MARYLAND ENSEMBLE THEATRE
South & Saints
FREDERICK, MD (5/1/23) – Since its inception in the summer of 1997, Maryland Ensemble Theatre has premiered over 60 new works and South & Saints is MET’s 20th mainstage world premiere! South & Saints brings together community storytelling and civic engagement, elevating the voices of Frederick’s rich African-American and Black community and their considerable contributions to the landscape of Frederick as we know it today.
The piece began with conversations during the pandemic of how MET can better serve the underserved and under-resourced voices in our community. With a long standing tradition of building plays around community issues and stories, MET and Frederick’s African American Resources and Cultural Heritage (AARCH) Society embarked on a journey that would deepen our collaborative relationship.
MET’s Producing Artistic Director Tad Janes explains that “we gathered over 20 community members for in-depth discussions and story circles over 6 events, for which we are massively grateful. Using the Story Circle technique developed by John O’Neill of the Free Southern theater and Junebug Productions, the text in South & Saints either derives directly from those story circles or inspired pieces that were written intentionally for this production.”
South & Saints marks Director and MET Ensemble Member, Ray Hatch’s first foray into the devising process. “People have stories that want to be told!” says Hatch, “The theme for our production is ‘segregation, integration, and gentrification’. We chose to concentrate on some of the more positive stories of surviving in a small town from the eyes of the people who experienced it. Our actors are not portraying anyone in particular nor were we interested in creating a documentary. But the stories they tell are directly from the experiences of our story circle participants. What I hope you take away from this production is the feeling of community spirit, faith, patience and love it took to survive and flourish in a community that was only a few blocks long and wide.”
The South & Saints production team includes: Director Ray Hatch, Production Manager Melynda Burdette Wintrol, Stage Manager Shayden Jamison, Assistant Stage Manager Kim Parson, Technical Director Cody James, Scenic Designer Wendell Poindexter, Sound Designer Tom Majarov, Costume Designer Brandi Robinson, Costume Assistant Rachel Smith, Properties Designer Lori Boyd, and Lighting Designer Tabetha White. Devising leadership was provided by Gené Fouchė, Shea-Mikal Green, Julie Herber, and Tad Janes.
The cast includes Gifty Amponsem, Evan Carrington, Victoria Causey, Alonzo Cook, Marcus Kersey Jr., and Rona Mensah.
South & Saints opens on Friday, May 12th and runs through Sunday, June 4th with a $15 preview night on Thursday, May 11th. Curtain is at 8:00pm Thursday – Saturday and 3:00pm on Sunday matinees. ASL Interpretation will be provided on Friday, May 19tht. Audio description services can be arranged in advance through the box office. Thursday, June 1st will be a Masks Required performance.
Tickets are $32 for adults, $30 for Seniors (65+) and Military, and $15 for students. A limited number of Pay What You Will tickets are available for each performance starting at $5 each, while inventory lasts. Tickets may be purchased by phone at (301) 694- 4744, online at marylandensemble.org, or in person at the MET box office.
Director Ray Hatch*
Stage Manager Shayden Jamison*
Asst. Stage Manager Kim Parson
Set Design Wendell Poindexter
Lighting Design Tabetha White*
Costume Design Brandi Robinson
Costume Assistant Rachel Smith*
Sound Design Tom Majarov*
Props Design Lori Boyd
Production Manager Melynda Burdette Wintrol* Technical Director Cody James*
Marcus Kersey Jr.
*Denotes MET Ensemble Member
MARYLAND ENSEMBLE THEATRE MISSION: We are a professional, collaborative theatre ensemble broadly connected to our community by inspiring passion for the arts with courageous, relevant, accessible programs that enable people to feel more, think deeper, and laugh longer.
To learn more about MET, visit www.marylandensemble.org.