San Jose, CA --- March 20, 2012 --- San Jose Stage Company will present the World Premiere of Jeannie Barroga’s Buffalo'ed, in collaboration with Choreographer Alleuia Panis, which retells the story of the Buffalo Soldiers, descendants of American slaves who were stationed in the Philippines at the turn of the 20th Century during both the Spanish-American and Philippine-American Wars. The military presence of the U.S. Army's Buffalo Soldiers during the Philippine occupation is a little-known thread in the fabric of American history. The World Premiere performance of Buffalo’ed, opens April 7 at San Jose Stage Company.
Directed by Anthony J. Haney, Buffalo’ed is an American story told through three points of view (the Insurrectionists, the Buffalo Soldiers and the U.S. Army), Buffalo’ed expands on the Buffalo Soldiers' history with the 1898 U.S.-acquired Philippines. Within a six-month period, Filipino rebels and a select number of African-American soldiers engaged first as allies against Spain, and then, as in similar foreign occupations, against each other. This play highlights their mutual fates.
Buffalo’ed is told through dialogue, projected images and movement, specifically escrima movements, which were celebrated in social settings, without violating the “no assembly” law. During the the changeover from Spanish to U.S. occupation in the Philippines, public gatherings were banned. Social dances were allowed and used by rebels to practice self-defense moves. These activities, shown theatrically, how native rebels inventively responded to martial law, in a manner that was approved and accepted, but ultimately, was revolutionary.
The collaborators’ (Barroga/Playwright) and (Panis/Choreographer) vision for the new work was to investigate and explore this pivotal moment in history and create a compelling work that evokes conversation.
The commissioning and production of this World Premiere is made possible by The Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Playwright Collaboration 2009 Initiative. Additional funding was provided by Applied Materials Foundation.
San Jose Stage Company, the Bay Area’s award-winning off-Broadway theatre, holds the opening Gala on Saturday, April 7 at 8 PM with previews beginning Wednesday and Thursday, April 4 and 5 at 7:30 PM and Friday, April 6 at 8 PM. Buffalo’ed runs through April 29, 2012.
The cast includes Amielynn Abellera, David Arrow*, Carmichael ‘CJ’ Blankenship*, Elizabeth Carter*, Clarissa Chun, Clinton Derricks-Carroll*, Alexandria Diaz de Fato, Tim Hart, Nila Le, Gregory Manalo, Jed Parsario, Daniel Redmond, Adrian Roberts* and Rajiv Shah*.
The Stage is located at 490 South First Street at William Street in downtown San Jose’s South First (SoFA) area. Tickets are available through the Box Office by calling 408.283.7142 or online atwww.thestage.org between $20 and $45. Visa and MasterCard are accepted, and discounts are available for groups, students and seniors. The theatre is handicapped accessible.
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*Member of Actors’ Equity Association
Playwright Jeannie Barroga is a member of Dramatists Guild and a nationally-produced playwright, teacher, director and video producer. She has written sixty-two plays, and her work has been published, anthologized and produced nationally and internationally. Today, Barroga plays an active role in many theater groups in Northern California and across the nation.
Alleluia Panis collaborated with Barroga and is a nationally reknowned choreographer who is at home in both Filipino tribal/traditional arts, such as escrima, and American contemporary forms. She has received awards from the Rockefeller Foundation, San Francisco Arts Commission, California Arts Council and Creative Work Fund. She has created fifteen full-length dance theater works since 1985, which have been performed on main stages in the United States, Europe and Asia.
Director Anthony J. Haney is a multiple award-winning actor and director. He directed Intimate Apparel and Crowns for TheatreWorks, as well as a commercial revival of Crowns at San Francisco’s Marines Memorial Theatre. He also directed musical tributes to Ben Vereen, Della Reese and Ruby Dee at The Nate Holden Theater in Los Angeles. He has numerous credits with TheatreWorks as well as a seven-year stint as the company’s Associate Artistic Director. He has also appeared at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Magic Theatre, San Jose Repertory Theatre and the Edinburgh Festival, as well as with the San Francisco Mime Troupe (National Tour). He has also appeared in episodic television, films and dozens of national commercials.
Assistant Director/Dramaturg Norman Gee returns to The Stage, where he was last seen onstage in MacBeth. He is the Artistic Director of Oakland Public Theater. He began development work with the Bay Area Playwrights Foundation, and has worked on new plays with companies including Word for Word and Thick Description. Gee has collaborated on various solo pieces with the AfroSolo Arts Festival and currently develops historical projects with the Hillside Club in Berkeley.
