Tag Archives: Gilbert Glenn Brown

Fountain Theatre Earns 4 Stage Raw Award Nominations for ‘Painted Rocks’ and ‘Citizen’

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Gilbert Glenn Brown and Suanne Spoke in ‘The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek’.

The Fountain Theatre has been honored with 4 Stage Raw Awards for its 2015 productions of The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek and Citizen: An American Lyric.

The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek was the West Coast Premiere of Athol Fugard’s new play about South African artist Nukain Mabuza.  The world premiere of Stephen Sachs’ stage adaptation of Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric dramatized racism in America.

The Fountain nominees are:       

  • Supporting Female Performance – Suanne Spoke, The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek
  • Leading Male Performance – Thomas Silcott, The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek
  • Adaptation – Stephen Sachs, Citizen: An American Lyric
  • Ensemble – The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek

For the full list of nominees click here

CITIZEN Fountain Theatre in Memory 2

‘Citizen: An American Lyric’ at the Fountain Theatre

Using multimedia and the written word, Stage Raw is a digital journal dedicated to discovering, discussing and honoring L.A.-based arts and culture. The Stage Raw Theater Awards are dedicated to honoring the swath of innovative works of theater in Los Angeles County, in venues of up-to-99-seats.

The STAGE RAW Celebration is Monday, April 25 at Los Angeles Theatre Center, 514 S. Spring Street (VIP reception 6 p.m.; doors Open at 6:30. Awards Program begins at 7:30pm), General Admission Tickets are $25, VIP Tickets $100, available at stageraw.com.

Fountain Theatre earns 4 NAACP Theatre Award nominations for ‘The Brothers Size’

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Gilbert Glenn Brown, Matthew Hancock, Theodore Perkins in ‘The Brothers Size’.

The Fountain Theatre’s acclaimed 2014 production of Tarell McCraney’s The Brothers Size has been nominated for 4 NAACP Theatre Awards. The Awards are presented annually by the Beverly Hills-Hollywood branch of the NAACP and are part of a four-day festival to honor outstanding people of color in theatre. 

“We are always pleased and proud to be recognised by the Beverly Hills/Hollywood NAACP theatre committee,” stated Fountain Co-Artistic Director Stephen Sachs. “It’s a continuing affirmation to our decades-long commitment to diversity on our stage.”

For this current Award cycle, the Theatre Viewing Committee considered productions from January to December of 2014.  The Fountain’s 2014 Los Angeles Premiere of The Brothers Size earned the following four nominations:
  • Best Playwright – Tarell Alvin McCraney
  • Best Director – Shirley Jo Finney
  • Best Choreography – Ameenah Kaplan
  • Best Ensemble Cast – Gilbert Glenn Brown, Matthew Hancock, Theodore Perkins 
“I am excited about combining the awards show and the festival because this platform will bring thespians and theatre lovers from across the country to the city of Los Angeles to enjoy the art that is theatre,” said Ron Hasson, president of the Beverly Hills/Hollywood NAACP. “The NAACP Theatre Awards Show represents an ever-growing theatre community in Los Angeles and we want to elevate this already highly recognized event in Los Angeles and heighten its visibility nationwide.”

Winners of the 25th Annual NAACP Theatre Awards will be announced on Sunday, March 6, 2016, at a press conference and reception at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center. More Info

 

Fountain Theatre highlighted on “Best” Lists for Theatre in 2015

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The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek

As the year draws to an end, the Fountain Theatre is delighted to be highlighted on many of the annual “Best of 2015” lists that are starting to appear.

Los Angeles Times theatre critic Charles McNulty selected our west coast premiere of Athol Fugard’s The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek to his Best Theater of 2015, hailing it as “Another in the Fountain Theatre’s series of expertly acted productions of the great South African playwright.”

The LA Theatre website Bitter Lemons named The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek as its Top Rated Production of 2015.

