Macbeth in Stride

Macbeth In Stride is an electrified look at the descent of the Lady Macbeth and her husband through the iconic music of Ike and Tina Turner, The Doors, and more. Featuring Shakespeare’s text the show takes an intimate look at a relationship in turmoil and the effects of vaulting ambition. How do we punish and celebrate women who push too hard, who want too much, who sing too loud?

Macbeth In Stride is part one in a series of concert plays exploring Shakespeare’s women, set to rock and roll. Written by Whitney White, directed by Caitlin O’Connell, and produced by Emily Breeze.

Cast

Peter Mark Kendall

Whitney White

History

First created as a solo project as part of Brown/Trinity Rep’s MFA program. Special thanks to Zdenko Martin, Billy Finn, Jesse Nelson, Ian McNeely and the Brown University/ Trinity Rep MFA Acting program.

Workshops / Presentations

White Herron (June, 2015)

Chautauqua Theatre (August, 2016)

Trinity Rep (May, 2017)

Judson Memorial (January, 2018)

Breadloaf (August, 2018)

We’re just warming up

Last night I performed at the Duplex Cabaret and Piano Bar in the West Village as a part of RB Embleton’s night at the Duplex Part II. This was my first Cabaret performance, so it was very cool to be doing it in the Village.

The night featured both new and old songs by the phenom RB Embleton.  There were many familiar faces from Northwestern (Waa Mu shout out!). My solo piece was a vintage song from his Northwestern days “Shop Till I Drop”. I definitely got to show some of my wild woman moves…..video footage coming soon.

 

RB also surprised us with a performance of his favorite piece by Craig Cornelia, which moved the audience to tears. RB’s music is marked by strong melody, contemporary lyrical content and beautiful counterpoint. Working on his material is always a great challenge as he allows the performer to really spread their wings and experiment.

 

On what motivates him most as a songwriter:

“I try to always give myself permission to fail, that way I’m not overly concerned with creating something perfect. I find that some of my favorite stuff I’ve written, is some of the simplest and came from just trying to have fun with an idea.”

On what he’ll miss most about NYC:

More than anything else, I’m going to miss the variety of cultures that New York represents.  I’m going to also miss my friends here and the energy that the city exudes.

RB is about to Embark on a nine month contract aboard the Ms. Prinsendam with Holland America. We wish him lots of luck and love.

Special thanks to everyone who came out.

 

The Jeffs part deux

The Non-Equity Jeff Awards came and went and as expected it was a night to remember. The cast performed “The Black One” in the New Work category. Between Passing Strange and Violet, Bailiwick Chicago was nominated in over 10 categories. In addition to newly appointed Artistic Director Lili-Anne Brown, I’m expecting big things from the company in the future.

When I looked out at the audience from on stage, at all the people I have worked with over the past 4 years, I had that “so THIS  is what I’m doing with my life“.  At least I’m not the only one. Congrats to everyone for surviving another year in the life of the theatre.
W

The Jeff Awards

I can’t believe it but tonight I will be performing at the Non Equity Jeff Awards in Chicago. The ceremony is taking place at the incredible Park West.  Last time I was at there I saw Raphael Saadiq who killed it. It’s a great Chicago venue with a large stage so I can’t wait.

The Jeff Awards are Chicago’s version of the Tony’s saluting the best musical and theatrical performances of the year. There are many great nominees, some familiar faces, and I salute everyone up for an award.  Last year I was also one of the hosts for the Equity Jeff Awards.

 

 

Tonight I will be performing with the cast of Passing Strange as the show is nominated for Best Musical.  Passing Strange is simply the gift that keeps on giving. Even though we ran almost a year ago the show keeps popping up again and again.  This trip was more difficult to swing (can we say GOD SAVE ME from all these Red Eye Flights?) but I know I am very fortunate for the opportunity. Performing at the Jeff’s is something I’ve always wanted to do and I can’t believe I am now getting the honor.

