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After two years of touring her one-woman show, Girls! Girls? Girls.Trinidadian-American playwright and actress, Marjuan Canady, premieres her second original play, Callaloo: A Jazz Folktale, at the Ellington Theatre, 3500 R St., NW, Washington, D.C., on Saturday, January 12, 2013 at 7:30 pm. This innovative performance will fuse multiple creative storytelling elements creating a unique live experience where audience members encounter over a hundred years of Trinidadian and Tobagonian history. 

Canady plays the lead role in this exciting play. She is brilliantly supported by a diverse and masterful creative team that includes actress Vanessa Evans, director Natalie Carter, musical composer Etienne Charles, dance choreographer Maresa D’Amore-Morrison, cinematographer Shadae Lamar Smith, sound designer Darien Dorsey, costumer Winston Black, lighting designer Latrice Lovett, and stage manager Vichelle Jones.

This is the story of a young boy who travels to the islands of Trinidad and Tobago, where his grandmother teaches him a lesson about balance in life. On these mystical Caribbean islands, dreams, magic and reality fuse together as the little boy becomes entrapped by mythical characters: Soucouyant, Dwen, La Diablesse, Papa Bois, Lagahoo and Mama D’lo. He must fight his way out of this haunting paradise to make it home alive. Etienne Charles' critically acclaimed album, Folklore, serves as a musical backdrop, re-establishing Caribbean oral storytelling through jazz music.

“Caribbean oral traditions are losing its significance in today's society.  I hope to begin building bridges from past legacies within today's generation. The Caribbean is more than sandy beaches and vacation getaways. We have a complex history with unique cultural experiences that unites generations through oral traditions,” says Canady. She continued, “From the minute audiences step through the theatre doors, they will experience the dynamic music, visual imagery and language of Trinidad and Tobago." Canady’s vision will transform the Ellington Theatre into just that.

As the doors open at 7:00pm the audience will encounter the sights, sounds and tastes of the Caribbean. Following the performance, the audience will have the opportunity to dialogue with the “Callaloo Creatives” and enjoy pleasantries at the Callaloo after party at Martinique restaurant, Bistro La Bonne located at 1340 U St., NW, Washington, D.C.

The presenting partners of this premiere are Sepia Works and The Ellington Alumni Association. Sepia Works is a multi-platform entertainment production company that serves to bring extraordinary entertainment to diverse audiences through the world. The Ellington Alumni Association helps to garner relationships between past graduates and current students at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts.

About Marjuan Canady
Canady is a graduate of Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Fordham University Lincoln Center (B.A. Theatre Performance and African/Caribbean Studies), and New York University (M.A. Arts Politics-Tisch School of the Arts). Canady is also a youth arts educator and community organizer.  A Matteo Ricci and Schomburg Mellon Fellow.

Her One-Woman play, Girls! Girls? Girls., has been featured Off-Broadway at The United Solo Festival, The Performing Arts Marathon Festival (NYC), The Girl Talk Tour (National), Love Us Festival (Philadelphia, PA), The New Orleans Fringe Festival (New Orleans, LA) as well as at over fifty stages across the United States.

Visit Callaloo: A Jazz Folktale  to learn more.

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