And critic Travis Michael Holder honored the Fountain Theatre with several of his TicketHolder Awards for 2015:

BEST PRODUCTION OF 2015

The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek

  • RUNNERS-UP: Citizen: An American Lyric

BEST ENSEMBLE CAST IN A PLAY

Gilbert Glenn Brown, Thomas Silcott, Phillip Solomon, Suanne Spoke, The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek

  • RUNNERS-UP: Bernard K. Addison, Leith Burke, Tina Lifford, Tony Maggio, Simone Missick, Lisa Pescia, Citizen: An American Lyric
CITIZEN Fountain Theatre feel most colored

Citizen: An American Lyric

NEW DISCOVERY 2015

Phillip Solomon, The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek

BEST PLAYWRIGHT

Athol Fugard, The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek

BEST ADAPTATION

RUNNERS-UP: Stephen Sachs, Citizen: An American Lyric

BEST DIRECTION OF A PLAY

Simon Levy, The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek

  • RUNNERS-UP: Shirley Jo Finney, Citizen: An American Lyric

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

RUNNERS-UP: Naila Aladdin-Sanders, The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek

BEST SOUND DESIGN

RUNNERS-UP: Peter Bayne, Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek

BEST VIDEO DESIGN

RUNNERS-UP: Yee Eun Nam, Citizen: An American Lyric

SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENTS 

Anastasia Coon, Movement, Citizen: An American Lyric

A marvelous end to a memorable year marking our 25th Anniversary season. More “best” lists will be appearing.  

 

Gilbert Glenn Brown paints a picture in new Athol Fugard play at the Fountain Theatre

Gilbert Glenn Brown and Suanne Spoke in 'The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek'

Gilbert Glenn Brown and Suanne Spoke in ‘The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek’

by Darlene Donloe

The name Gilbert Glenn Brown has become synonymous with “good works” around the L.A. theater world.

A handsome gent with a bright, poetic smile, Brown enjoys a career that has spanned film, television and theater. His theatrical credits are extensive, and the list of directors and actors that he’s shared a stage with reads like a Who’s Who of Los Angeles theater.

On this particular day, as the sun is setting after an extremely warm afternoon, Brown is sitting on the upstairs patio of the Fountain Theater, dapper in a gray cap, blue-and-white rolled up checkered shirt and gray vest. He’s ready to talk about the actor’s life that he’s carved out.

Known for bringing all of himself—and none of himself—to his roles, Brown has delivered a number of stellar performances, playing vivid and memorable characters that have earned him the COLSAC Best Lead Performance Award, two Los Angeles Drama Critics Awards and an LA Weekly Award.

He made women swoon and men suck in their guts delivering an arousing performance as Shango, the neighborhood bad boy in Tarell Alvin McCraney’s original comedy/drama, In The Red and Brown Water, directed by Shirley Jo Finney. He was the intense and absorbing older brother Ogun Size in McCraney’s The Brothers Size, also directed by Finney. Most recently, he was probably the most sensually-charged Polyneices ever to grace a stage in the Ebony Repertory Theatre’s The Gospel At Colonus.

Now the Brooklyn native is set to play Jonathan in the West Coast premiere of Athol Fugard’s latest play, The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek, a drama directed by Simon Levy, now playing at the Fountain Theatre in Hollywood.

Gilbert Glenn Brown and Suanne Spoke

Gilbert Glenn Brown and Suanne Spoke

This production marks the Fountain Theatre’s 15-year relationship with the playwright that began in 2000 when Fountain Co-Artistic Director Stephen Sachs directed Fugard’s The Road to Mecca. It was then that Fugard, an Academy Award winner for Tsotsi (Best Foreign Language Film), recipient of the 2011 Tony for lifetime achievement—and a multiple Obie and Tony Award-winner best known for his plays rooted in the scars of South African apartheid—reportedly began to call the Fountain his “artistic home on the West Coast.”

The Play

Inspired by the work of real-life outsider artist Nukain Mabuza, The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek is set in South Africa in the 1980s. It tells the story of elderly Nukain, a farm worker and self-taught artist who has spent years painting the rocks and boulders at Revolver Creek, transforming them into a garden of flowers.

The play, which also stars Thomas Silcott, Philip Solomon and Suanne Spoke, begins when the final, most challenging unpainted stone and a young boy named Bokkie (Nukain’s assistant) “force Nukain to confront his legacy as both an artist and a black man in 1980s South Africa,” where the horrible injustices of apartheid still prevailed at the time—dividing the country into black and white.

