Every day is opening night.

City Parks Foundation Continues SummerStage Theater Season with “Blood Pudding”

Rick Miramontez / Elizabeth Wagner / Jon Dimond / Chelsea Nachman
rick@oandmco.com / elizabeth@oandmco.com / jon@oandmco.com / chelsea@oandmco.com
(212) 695-7400



SummerStage presented by MasterCard
Theater presented by Time Warner

8:00 – 10:00 PM

New York, NY – SummerStage has announced the continuation of their first theater season with blood pudding, written by Sharon Bridgforth and Directed by Baraka de Soleil. This show is a part of SummerStage’s summer-long FREE theater program and will take place on Friday, July 23rd and Saturday, July 24th at Springfield Park, Queens and Friday, August 6 and Saturday, August 7 at Marcus Garvey Park, Manhattan at 8:00 p.m.

blood pudding celebrates the history of Black people in New Orleans. Through blood memories of a girl born in Congo Square, blood pudding explores a landscape of magic made of Ancestral Love. In this interdisciplinary piece, the blues is sacred, narrators are holy, Indigenous people are honored, and the drum shapes reality. blood pudding is ritual jazz theatre.

blood pudding is a truly innovative piece that blurs the lines between theater, song and dance,” said City Park Foundation’s Director of Theater Programs, Freedome Bradley. “Through this original and emotional exploration of the history and ancestry of African-Americans and indigenous peoples during the era of slavery in New Orleans, we hope that the audience will gain a deeper understanding of the African American experience and think more about the differences and the similarities between people of all races.”

The full cast of blood pudding includes Ted Cruz, Helga Davis, Omi Osun Joni L. Jones, Jimmy Lopez, Monica McIntyre, Pam Patrick, Francine Sheffield, Baraka de Soleil and Negaysha Walcott.

The creative team for blood pudding includes Sharon Bridgforth (Playwright), Baraka de Soleil (Director/Choreographer), Helga Davis and Jimmy Lopez (Composers), Kay Ulanday Barret (Stage Manager) and Lisa Lamothe (Costume Designer).

This year in honor of the 25th anniversary, SummerStage is excited to have expanded from Central Park to encompass all five boroughs, and will feature productions in Von King Park, Brooklyn, Betsy Head Park, Brooklyn, St. Mary’s Park, Bronx, Crotona Park, Bronx, Springfield Park, Queens, Marcus Garvey Park, Manhattan and East River Park, Manhattan.

For the most up-to-date SummerStage scheduling and line-up for SummerStage programming, visit http://www.SummerStage.org.


Sharon Bridgforth (Playwright) New Dramatists member, 2010 – 2011 Multicultural Faculty member at DePaul University’s Theatre School. She is author of the Lambda Literary Award winning, the bull-jean stories, and love/conjure/blues, both published by RedBone Press and is one of the editors of Experiments in a Jazz Aesthetic: Art, Activism, Academia, and the Austin Project, University of Texas Press. Her work has been presented around the country at venues including the Walker Art Center, and La Pena Cultural Center. blood pudding was developed in a retreat at the Weston Playhouse Theatre Company, Malcolm Ewen, Tim Fort & Steve Stettler, Producing Directors, Stuart Duke, Managing Director, in 2010. For more go to: www.sharonbridgforth.com

Baraka de Soleil (Director/Choreographer/Performer) received a Jerome Foundation Travel & Study Fellowship to travel to Ghana to research & experience the spatial configurations of historic slave routes and castles for the upcoming work “Water Moves the Soul.” He has received a McKnight Choreography Fellowship, an AUDELCO nomination for Obatala: King of White Cloth[2004], commissions by Walker Art Center, Southern Theatre (Mn)and Dixon Place [2009], and residencies through Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Tribeca Performing Arts Center, Ontological Hysteric Theatre and Queens Museum of Modern Art . For his choreographic work on Sango: Lord of Thunder, Baraka was awarded the prestigious Katherine Dunham Choreography/AUDELCO for excellence in Black Theatre. Baraka is founder of D UNDERBELLY, a network of interdisciplinary of artists of color. For more go to: www.dunderbelly.com.

