Courtesy of Bryan Buttler Media Relations, LLC
Feature photo: Danielle Leneé and Brett Ashley by Wide Eyed Studios
The Wilma Theater is excited to announce their first ever full-length audio production, IS GOD IS, in collaboration with 2X2L Programme and Die Cast. The thrilling revenge story, written by Aleshea Harris and directed by James Ijames, features members of the Wilma’s HotHouse and will be available for streaming for a strictly limited engagement of July 23 through 26, 2020. The production was originally scheduled to play the Wilma stage during the 2019-20 season, but, due to the COVID-19 health crisis, was postponed. With this new endeavor, the company created an audio drama version of Harris’ work safely in isolation.
A mother’s dying wish jump starts the journey of scorned twin sisters Anaia and Racine. They go on a rip-roaring, cross-country adventure—from an Eastern metropolis to the deep South to the California desert—to exact righteous revenge. This fiercely modern new play combines the Spaghetti Western, hip-hop, Afropunk, and Old Testament justice for a thrilling listening experience.
After Artistic Director Blanka Zizka saw a performance of the play’s earth-shaking world premiere at Soho Rep, she knew that she needed to bring the play to the Wilma HotHouse, so she arranged a reading. Also present at the reading was Philadelphia favorite James Ijames. Ijames had loved the play since he first read it and was immediately approached to direct.
“I think the use of genre (western, revenge tragedy) is beautifully married to an Afrofuturist aesthetic that I’m hungry for in the theater,” noted director James Ijames. “This play is not concerned about being judged or being respectable. It’s main concern is with being ruthlessly honest.”
IS GOD IS was the winner of the Obie Award for best new play and the winner of the Relentless Award from the American Playwriting Foundation. The Wilma audio production features Danielle Leneé as Racine, Brett Ashley Robinson as Anaia, Melanye Finister as She, Akeem Davis as Chuck Hall, Anthony Martinez-Briggs as Scotch, Aaron Bell as Riley, Taysha Marie Canales as Angie, and Lindsay Smiling as Man.
Sound Design and Original Music is by Daniel Ison, with Chris Sannino as Co-Sound Designer and Engineer. Alexandra Espinoza serves as Dramaturg, Keyonna Butler as Costume Designer, Patreshettarlini Adams as Stage Manager, and Taj Rauch as Documentarian. Die-Cast, co-founded by Thom Weaver and Brenna Geffers, explores new relationships between visitor and space. Die-Cast incubates work within spaces that are often inaccessible to audiences or are not thought of as performative spaces. Weaver also serves as Executive Producer of The 2X2L Programme, a division of Die-Cast dedicated to exploring and producing Radio Theatre. 2X2L borrows techniques from early radio-theatre pioneers while employing contemporary sensibility and technology.
IS GOD IS will be available from July 23-26 by a sliding scale donation starting at $10. Ticket holders for the original stage production of IS GOD IS will be sent a link to listen to the audio production. More information at wilmatheater.org.