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"The final Story, the final chapter of western man, I believe lies in Los Angeles." – Phil Ochs

The World Premiere of Power to the Queendom

2 min read

Loft Ensemble in North Hollywood presents the World Premiere of Power to the Queendom by ShaWanna Renee Rivon, Directed by Diane Reneé. The play tells the story of four women in the 1970s Black Panther Party who find themselves in hot water after a protest goes awry, causing them to hold a Houston police officer hostage in the chapter headquarters. The Houston cops assaulted an unarmed Black man, and the ladies won’t release their hostage until he answers their questions.

There is a Latin saying “Historia est vitae magistra” meaning History is a teacher of life. In preparation for their roles, Power to the Queendom‘s cast were galvanized when meeting with former member of the Black Panther Party, Los Angeles Native Norma (Amour) Mtume who shared with them her experience, memories, spirit, strength and fortitude. Mtume served as Minister of Health and later as the Minister of Finance in the Black Panther Party and has dedicated her life to establishing city-wide free health-care programs, substance abuse and mental health programs for historically marginalized and medically underserved communities in Los Angeles. 

The cast features (in alphabetical order) Raymond Donahey, Angela Fairley, Michael Houston, Barbera Ann Howard, Shamya Jamerica, Ritzi Lanier, Matt Lorenzo, Ravyne Payne, Jessica Perkins, Trodarius Provo, Max Reed III, and Kyle Wallen. 

Scenic design is by Mitch Rosander, lighting design is by Tor Brown & Matthew Scheel, sound design is by Tor Brown & Bree Pavey, costume design is by Danielle Ozymandias, and properties mistress is Natasha Renae Potts. Fight choreographer is Marc Leclerc, intimacy coordinator is Celina Surniak, and weapon safety trainer is Paul Davis. Assistant director is Jazmine Nichelle, rehearsal stage managers are Danielle Ozymandias and Sean Alan Mazur, and production stage manager is Ignacio Navarro. Graphic design is by Amanda Chambers. Power to the Queendom is produced for Loft Ensemble by Bree Pavey with associate producer Matt Lorenzo.

There will be 12 performances only beginning Friday, March 1, at 8pm, and continuing through Sunday, March 24. General admission is DONATE WHAT YOU WANT. The performance schedule is Friday and Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 7pm. Seats may be reserved online at www.loftensemble.org or by phone at (818) 452-3153.

Sawyer’s Playhouse at Loft Ensemble is located at 11031 Camarillo Street in the NoHo Arts District.

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