56 THE QUEENS COURIER • BUZZ • FEBRUARY 13, 2020 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
Titan’s ‘Richard III’ is a bold breakthrough at Queens Theatre
Th e Titan Th eatre Company off ers
groundbreaking productions as Queens
Th eatre’s resident troupe and continues to
deliver creative versions of Shakespeare’s
classics for consistently packed houses.
Th eir latest project is a based-on-fact presentation
called “Th e African Company
Presents Richard III.”
Playwright Carlyle Brown’s drama
unfolds in New York City in the 1820s,
with several African-American actors
presenting a very popular version of
Shakespeare’s “Richard III.” Meanwhile a
competing, very hostile theater company
is onstage just next door. Th e interactions
between the opposing troupes are intense.
Th e dynamics between the actors preparing
for the performance become the heart
and soul of the drama. Th is variation on a
play within a play is well conveyed.
Director Marcus Denard Johnson, a
well-respected artistic associate for Titan,
guides this talented troupe. Th e scenic
designer, Lenny Banovez, is Titan’s artistic
director. Darius Aushay plays the evil
hunchback King Richard III. His off stage
personality is even more signifi cant and
critical to the storyline. He rallies his fellow
actors to stand strong. Th ey will need
their innermost courage and clearest emotions
to thrive in a hostile, 19th century
environment. His deep feelings for Ann
(Psacoya Guinn) are sincere and unwavering.
Ann eventually returns his aff ection.
Th is is due in large part to clever
mediation from a fellow thespian named
Papa Shakespeare is played with charm
and humor by Anthony Michael Stokes.
He intercedes in many of the story’s confrontations
whether they are romantic
complications or cruel minded racial
tensions. Wise Sarah (Rachel Davenport)
is a skillful sounding board. She is there
for Ann and others as they face their
insecurities in an era where talent for
those less favored was seldom equally
Mario Haynes as William Henry Brown
off ers a full range of expression from sensitivity
to anger to productive creativity.
He faces his adversaries (played by Tristan
Colton and John St. Croix) with both conviction
Kudos to the entire staff at every level
of creativity and production. Th e next
endeavor will be “Romeo and Juliet.” For
information on this production and future
projects, visit www.titantheatrecompany.
com, call 718-715-5369 or “like” them on
Facebook or check Instagram and Twitter.
As always, save me a seat on the aisle.
‘Jump’ brings the drama at Astoria Performing Arts Center
Eerie? Ironic? Disconcerting? Th e latest
off ering by the Astoria Performing Arts
Center off ers a tantalizing array of puzzling
questions during their New York
premiere of “Jump.”
Th e drama’s four main characters provide
an interesting approach to some
of life’s most high-stress situations. Th e
result is an oft en warmhearted production
that gives the audience a new perspective
on the most important events
and decisions in our lives.
Th e troupe has found a foothold at
a new venue they call the APAC Pop-
Up Th eater, located in Astoria at 28-21
Steinway St. Th is new home is a departure
from previous performance spaces
in local Y’s and churches. At the press
preview, the audience sits just
inches from the performers.
The central set (Riw
design) and costumes
(Rodrigo Munoz) are
minimal but impactful.
Background music (Jeanne
Travis) and props become
signifi cant. Th e actors oft en
weave in and around the theater
from light to shadow
Th e audience must
or risk overlooking
P l a ywr i g ht
Charly Evon Simpson boldly tackles several
intense subjects including self-destruction,
alcoholism and family
confl icts. Director Arpita
Mukherjee capably harnesses
these issues in an engaging,
Kelechi Ezie as Fay is the
central hub around which
the story’s many spokes
continue to spin. Th e frequent
objects that fall from the ceiling
and scenic “déjà vu” provide
supernatural clues. Clearly,
this is not a typical drama.
Aft er Fay meets paradoxical
Hopkins (Alex J.
Gould) at the wooden
bridge the drama’s
their thoughts and actions as they
overlook the waters? Are they suicidal?
Or lonely? Or just confused?
Fay’s level headed sister, Judy (Natasha
Hakata) is also mesmerized by the bridge.
Can we depend on her good judgment to
guide the other lost souls?
Dathan B. Williams as “Dad” is as
confl icted as the others. He is recently
widowed and currently distraught.
He is the most outwardly angry, bitter
Duly noted acknowledgments to
Sophie Koester (production stage manager),
Meghan McVann, (production manager),
Dorothy Sherman (assistant stage
manager) and the entire company.
For information on this new production
and their next project, “Man of La
Mancha,” visit www.apacny.org, call 718-
706-5750 or check Facebook, Twitter and
Instagram. As always, save me a seat on
A VIEW FROM
BY CLIFF KASDEN
A VIEW FROM
BY CLIFF KASDEN
Courtesy of Titan Theatre Company
Richard III at Queens Theatre.