Nov. 8: Denise Burse, Jimonn Cole, Leland Fowler, J.D. Mollison, Adrienne C. Moore, Destinee Rea, Chelsea Lee Williams, C. Kelly Wright and Broadway Inspirational Voices Set for The Acting Company’s Stage Concert Reading of Marcus Gardley’s A WOLF IN SNAKESKIN SHOES: OR THE GOSPEL OF TARTUFFE

The Acting Company is presenting a staged concert reading of award-winning playwright Marcus Gardley’s A Wolf in Snakeskin Shoes: Or The Gospel of Tartuffe on Monday, November 8th at 7:00pm at Florence Gould Hall (55 East 59th Street). Gardley returns to The Acting Company after his critically acclaimed play X: or, Betty Shabazz v. The Nation had an extended run off Broadway in 2017.

Gardley’s play creatively takes off Molière’s Tartuffe, setting his new wicked comedy in Atlanta where The Righteous Reverend Prelate Prophetic Apostle Toof, a preacher and part-time masseur, promises to lay hands on the terminally ill fast-food tycoon Archibald Beauregard Ichabad Organdy, for a price. His story rocks the foundations of trust, faith, and redemption. The cast includes Emmy winner Denise Burse (“Black Mirror,” Tyler Perry’s “House of Payne”), Jimonn Cole (X: or, Betty Shabazz v. The Nation), Leland Fowler (If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must be a Muhfucka), J.D. Mollison (Octet), Adrienne C. Moore (“Orange is the New Black”), Destinee Rea, Mary Lou Rosato, Chelsea Lee Williams (Girl From the North Country), and C. Kelly Wright (The Scottsboro Boys). Music will be performed by Tony winning Broadway Inspirational Voices, under the direction of Allen René Louis. The entire reading is under the direction of Ian Belknap.

“To continue my collaboration with Marcus Gardley is an honor. His A Wolf in Snakeskin Shoes or the Gospel of Tartuffe makes me laugh and makes me think about my own faith. It is the perfect play to end my time as artistic director,” says Ian Belknap, who is leaving The Acting Company, after a successful ten-year tenure.

Décor and costumes designed by Sarita Fellows (Native Son, The Acting Company), lighting design by Devorah Kengmana (Surely Goodness and Mercy, Keen Company), and sound supervisor by Mark Van Hare (Sing Street, NY Theater Workshop). Kojo Ade is serving as the Audience Consultant. Devin Brain is the Associate Artistic Director; Pamela Reichen, General Manager; Caitlin White, Development Director.

For tickets, please visit www.TheActingCompany.org/Wolf or call Florence Gould Hall at 212.355.6160.

Marcus Gardley is an acclaimed poet-playwright-screenwriter whom The New Yorker describes as “the heir to Garcia Lorca, Pirandello and Tennessee Williams.” In 2019, he was named the Library Laureate of San Francisco by the city’s mayor and the recipient of the 2019 Doris Duke Artist Award. He is the recipient of the 2015 Glickman Award, a finalist for the 2015 Kennedy Prize, and a 2019 Obie Award winner for his play The House That Will Not Stand. Other plays include X or the Nation v Betty ShabazzBlack OdysseyThe Gospel of Living KindnessEvery Tongue ConfessOn the Levee, and The Road Weeps, The Well Runs Dry. In TV, he has written for several series including Boots Riley’s I’M A VIRGO (Amazon), THE CHI (Showtime), FOUNDATION (Apple), NOS4A2 (AMC), MAID, TALES OF THE CITY and MINDHUNTER (Netflix). He currently in an overall deal at Amazon Studios. His feature adaptation of THE COLOR PURPLE musical will be released in theatres in Dec 2023 and his Marvin Gaye biopic was just picked up by Warner Brothers with Allen Hughes attached to direct. Gardley was born and raised in Oakland, California.