The minute he read the script, Brown jumped at the chance to play Jonathan, the grown-up version of Bokkie, who returns to Revolver Creek to restore the faded rocks as a tribute to Nukain, the friend he loved.

“What I like about Jonathan is the need he feels to come back and stand up for someone he loves,” says Brown. “He comes back to stand up for someone who wasn’t able to stand up and say I’m a man, or say that he mattered.”

Although he’s a “huge fan” of the playwright, this is the first time that Brown has tackled an Athol Fugard play. “I am familiar with his activism,” Brown says, “and using theater as a means of activism. I was groomed, in a sense, to look at issues head on. It’s about telling the truth with the material. I read the play and I was blown away by it because of the honesty of the material.”

“What’s wonderful about Gilbert,” says Simon Levy, who is directing the show, “is that he’s this beautiful combination of sensitivity and danger,” says Levy. “He possesses a deep well of emotion that reveals itself in surprising ways so that the character always feels kinetic and honest.”

“I think I understand where Simon wants to go with this piece,” Brown says. “He’s very clear on making sure that the audience can connect with the story and with the living, breathing human beings—not in a superficial way. It’s a wonderfully written piece.”

Brown is working with a dialect coach to get Jonathan’s South African accent right. “I want to honor the person I’m portraying [and] the people who actually speak that language…and be so connected, that I don’t think it’s an accent, it’s just how I speak.”

Now that Brown has had several weeks to ingest the material, he’s gained more insight into the meaning and intent of Fugard’s words. Comments from a documentary on apartheid that Brown watched as research added to his understanding:

“An activist said apartheid not only jails the people that are oppressed,” Brown recalls, “but also the jailers because they are caught in a cycle. You become dehumanized when you think someone is not as much as you are. Until you can say this happened, and acknowledge that it happened, there will be no movement. The people affected are not going to let it go. I realize now that it’s an opportunity to see each other as human beings.

“That is what the play means to me,” Brown says. “I’m always looking for truth.”  Continue reading

PHOTO SLIDESHOW: Artists and Audiences Celebrate at Opening Night Party of ‘The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek’

Maya Lynn Robinson and Gilbert Glenn Brown

Maya Lynn Robinson and Gilbert Glenn Brown

Cast, company and audience members swept into our upstairs cafe Saturday night to celebrate the opening night performance of our west coast premiere of Athol Fugard’s new play, The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek. Food, drink and joyfulness followed a marvelous performance that earned a standing ovation.

Internationally acclaimed playwright Athol Fugard returns to the Fountain Theatre with this beautifully heartfelt new drama. Directed by Simon Levy, it features Gilbert Glenn Brown, Thomas Silcott, Philip Solomon, and Suanne Spoke.

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The production runs to December 14th. Info/Get Tickets

VIDEO & PHOTO SLIDESHOW: High school students enjoy Q&A discussion with company of ‘The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek’

IMG_4371At last night’s preview performance of The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek, the theatre was packed with 80 students from Mission Viejo High School who came with energy, enthusiasm, and questions for the cast and director.  A terrific Q&A discussion was held immediately after the performance and everyone — artists, students and teachers — had a wonderful time.

The students were from humanities classes and already familiar with the work of playwright Athol Fugard. One student shared that eight years ago she had actually visited the actual hillside in South Africa where Nukain Mabuza painted his famous rocks. She found the play — and seeing the set with its colorful, rocky landscape — very moving and meaningful.  The students asked many interesting and insightful questions of cast members Gilbert Glenn Brown, Thomas Silcott, Philip Solomon, Suanne Spoke, and director Simon Levy. The discussion was moderated by Co-Artistic Director Stephen Sachs.

This special evening was part of Theatre as a Learning Tool, the Fountain Theatre’s educational outreach program making the live theatre experience accessible to students.

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The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek runs to December 14. More Info/Get Tickets

Meet the cast of our west coast premiere of Athol Fugard’s ‘The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek’

Thomas Silcott and Philip Solomon

Thomas Silcott and Philip Solomon

Previews begin this Friday night, October 30th, for our upcoming west coast premiere of Athol Fugard’s beautiful and heartfelt new play, The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek. We thought we’d grab this opportunity for you to meet the cast.

