By the Way, Meet Vera Stark

Tuesday, November 17 - Saturday, November 21, 2015

Vera Stark, an African-American Vaudeville actor, lives with her friends in Hollywood in the 1930s. Life is a struggle as she takes demeaning bit parts in hopes of creating a name for herself. Vera ends up a legend, whose life is filled with mystery. Biting comedy ensues when she is cast as a slave in an epic antebellum movie. Scenes from the movie become part of the play as contemporary pundits and critics dissect Vera’s legacy in this play by Pulitzer Prize-winner Lynn Nottage that the Wall Street Journal calls a “sharp toothed comedy.”

"The show plays with how media in America can be both a transcending force and a hindrance to personal freedom. It is written to include film, video and sound elements,” says director Steve Ray. “We have had a blast recreating through video part of an antebellum epic movie and a French documentary. There is also part of a 1930s radio play and lots of still shots that tell the story of Vera Stark’s life. Just to take this to its furthest limit, we have built a set that uses projected images as part of the background.” Ray says, "This play explores the cost of freedom—what you are willing to do to create your own freedom, what that costs are and how society can prevent that."

Cast and Crew

UTC Theatre Company’s production features:

Cast: Maya Abram, Kimberly Rye, Mario Hoyle, Brianna Jones, Andrea Frierson, Mason DeGroot, Austin Blackburn
Director: Steve Ray
Technical Direction: John R. Burgess
Scene Designer: Adam Miecielica
Lighting Design: Reid Austin and John R. Burgess
Sound Design: Alexandra Durham
Costume Designer: Samantha Johnson
Stage Manager: Josiah Motok