*Los Angeles, CA – When Angelina Jolie shared that she elected to have a double mastectomy as a life saving, preventive measure, fellow actress Vanessa Bell Calloway (Shameless) identified with her decision, having removed one of her breasts due to cancer. Now, taking her advocacy to another level, Calloway announced a special performance of the one-woman stage play “Letters From Zora” for cancer survivors to be held Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at the Pasadena Playhouse.
Through the dramatization of personal letters written by Zora Neale Hurston and excerpts from her impressive body of work, “Letters From Zora” explores Hurston’s controversial views on integration, segregation and social justice showcasing a life that was filled with artistic triumphs as well as abject poverty and self-doubt. Calloway plays the role of Zora in this provocative multimedia production directed by Anita Dashiell-Sparks and written by novelist Gabrielle Pina. With live music composed by Ron McCurdy and archival images collected by Margie Labadie, “Letters From Zora,”
will illuminate Hurston’s life, her distinctive array of friends, and her unique view of a jazz-age world.
Scheduled to play from August 15 – 18, 2013 at the Pasadena Playhouse, the final full dress rehearsal will also be open to women living in shelters or who are victims of domestic violence. The night will double a press showing for African American and select mainstream media.
Single ticket prices for Letters From Zora range $30.00 – $75.00. The Pasadena Playhouse is located at 39 South El Molino Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101. The performance schedule is Thursday and Friday at 8:00 p.m.; Saturday at 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.; and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are available by calling The Pasadena Playhouse at 626-356-7529 or by visiting The Pasadena Playhouse Box Office, Tuesday – Sunday from 12:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. during non-performance dates. On performance dates the Box Office is open Tuesday – Saturday from 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. and 12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. on Sunday. Group Sales (tickets for 8 or more people) are available by calling 626-921-1161. For more information, visit www.PasadenaPlayhouse.org.
“A great actor doesn’t simply act, she embodies the soul and spirit of the person they’re portraying. Vanessa Bell Calloway becomes Zora Neal urston so much so that audiences forgot that they were watching a performance. Truly brilliant, said actress Lela Rochon Fuqua.
“Letters From Zora” was originally presented as a sold-out, one-night-only special event at USC’s Bovard Auditorium on March 3, 2012.
About Vanessa Bell Calloway
Vanessa Bell Calloway is an eight-time NAACP Image Award nominee for her critically acclaimed performances on stage, screen and television. Best known for her roles in the box office hits Coming to America and What’s Love Got to Do With It, she has also starred in the films Biker Boyz, Love Don’t Cost A Thing, Daylight, ThInkwell, Crimson Tide, The Brothers, Cheaper by the Dozen, Dawg, Lakeview Terrace and voiced the lead female role in the animated feature Bebe’s Kids. Television credits include her current recurring role as Carol on Showtime’s “Shameless”; NBC’s hit “Go On” with Matthew Perry; TNT’s “Hawthorne RN” with Jada Pinkett Smith; guest star roles on “Dexter,” “Let’s Stay Together,” “House of Payne,” and “Cold Case”; and the television films The Temptations, A Private Affair, Red Sneakers, Love Song, Memphis, The Cherokee Kid, and America’s Dream: The Boy Who Painted Christ Black. On stage, Ms. Calloway was in The Pasadena Playhouse and Ebony Repertory Theater productions of Crowns. She also starred in August Wilson’s Seven Guitars at the Kennedy Center and the Los Angeles production of August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson. Also an accomplished dancer, she was in the original Broadway production of Dreamgirls.
Darren D. Dickerson