Ian Belknap (Director) joined The Acting Company in 2008 and became the artistic director in 2012. He commissioned and directed Marcus Gardley’s X: or, Betty Shabazz v. The Nation. Paired with Julius Caesar, this repertory toured the U.S. in 2017 and was called a “stroke of curatorial inspiration” by The New York Times. X… returned in 2018 for an extended run off-Broadway. Other productions include: Of Mice and Men, Hamlet, As You Like It, and Romeo and Juliet. Ian produced Nambi E. Kelley’s Native Son directed by Seret Scott which won the 2019 Audelco Award for Best Play. With Margot Harley, he produced Desire featuring new work by Marcus Gardley, Rebecca Gilman, and John Guare. In addition, he produced and directed national tours many of which began at the Guthrie Theatre and helped launch the careers of actors who now are in demand on and off-Broadway, and at leading resident theatres nationwide. He has commissioned or produced work by living dramatists: Kirsten Childs, Nilo Cruz, Jeffrey Hatcher, and Meg Miroshnik and he was mentored by several great directors including Doug Hughes and Mark Lamos. Ian learned the art of producing from Margot Harley.

Allen René Louis (Artistic Director for the Broadway Inspirational Voices) is a Haitian-American composer, lyricist, actor, instrumentalist, vocalist, and producer. Known for his masterful vocal ranges, Allen’s dynamic musicality is deeply rooted in his soulful background and church upbringing. Allen René Louis is a Haitian-American composer, lyricist, instrumentalist, trained vocalist, and producer. Known for his masterful vocal ranges, Allen’s dynamic musicality is deeply rooted in his soulful background and church upbringing. Allen served as Music Director for the 2020 Musical Theatre Songwriting Challenge presented by The American Theatre Wing in partnership with The National Endowment for the Arts. He also made an incredible theatrical contribution as the Composer, Lyricist, Arranger, and Music Director of the Inaugural Antonyo Awards, presented by Broadway Black, Most recently, Allen’s vocal arrangements were featured in the Tony Awards Presents: Broadway’s Back! Live on CBS. As a proud member of The Broadway Inspirational Voices since 2018, he recently stepped into the role of Artistic Director in July of 2021.  Allen currently has a number of original projects in development and hopes that his work will continue to inspire, uplift and bring about change.

Broadway Inspirational Voices (BIV), the 2019 Tony Award Honoree for Excellence in Theatre, was formed in 1994 by Tony-nominated Broadway performer Michael McElroy.  His vision was to bring inspiration to the Broadway community during a time when the AIDS epidemic had ravaged an entire generation of artists.  Over the past twenty-five years, BIV has served the Broadway community whenever needed. During the choir’s first six years they annually held concerts to contribute to and support the work of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.  Since then they have taken part in benefits for the Actor’s Fund, Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative, BC/EFA, and numerous other fundraisers held on Broadway stages. In 2007 BIV became a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization to make it easier to give back to the greater community in service to its mission.  Outreach programs are created for children in underserved populations, focusing on BIV’s mission to provide HOPE to INSPIRE and TRANSFORM youth in need through music and the arts. Currently, BIV has annual programs with The Ronald McDonald House New York, Mosaic Preparatory School in Harlem, and the Covenant House in the heart of NYC’s theater district.  In performance, BIV has graced the stages of Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, Lincoln Center, Constitution Hall in DC, and the Crystal Cathedral in Anaheim, California. In 2004, BIV was nominated for a Grammy Award for their first holiday CD: Great Joy!  A Gospel Christmas.  BIV has performed live with Elton John, Mariah Carey, Jason Mraz, Sting, Gloria Estefan, Harry Connick Jr, Patti LuPone, Eartha Kitt, Patti LaBelle, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Vanessa Williams, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Billy Porter and Heather Headley.  BIV has been featured on “The Today Show”, “This Week” with John Oliver, The Miss America Pageant, multiple Tony™ Awards Telecasts, “America’s Got Talent”, and “Late Night” with David Letterman, among others. Their web series, “Broadway Our Way”, is in its third season on YouTube.  Over eighty members strong, BIV’s diverse membership has represented over 140 Broadway shows since its inception.  For more information – and for ways to DONATE to support its ongoing outreach initiatives – go to www.BIVoices.org.  You can also find them on Facebook, Instagram, andTwitter at @BIVoices.

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