February 7, 2020 (New York, NY)
Today, the Theatre at the 14th Street Y announced the Women’s History Solo Show Series, a trio of performances highlighting stories about famed educator Mary McLeod Bethune, writer Jane Austen, and the Mona Lisa, the mysterious woman in the world-famous portrait by Leonardo da Vinci. February 25 through March 15, 2020 audiences can witness First by Faith: The Life of Mary McLeod Bethune
, written and performed by Richarda Abrams
; Cheer from Chawton: A Jane Austen Family Theatrical
written and performed by Karen Eterovich
and Equally Divine: The Real Story of Mona Lisa
written and performed by Jenny Lyn Bader.
Each production, featuring all-female creative teams, will run eight performances at the 14th Street Y located at 344 East 14th Street (East 14th Street at 1st Avenue).
“I have been performing my award winning solo show First By Faith: The Life Of Mary McLeod Bethune for the past two years, performer/playwright/producer Richarda Abrams said. However, this year I had an opportunity to perform at the Theatre at the 14th Street Y so I had one more conversation with my fellow League of Professional Theatre Women colleagues Karen Eterovich who has a marvelous solo show about Jane Austen and Jenny Lyn Bader who has an outstanding solo show about Mona Lisa and I asked them to join me in this venture of a Women’s History Solo Show Series co-presented with the Theatre at the 14th Street Y. I am so happy we did. There is something about theatre women working together. “
General admission for all performances of the Women’s History Solo Show Series is $25 and $14 for student and seniors with ID. Discounts are also available for groups of 10 or more with a $42 Flex Pass for those who wish to see the entire series. Tickets can be purchased at https://www.14streety.org/artsandculture/womens-history-solo-show-series/, by calling 646-395-4310 or in person at the 14th Street Y, 344 East 14th Street, at the corner of 14th and 1st. The box office opens 30 minutes before curtain and is not open for business on non-performance dates. All tickets are subject to a $2.99 servicing fee.
About the Shows
First By Faith: The Life of Mary McLeod Bethune
Written, Performed and Produced by Richarda Abrams
Directed by Dina Vovsi
Music Director: Amina Claudine Myers
February 25 – March 15 | Run time: 60 minutes | No intermission
Performance Schedule: Tues. Feb 25, 7:30 pm (VIP Reception & Talkback) | Sat, Feb 29, 7:30 pm
Thurs. Mar 5, 7:30 pm | Fri, Mar 6, 7:30 pm | Sun, Mar 8, 1:00 pm | Wed, Mar 11, 7:30 pm | Sat, Mar 14, 1:00 pm | Sun, Mar 15, 7:30 pm
Workshopped at NYC’s Actors Studio, 2019 Winner of AUDELCO VIV Award for Solo Performance of the Year. 2018 Winner of United Solo Theatre Festival’s “Best Educational Show Award”. Performer/Playwright Richarda Abrams uses storytelling and song, transcends time and gender, explores Mary McLeod Bethune’s journey as an uneducated child, to becoming a world-renowned educator, humanitarian, civil rights activist, and stateswoman, returning to earth sharing one last lesson.
Equally Divine: The Real Story of the Mona Lisa
Written and Performed by Jenny Lyn Bader
Directed by Julie Kramer
February 26 – March 14 | Run time: 75 minutes | No intermission
Performance Schedule: Wed. Feb 26, 7:30 pm | Fri, Feb 28, 7:30 pm | Sun, Mar 1, 1:00 pm
Mon, Mar 2, 7:30 pm | Sat, Mar 7, 1:00 pm | Sun, Mar 8, 5:00 pm | Thurs. Mar 12, 7:30 pm
Sat, Mar 14, 7:30 pm
2019 Winner of United Solo Theatre Festival’s “Best Documentary One-Woman Show Award.” Paris, 1911. The art heist of the century triggers a national manhunt. As police interview everyone from J.P. Morgan to Pablo Picasso, the story travels back in time to 1503, introducing us to the visionary artist Leonardo da Vinci, the apprentice who would become his lover, and the secrets behind the masterpiece. Along the way, the woman in the portrait solves mysteries that have baffled fans and stumped scholars for centuries: Why did the portrait never get delivered to the man who commissioned it? Who is she, anyway? And why is she smiling? EQUALLY DIVINE is a time-traveling, gender-bending drama about art, inspiration, and becoming who we are.
