Single Black Female (SBF2), A Song for Coretta (Zora), and Two Trains Running (Risa). Isa is an Atlanta native and a graduate of Benjamin E. Mays High School, Howard University, and Harvard University School of Public Health.
Asante Williams (Paul) is a native Californian, earned his bachelor’s degree in Theatre from the University Of Nevada Las Vegas. A humble versatile actor, who has the ability to bring both a comedic and a dramatic expertise to each role, with an interest in both film and stage his goal is to continue to study the craft and keep competing at a high level to one day grind his way onto Broadway in New York and a major film/ TV sitcom. Favorite stage credits include: Miss Evers Boys (Willie Johnson), When Ali Came Back (Muhammad Ali), Blood Water (David), Deep Greenwood: The Hidden Truth Of Black Wall Street (Stradford). Quote: Keep learning, Keep growing, laugh, and enjoy the moment – Asante.
Rashiek (Roc) Whitlow (Benjamin) Actor/Record Label CEO/Screen Writer. Roc, an up and coming actor, was last seen in the film Party To A Crime. He is known for making cameos in independent artist videos. At 6’7″ he’s taller than the average actor but with charisma, great looks and talent, he am determined to change the narrative of the height normalcy in film.
Jayla Cooper (Alexis) is a new talent from Georgia. She is beyond excited to be making her stage debut as Alexis in the staged production of The Coping Mechanism. She’s a student at Catapult Acting Studio and has interest in film and modeling as well as stage.
Evelyn Rogers (Stage Manager) Writer/Director She is the writer of the stage play Just Be A Man About It and I Love Him So Much But Three’s A Company. She has worked on the stage play What God Joined Together and many more. Actress Her first professional movie she appeared in was Tyler Perry For Color Girls. She has also been featured in movies such as “ Get On Up,” “ Comeback Dad,” “A Christmas Blessing,” and many more. Her mentor is Mr. Jeffery Poiter.
Natasha Young (Set Designer) is a world traveler who has visited over 25 countries and loves all art forms, especially theater. She believes that art can change the world for the better. She has directed New African Grove’s productions of King Hedley II, Radio Golf and Holy Intervention. She has designed sets for New African Grove’s productions of Waitin’ 2 End Hell, Single Black Female, Me and My Boy, Two Trains Running and Jitney. Additionally, she has served as Stage manager and Assistant director for those productions.
Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer, an Award winning filmmaker and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. Her short film, When the World Was Young, written and directed by Garth Kravits, recently garnered a 2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations.
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