GilbertGlennBrown3 (1)GILBERT GLENN BROWN plays the role of Jonathan Sejake. Gilbert received his  BFA from Tisch School of the Arts. Theater credits include Gospel at Colonus (Ebony Repertory Theatre Company), The Brother Size, In the Red & Brown Water and Live From Death Row… The Scottsboro Boys (Fountain Theatre), Spunk, (True Colors Theatre Company), Rio, The Musical (2012 New York Musical Theatre Festival), Martin: Before the Dream (NEC), A Time to Love, Charleston Olio, Harriet Jacobs (Kansas City Rep), Civil War Christmas (Huntington Theater), Forgive Me (NY International Fringe Festival), TopDog/UnderDog, (Seattle Rep/Circle Theatre Group), Miss Evers Boys (The Complex), DWB in Beverly Hills (Matrix Theatre). Some of his film & TV credits include Dreamgirls, Rain, Children of the Struggle, recurring this Fall on The Inspectors, recurring on Mercy, ER, The O.C., Cold Case, Shark, CSI: Miami, The Shield.  gilbertglennbrown.com

Thomas Silcott program headshotTHOMAS SILCOTT plays the role of Nukain Mabuza. He is happy to be performing his second production at The Fountain Theatre and his second premiere of an Athol Fugard play with them. Happy 25th Anniversary! Past projects include Bring In Da Noise/ Bring In Da Funk (Broadway Tour), To Kill A Mockingbird (Alliance Theatre), As You Like It (Colorado Shakespeare Festival), Our Town (Gloucester Stage Company), Othello (Kingsmen Shakespeare Company), Master Harold and The Boys (The Colony Theatre), Coming Home (The Fountain Theatre & Berkeley Repertory Theatre), Paint Your Wagon (Geffen Playhouse). T.V. and Film credits include Gods and Generals, Girlfriends, Desperate Housewives, The Others, Entourage, Raising The Bar, Criminal Minds: Beyond Boarders, Rosewood. Tom is a recipient of an Ovation and an L.A. Weekly award and a nominee for two N.A.A.C.P. awards.

Philip SolomonPHILIP SOLOMON plays the role of Bokkie. Philip lives in Santa Ana, California and is a seventh grader at Santiago Charter Middle School in Orange, CA. His credits include Sacrificing Simone by Aretha Thomas (Porticos Art Space in Pasadena), Sleeping Beauty and Her Winter Knight (Lithgow Family Productions at the Pasadena Playhouse), back-up dancer to Hannah Kirby on season 8 of NBC’s The Voice, a co-starring role on the “Fresno Girl” episode of Nickelodeon’s Sam and Cat and a national commercial for Hilton Homewood Suites. He is a member of St Mary’s Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in Culver City.

Suanne prog headshotSUANNE SPOKE plays the role of Elmarie Kleynhans. Suanne is a multi-award winning actor who can currently be seen recurring on Switched at Birth and in the Academy Award winning film, Whiplash. TV credits include Criminal Minds, Happy Endings, Private Practice, and she appears in a very funny special feature on the DVD of Once Upon A Time. She will be seen in Christopher Guest’s new film Mascots and the upcoming indie feature Wild Prairie Rose. Having appeared on many local stages including Company of Angels, the Road, Deaf West, Inside the Ford with the wonderful Fountain Theatre, Suanne has won the Ovation Award for Best Actress in both David’s Mother and Napoli Milionaria and was also nominated for Streetcar Named Desire at Deaf West Theatre. She currently is on the faculty of California Institute of the Arts teaching acting in the Graduate Film Directing Program and is producing, along with her husband, K.C. Marsh, the documentary Warne Marsh: An Improvised Life. Thank you all here at the Fountain Theatre for this fantastic opportunity.

The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek is inspired by a real life story. Nukain Mabuza has spent his life transforming the rocks at Revolver Creek into a vibrant garden of painted flowers. One final rock remains. With his young pal Bokkie at his side, will he do it? Even in the new South Africa, can a person — and a nation — truly see inside the soul of another human being?