WATERWELL ANNOUNCES PERFORMERS & CELEBRITY VOLUNTEERS FOR “FLEET WEEK FOLLIES”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, PLEASE
ANNOUNCES PERFORMERS & CELEBRITY VOLUNTEERS FOR
“FLEET WEEK FOLLIES”
FEATURING LEMON ANDERSEN, MIKE BIRBIGLIA, DARLESIA CEARCY, BRANDON VICTOR DIXON, SHERIE RENE SCOTT, SARAH STEELE, WILL SWENSON, BETSY WOLFE, AND MORE, PLUS SPECIAL PERFORMANCES BY FREESTYLE LOVE SUPREME & AMERICAN MILITARY SPOUSES CHOIR
HOSTED BY CELIA KEENAN-BOLGER & ANDREW RANNELLS
SUNDAY, MAY 26, 2019
New York, NY (May 16, 2019) – Waterwell is proud to announce performers and celebrity volunteers for the inaugural year of Fleet Week Follies, an annual festival of entertainment for the military community during Fleet Week, to be held on Sunday, May 26, 2019 at Brooklyn’s National Sawdust music venue (80 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, 11249).
Fleet Week Follies will begin with workshops, family performances, and activities for kids of all ages from 1:00-4:00pm, including a visit with a character from Sesame Street, a performance from Blue Star Families, puppet-making and circus skills workshops, and a food truck.
This will be followed by a Happy Hour beginning at 5:30pm with dinner and drinks served by celebrity volunteers, including Happy Anderson (Waterwell’s The Courtroom, Mindhunter), Marsha Stephanie Blake (When They See You, Orange is the New Black), Nichoas Braun (Succession), Ben McKenzie (Gotham), Omar Metwally (The Affair, Guards at the Taj), Ruthie Ann Miles (Waterwell’s The Courtroom, The King and I), David Morse (Hurt Locker, The Iceman Cometh), Pedro Pascal (Game of Thrones, King Lear), and Michael Shannon (Frankie & Johnny at the Clare, The Shape of Water). Beer will be provided by veteran-owned craft brewery 14th Star Brewing, and food will be prepared by Emma’s Torch, a Brooklyn restaurant that empowers refugees through culinary education, and Dog Tag Bakery.
Beginning at 7:00pm, the evening will conclude with special musical performances from some of New York’s finest performances, which will be hosted by Tony-nominated Broadway stars Celia Keenan-Bolger (To Kill a Mockingbird) and Andrew Rannells (The Book of Mormon). Performers include Lemon Andersen (She’s Gotta Have It, Def Poetry Jam), Mike Birbiglia (The New One), Darlesia Cearcy (Once on This Island, Shuffle Along), Brandon Victor Dixon (Jesus Christ Superstar), Sandra Lee (Waterwell’s Blueprint Specials, Army Veteran), Sherie Rene Scott (Waterwell’s Hamlet, Whorl Inside a Loop), Sarah Steele (The Humans, The Good Fight), Will Swenson (Hair, The Greatest Showman), and Betsy Wolfe (Waitress, Falsettos), plus special performances from the American Military Spouses Choir and members of Freestyle Love Supreme.
Tickets to Fleet Week Follies are free to all members of the military community, including Active Duty, Guard, Reserve, veterans, and their families and caregivers. Registrations and more information are live now at Eventbrite and at waterwell.org. A limited number of tickets will also be available to civilians via a standby line on the day of the event.
Fleet Week Follies is inspired by the Stage Door Canteen, a club in the basement of the 44th Street Theater where from 1942-46, the Broadway community put on nightly entertainment for military service members. The stars who volunteered both performed and served food and beverages, all completely free of charge.
“Waterwell is proud to animate a small part of the legacy of the Stage Door Canteen – a truly remarkable effort by many members of the Broadway community in the 1940s to create a space where art and performance could strengthen the sense of connection between the military and civilians in their time,” said Waterwell artistic director Lee Sunday Evans. “We hope to build on that spirit and create a meaningful, fun annual event where art can continue to be a source of inspiration and community-building between these too-often separate sectors of our society.”
A major partner in Waterwell’s efforts to deliver Fleet Week Follies to the military community is Blue Star Families, a leading non-profit committed to strengthening military families by connecting them with their neighbors – individuals and organizations – to create vibrant communities of mutual support.
Fleet Week Follies is made possible with the generous support of founding sponsors the Howard Gilman Foundation, the Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation, the Partnership for a New American Economy, the PVH Foundation, HISTORY®/A+E Networks, 14th Star Brewing, Creative Coalition, Dog Tag Bakery, and Ligature Creative.
Waterwell (Lee Sunday Evans, Artistic Director; Adam J. Frank, Managing Director; Heather Lanza, Director of Education; Arian Moayed, co-founder and Board Chair) is a non-profit, civic-minded theater and education company that strives to prove itself a vital presence in the lives of its audience by remaining always responsive: responsive to the events affecting the world, to changing modes of expression, and to the individuals attending each performance. Through entertainment and arts education, Waterwell hopes to inspire audiences and students to change their lives and the world in which they live. In 2017, Waterwell created and produced Blueprint Specials, a collection of short musicals written during WWII performed by a 60+ cast comprised of veterans and professional actors on the hangar deck of the Intrepid Air + Space Museum. The company’s most recent production, The Courtroom, which The New York Times called “theater as civic meditation,” was a verbatim re-enactment of deportation proceedings performed in active legal spaces around New York City, including the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse. Waterwell’s education program, the Waterwell Drama Program, has been in residence the Professional Performing Arts School (PPAS) since 2010, where it delivers top-quality, year-round, in-school theater training to over 200 NYC public school students.
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