Ted Cruz (Musician/Performer) Since graduation from the University of North Texas in 1990, Mr. Cruz has been active with both recording and performing with various jazz, rock, R&B and classical music artists all over the world. His production and arranging work has been recognized and acclaimed by Billboard, Downbeat, Vibe and Rolling Stone magazines. He also composed the music for the opening and closing ceremonies of the millennium celebration in Times Square, New York City. Mr. Cruz’s recent forays into film and television music have his work featured on ESPN, NBC, MTV and HBO television.

Helga Davis (Composer/Performer) 2004 marked Helga’s directorial debut at the University of Texas, Austin, with Sharon Bridgforth's, “love/conjure/blues“. Helga is co-star of “The Temptation of St. Anthony”, directed by Robert Wilson with libretto and score by Bernice Johnson Reagon of Sweet Honey in the Rock. In March 2007 Davis began hosting Overnight Music on WNYC and was awarded the ASCAP Deems Taylor Multimedia Award. In February 2008 Davis conducted a special feature interview with artist Kara Walker for the WNYC program Morning Edition on the eve of her Whitney Museum retrospective. Helga wrote and performed a new multi-media piece entitled: “Imaginings” at the Whitney Museum at the retrospective's conclusion. In the Spring of 2008 Davis starred in “The Blue Planet”, a multi-media theater piece written by Peter Greenaway and directed by Saskia Boddeke. She last appeared in VOX the Contemporary American Opera Lab run by the City Opera of New York.

Omi Osun Joni L. Jones (Performer) is an artist/scholar whose performance training ranges from Shakespeare Theatre at the Folger to Theatrical Jazz with Laurie Carlos, Daniel Alexander Jones, and Sharon Bridgforth. She has earned performance awards in D.C. and Austin, Texas, and her scholarship has appeared in national performance journals. Omi is the lead editor of Experiments in a Jazz Aesthetic: Art, Activism, Academia, and the Austin Project, University of Texas Press. She is currently completing a study of theatrical jazz entitled Jazz, Ase, and the Power of the Present Moment. Omi is an Associate Professor and Director of The Warfield Center for African and African American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.

Monica McIntyre (Musician/Performer) is a passionate performer who wows audiences with her deep voice and unorthodox slapping, plucking and strumming cello technique; blending the genres of: jazz, blues, soul, reggae, and middle-eastern music, creating her own musical landscape. Monica released her debut album Blusolaz in October 2003. Monica has performed at numerous events throughout the country. In August 2005 she released her first single Bars of Gold. In the winter of 2010 she began producing shows under the name CelloMama Compositions (CMC) and as of July 2010 has produced: Past Is Present, ReUnion, and Fishing In Brooklyn.

Pam Patrick (Musician/Performer) percussionist, has performed across the country and in Europe, South America and the Caribbean with Women of the Calabash and in Urban Bush Women’s critically acclaimed piece “Song of Lawino.” Pam is the musical director for Dr. Glory’s Youth Theatre, and a performing and teaching artist for Young Audiences New York and Brooklyn Academy of Music. In addition, Pam is a featured performer at Battery Park City Parks Sunset Jam series and accompanies Pat Hall’s dance classes at NYU. Pam is currently a doctoral candidate in Urban Education at CUNY working on her dissertation in arts education.

Francine Sheffield (Performer) performed with choreographers such as H.T. Chen, Wendy Perron, Amy Pivar and Marlies Yearby. She was company member of Urban Bush Women under the leadership of Jawole Zollar for 6 years. Presently, Francine is a member of choreographer Baraka De Soleil's DUNDERBELLY. This is Francine's second collaboration with Sharon and her first time in a Sharon Bridgforth production.

Negaysha Walcott (Performer/Apprentice) born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, is an honor roll student at Medgar Evers College Preparatory School. She will be a graduating senior this fall. Negaysha has performed for Mrs. Valerie Katz and has worked with Ron Brown and Baraka de Soleil. This is Negaysha’s very first professional production.

City Parks Foundation (CPF) is the only independent, nonprofit organization to offer park programs throughout the five boroughs of New York City. CPF works in over 750 parks citywide, presenting a broad range of free arts, sports, and education programs, and empowering citizens to support their parks on a local level. CPF programs and community building initiatives reach more than 600,000 people each year, contributing to the revitalization of neighborhoods throughout New York City.

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