Brooklyn's Billie Holiday Theatre presents its mainstage fall presentation, 12 Angry Men...and Women: The Weight of the Wait, online September 12. A partnership with The New Press, the evening features selections from the 2012 edition of 12 Angry Men: True Stories of Being a Black Man in America Today as well as an original story that focuses on the killing of Breonna Taylor.
The staged reading will feature the talents of Lisa Arrindell (The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof), Billy Eugene Jones (A Soldier’s Play, Much Ado About Nothing), and Wendell Pierce (Death of a Salesman, The Wire), with live music by violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain and a musical overture performed by a quartet of New York Philharmonic musicians.
12 Angry Men...and Women presents stories of everyday people subjected to racial profiling, based upon the book edited by Gregory S. Parks and Matthew W. Hughey. The performance will be streamed live from New York City’s first Black Lives Matter mural with 159 names of men, women, and children killed by acts of racially motivated violence. The mural is located on Fulton Street between New York and Brooklyn Avenues.
“When we presented these stories on the stage five years ago with an all-male cast...it was timely. The persistent killings of Black women...Sandra Bland, Breonna Taylor….and our Black Trans sisters….Riah Milton and Dominique Fells...and others....warrants the same level of outrage and illumination,” states The Billie Holiday Theatre Executive Artistic Director Dr. Indira Etwaroo. “The Billie will continue to innovate in response to the converging pandemics that disproportionately impact the lives of Black people in this country with works like 12 Angry Men...and Women. Our stories are our salvation.”
“I am honored to return to The Billie Holiday Theatre. As an actor, performing these stories that illuminate systemic racial injustices in this country on the site of NYC’s first Black Lives Matter mural in the largest community of African Americans in the country—Central Brooklyn—is a statement,” adds Tony winner Pierce. “The statement is pure and it is simple: the fight for injustice has been centuries-long, but we will not cease to fight until all Black lives matter.”
12 Angry Men...and Women: The Weight of the Wait will kick off at 7:30 PM ET with members of the New York Philharmonic presenting an overture with the reading beginning at 8 PM ET via The Billie Holiday Theatre’s YouTube Channel.