Cheer from Chawton: A Jane Austen Family Theatrical
Written and performed by Karen Eterovich | Love Arm’d Productions Theater
Direction, Dialect Design & Choreography by Susan Pilar & Amy Stoller
February 27 – March 15 | Run time: 60 minutes | No intermission
Performance Schedule: Thurs. Feb 27. 7:30 pm | Sat, Feb 29. 7:30 pm | Sun, Mar 1, 5:00 pm
Wed, Mar 4, 7:30 pm | Sat, Mar 7, 7:30 pm | Tues, Mar 10, 7:30 pm | Fri, Mar 13, 7:30 pm
Sun, Mar 15, 1:00 pm
In the tradition of home theatricals held during her childhood, Jane Austen has prepared an entertainment for her family in which her siblings are to take part with her as performers. She expects to begin playing Mrs. Bennet (from Pride and Prejudice), to her brother James’s Mr. Bennet. But her family has played a trick on her: they have left Jane to tackle an unrehearsed solo performance. They provide her with a list of topics quizzing her on her life, her writing, and the inspiration behind her work. These serve as the springboard for a most enjoyable evening, filled with Jane’s pointed observations on her family, friends, suitors, and society, as well as her own hilarious early efforts as an author. You may be called upon to play a part – scripts are provided!
Richarda Abrams(First by Faith: The Life of Mary McLeod Bethune) is a three-time AUDELCO award-winning actress/singer/playwright/producer. She wrote, performed and produced First By Faith: The Life Of Mary McLeod Bethune which went on to garner the 2019 AUDELCO Viv Award For Solo Performance of the Year, the 2018 United Solo Theatre Festival Best Educational Show Award and a sold out engagement at the National Black Theater Festival. Other performances include: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (Ivoryton Playhouse), Amina Claudine Myers’ Generation IV, 2019 (NYC Winter Jazz Festival), Last Days of Judas Iscariot directed by Estelle Parsons (La Mama). She also recorded the CD, SONG FOR ALL, with her father the late Dr. Muhal Richard Abrams musician/composer/ visionary/co-founder of the Association For The Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). Richarda is a graduate of New York University Tisch School of the Arts and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts with honors in Acting, and NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development and received a Master of Arts in Educational Theater. www.firstbyfaith.com.
Jenny Lyn Bader (Equally Divine: The Real Story of Mona Lisa) is a playwright and theatre artist. Her plays include Mrs. Stern Wanders the Prussian State Library (Luna Stage), In Flight (Turn to Flesh Productions), and None of the Above (New Georges). One-acts include Worldness (Humana Festival) and Miss America (NY Intl Fringe, Best of the Fringe” selection). She co-founded Theatre 167, winner of the NY Innovative Theatre Foundations Caffé Cino Award. For This Is Not A Theatre Company, she co-authored Café Play (Cornelia St. Café) and wrote The International Local, a phoneplay” on the Subway Plays app. A Harvard graduate, she has received the 2019 Athena Playwriting Fellowship; Lark Playwriting Fellowship (nominated by Wendy Wasserstein); and the Edith Oliver Award (Eugene O’Neill Center). Her work has been published by Dramatists Play Service, Vintage, Applause/Limelight, Smith & Kraus, Lincoln Center Theater Review, W.W. Norton, and The New York Times, where she served as a frequent contributor to the “Week in Review.” She is a member of the Dramatists Guild. For more, see www.jennylynbader.com. Twitter: @JennyLynBader
Karen Eterovich (Cheer from Chawton: A Jane Austen Family Theatrical) (AEA, SAG-AFTRA, Dramatists Guild, LPTW) has toured nationally and internationally for 25 years as a solo artist. Her award-winning play, Love Arm’d, Aphra Behn & Her Pen has been performed in more than 30 states and across the pond at the Bedlam Theatre in Edinburgh, Scotland and at the Mission Theatre, Bath, UK. Cheer from Chawton, A Jane Austen Family Theatrical has toured coast to coast from Stockton, CA to NYC to the Mission Theatre in Bath, England. Cheer has been invited and performed in Bath, England in 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2019. Recent NYC Credits: Hudson Warehouse: Lady Catherine in Pride & Prejudice, Gertrude in Hamlet, Queen Anne in The Three Musketeers, Miss Prism in The Importance of Being Earnest. Also multiple roles in a three-person Christmas Carol with the First Flight Theatre Company in 2019 in New Jersey. MFA Acting University of South Carolina, Internship at the Shakespeare Theatre at the Folger. www.lovearmd.com
About The Theater at the 14th Street Y The Theater at the 14th Street Y focuses on social awareness and change through big picture narrative. Inspired by works that welcome artists of all backgrounds, we place artists at the heart of our community and seek to create an inclusive and open cultural experience for all. Art is incubated here.
About the 14th Street Y We are a vibrant community center grounded in the belief that contemporary Jewish sensibilities can be a source of inspiration, connection, and learning for the individuals and families we serve throughout downtown Manhattan. We focus on health and fitness, education and enrichment programs, and innovative arts and cultural programming.
We are committed to the development of the whole person and bettering peoples lives and strengthening individual and family connections by building an inclusive, vibrant, and sustainable community.
The 14th Street Y is part of Educational Alliance, which brings together and partners with diverse communities in Lower Manhattan, offering individuals and families high-quality, multi-generational programs and services that enhance their well-being and socioeconomic opportunities.