Production Stage Manager Jaimie L. Johnson* serves as San Jose Stage Company Production Stage Manager. Her stage management credits for The Stage include Buried Child, Cabaret andAvenue Q. Prior to her work for The Stage, she served a Resident Stage Manager for TheatreWorks. She has a Bachelor of Arts from St. Cloud State University and been a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association for over 10 years.
Composer Richard Marriott has written five productions for choreographer Della Davidson, collaborated with Yoshiko Chuma in A Page Out of Order and scored Momenta String Quartet’sCity of Paper for choreographer Yin Mei. His operas include Divide Light, Lan Ling and Godmachine. He has also written two operas for Overtone Industries in Los Angeles. He is currently composing The Passion of Miriam with Iranian director Mohammad Ghaffari and librettist Ruth Margraff, which will premiere September 2013.
Set Designer Michael Palumbo designed the sets for San Jose Stage Company’s Cabaret, The Seafarer, and The Turn of the Screw as well as the lighting for Buried Child, On the Waterfront, The Pillowman, and more. He has also designed lighting and scenery for Marin Theatre Company, TheatreWorks, Opera San Jose, San Jose Repertory Theatre, Sacramento Opera, Aurora Theatre Company, Magic Theatre, Diablo Theatre Company, Shotgun Players, Pacific Repertory Theatre, TheatreFirst, Inferno Theatre, Teatro Visión, Palo Alto Players, Solano College Theatre/Harbor Theatre, City Lights Theater Company of San Jose and Bus Barn Stage Company.
Sound Designer Steve Schoenbeck designed the sound for San Jose Stage Company’s Rock N’ Roll. He has designed sound for San Jose Repertory Theatre, TheatreWorks, American Conservatory Theater, SF Playhouse, Marin Theatre Company, Culture Clash and Edinburgh’s Assembly Theatre, among others. He has also designed sound for short films and animation, and mixed numerous musicals. He is currently the Resident Sound Supervisor at the San Jose Rep.
Light Designer Maurice Vercoutere designed the lights for the World Premieres of Lolita Roadtrip and Tenders in the Fog at San Jose Stage Company, for which he received the Dean Goodman Award for Lighting. He was a Resident Lighting Designer at Sacramento Theatre Company and The Western Stage. He has designed for many theatres throughout the Bay Area including TheatreWorks, Marin Theatre Company, Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, Civic Arts Repertory Company, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa Repertory Theatre, Theatre on the Square and Magic Theatre.
Costume Designer Michele Wynne designed the costumes for San Jose Stage Company’s Buried Child, Cabaret, Lolita Roadtrip, Rock ‘N’ Roll, The Turn of the Screw, The Diary of Anne Frank and more. Her other local designs include performances for The Marin Theatre Company, for The San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, and the Lamplighters Music Theatre. She served as the associate costume designer on the original Broadway production of Urinetown, The Musical, the national tour of Disney’s Aida and six seasons on Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular. Wynne taught costume design at New York University’s Program in Educational Theatre.
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About San Jose Stage Company:
Founded in 1983, San Jose Stage Company is recognized as The Bay Area's Premiere Off-Broadway Theatre, and known for its devotion to new and cutting-edge work and for its commitment to showcasing high-quality local talent. In 1986, San Jose Stage Company set precedence as the first arts organization to negotiate and receive support from the Redevelopment Agency and the City of San Jose when over $500,000 was appropriated in support of the development of a new 200-seat theatre featuring a 3/4-thrust stage, which opened in 1990. Now in its 29th Season, SJSC continues to center its operations in this facility and has successfully produced over 138 productions and premiered 44 new works, including 11 world premieres and is acclaimed for maintaining high artistic standards, investing in local talent and supporting the region’s community of working artists while taking artistic risks. In addition to its core programming, San Jose Stage Company offers five core education and outreach programs and has housed over 200 independent performance groups. San Jose Stage Company is a vital force in the community and has earned a reputation for artistic excellence by providing high-quality, edgy theatrical experiences that engage, educate and provoke audiences. San Jose Stage Company serves an audience base of 30,000 and is recognized as a leader in the arts for a theatre of its size. For more information www.thestage.org