NuAFrikan Theatre Announces the Cast of Dream Deferred

The Award Winning Play Dream Deferred Opens on April 20, 2012 at the 133rd Street Arts Center in Harlem, NY

New York, NY, March 21, 2012 --( “This is a play about Harlem. This building is situated on any block in Harlem. The action takes place within the minds, bodies and souls of black folks who live here, in this building, on this block, in Harlem,” explains Doc Gabriel, a Harlem resident in the new play Dream Deferred.

NuAFrikan Theatre is proud to announce the cast of the Jacob A. Weiser Playwright Award winning play Dream Deferred, written and directed by Marcus Dargan, opening on April 20, 2012 at the 133rd Street Arts Center. Dream Deferred explores gentrification in Harlem through the monologues of African American residents of a pre-war building, whose survival is threatened by the newly built condominium across their street. The cast features Richard Mays, and Johnnie Mae, an OOBR Award winning actress and two-time recipient of the AUDELCO Award. The ensemble will include Bisa Dawes, Shannon Harris, Donald Paul, Eddie K. Robinson, and Curtis Williams.

Richard Mays schools the audience as Doc Gabriel, the narrator of Dream Deferred and self-proclaimed historian, educator, and sometimes-jazz musician, and tickles us as Johnny, the tall-tale-telling superintendent. In addition to his work in commercial and film, Mays has performed as a featured singer and actor in musicals at the Theater for the New City, including It’s the Economy, Stupid! and The Wizard of Oz.

Johnnie Mae burns with the fervent fire of the Holy Ghost as Mother Esther Jackson, and gives us the “tea” on her neighbors as the gossipy Mrs. Thompson. Johnnie Mae is a two-time AUDELCO Award winner and shared the OOBR Award for best ensemble cast for Shakin’ the Mess Outta Misery, and was last seen on stage as the Church Mother in The Widow and Miss Mamie.

Bisa Dawes welcomes whites to Harlem in her own unique way as the aggressive and loudmouthed Shay-Shay. Dawes also exposes the economic plight of maintaining a small business in Harlem as the Caribbean bookstore owner Fatima, and starts a race riot as Deva the revolutionary priestess. Dawes notable stage productions include Westside Story, ‘Twas with a Twist, and Tales from the Body Bag.

Shannon Harris questions racial identity and assimilation as the blond wig-wearing Lovey Jones, and will move you to tears as Angela Walker, the mother who loses her husband and son in the violence of a neighborhood riot. Harris has performed with Inwood Shakespeare Festival and Adirondack Shakespeare Company and was last seen in the poignant short play Pedestrian Casualty: Bronx USA in Looking Glass Theater’s Winter Director/Writer Forum 2011.

Donald Paul flirts with the audience as Anthony, the same gender loving Harlem artist, and Black, a street corner thug with a mystical third eye. Paul studied Theatre at the University of Maryland and The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York.

Eddie K. Robinson imparts wisdom that only a “crack head, dope fiend, liar and a thief” can share as Peanut, a skittish drug addict, and demonstrates his range as an actor in his somber portrayal of David Walker, a young victim of police brutality. Robinson is a graduate of Michigan State University and The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts and was last seen in the role of Shock G in The Tragedy of Tupac Amaru Shakur.

Curtis Williams reminisces on the good old days of Harlem as Fresh Chris, and explores themes of masculinity and fatherhood amongst black men as Michael Walker. Williams originated the lead role of Issa Mohammed in NuAFrikan Theatre’s Antichrist Lament, and was last seen in the role of Elsworth in the H.A.D.L.E.Y Players AUDELCO Award nominated production of Gladys Delima.

Presented as part of the NuAFrikan Theatre NuWorks series, Dream Deferred will run 13 performances from April 19-29, 2012 at the 133rd Street Arts Center located at 308 West 133rd Street, Harlem, New York. Performances are at 7:00 PM on Tuesday – Saturday evenings, with matinee performances on Wednesday and Saturday at 2:00 PM, and Sunday at 3:00 PM. General tickets are $20 at the door and are available at the 133rd Street Arts Center box office one hour before curtain or by calling the box office at 347-855-7281. Advance online tickets are $18 for adults, and $15 for seniors, students, and artists at

For complete ticket and schedule information or to order your tickets today, visit

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Jajmi Robinson