Look out for more info on the event 🙂

W

 

Sing Harlem SING!

Saturday was the opening of  Sing Harlem Sing!, or what we like to call “Music for Saturday Night and Sunday Morning“.

*Note: The show is currently running Saturdays at 1:00 pm, NOT at 8:00pm.

I am not sure how to really explain this show, because it is nuts. Period. Let’s just say by the end of our first performance, the audience was LITERALLY dancing in the aisles. And there were tears. That has honestly, never happened to me before, maybe when I performed at a festival. Not even.

There is something about the show that makes you feel good. The music moves me so deeply, and I think that is what excites the audience.

We pay tribute to the history of Harlem, the impact of evolving black music, and it is a great place to be on a Saturday at 1:00. We have already been extended through the summer.

Oh, our band is killer. Our drummer is 14 years old, and he eats Cheerios with a side of fierce for breakfast.

The rehearsal process was not always smooth. *Cough…I may have had a few diva moments. But I have learned a lot about starting from scratch in a big city where there are many established vocalists and performers. At the end of the day, I found my place in the cast and am excited that this will be my first Musical in NY.

Our dynamic director Ken Wydro. His wife Vy Higginson author, playwright Radio and TV personality, and himself run the Mama Foundation whose other show Mama, I Want to Sing has been running for over 30 years. If you are in the NYC area, I highly recommend that you see both shows.

*Note: The show is currently running Saturdays at 1:00 pm, NOT at 8:00pm.

Special Thanks to Gray Talent Group!

W

Say Yes

    The past two weeks I have been in rehearsals for my first staged reading in NYC Yes! The Musical written by New York composer and Lyricist Earl Wilson Jr., and Eugene Gwozdz whose credits include The Princess and the Frog, Thrill Me, and the upcoming musical with Anika Noni Rose, Morgan Street.

Yes! is directed by the beautiful choreographer and educator Mercedes Ellington (above), granddaughter of Jazz legend Duke Ellington, and produced by the Duke Ellington Center for the Arts. The piece is centered around an imaginary meeting between Dr. Martin Luther King and Barack Obama and features music in the styles of Gospel, Contemporary, and Country. When I first saw the breakdown Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop, which explores a meeting between Dr. King and a maid the night of his shooting, was going into its closing weekend, so I was inspired to audition.

You never know what to expect when going into a reading as the piece is in a constant state of revision. Overall, it has been a process of listening; discovering who I can learn from in the room, where I fit in, and when I can really shine.

More coming soon,

W

Me and Mr. Jones

Over the past few weeks, I have had the immense fortune of auditioning for Bill T Jones’ upcoming production, Super Fly, based of the 1972 Blaxploitation classic of the same name.

The original film was directed by Gordon Parks Jr. (Son of Shaft director Gordon Parks Sr.) and starred Ron O’Neal, Carl Lee and Sheila Frazier.

It’s a standard example of the genre, that deals with sex, drugs, taking down the man, street life, and above all features an amazing soundtrack done by the great Curtis Mayfield.

You got the feeling that people really cared about this call. People were excited, and ready to fight to the bitter end. Given the material and creative team, it is the type of project you really want to involved with

The Tony Award winning Mr. Jones is the creator of Fela! and choreographer of Spring Awakening. He has done a lot for the industry over the years, and from my brief time in his presence I can say that he is an artist of great integrity and ferocity.

I think my stomach fell through the floor when he shook my hand. Hopefully he didn’t notice. 🙂

Fingers Crossed,

W

Sizzle!

And finally, we present Whitney’s official reel for 2012. It took us long enough but it was well worth the wait! Clips featured include: NBC’s The Playboy Club (Pilot, and Ep 1), and the Documentary on The House Theatre’s Girls vs Boys.  All photography by Janna Giacoppo. Check it out!

What do you think? Let us know!

EyesonWhitney@gmail.com