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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Show Must Go On...In London

The Season of Collaboration continues with the London premiere of It Goes Unsaid at the Accidental Festival, curated by the Performing Arts Program at the Central School of Speech and Drama. The Festival is produced in conjunction with the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA).

It Goes Unsaid will premiere Thursday, May 22, at 9:30 PM at the ICA’s Theatre, located at The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH. The show is open to the public, and tickets are 6 pounds each.

Bringing the show to London is a challenge--financially, creatively, and professionally. But the production team is committed, and everyone is pooling their resources to make the most of this wonderful opportunity.

About the Festival

For three years, the Accidental Festival has encouraged excellence within a myriad field of arts, providing a platform for new and eclectic work of the highest quality. The aim of the festival is shared work, discussion, education and the development of practice through participation. The theme for this year’s festival is “provoke,” and It Goes Unsaid is the only production featuring and produced by African-American and Latino talent.


About the ICA

The Institute of Contemporary Arts is an exhibition centre, a cinema, a theater, a music venue, a space for new and digital media and a forum for discussion and ideas. The ICA upholds a truly multi-disciplinary sensibility which uniquely characterizes the institution. Throughout its 60-year history, artists and luminaries such as T.S Eliot, Stravinsky, Jacques Derrida, Michael Foucault, Gerhard Richter, Yoko Ono, Philip Pullman, Zadie Smith and Slavoj Zizek have kept the ICA at the forefront of contemporary arts.


Under the Spell Productions’ Artistic Director, Rhonney Greene, emphasized the importance of bringing the show to the United Kingdom: “It is an honor and a privilege to be selected by the prestigious Central School of Speech and Drama to bring our work to audiences abroad. London is a powerhouse in contemporary theater, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to perform at the renowned Institute of Contemporary Arts.”

Teresa Michelle Lasley, Executive Director of Under the Spell Productions, is optimistic about the season and the partnership. “I founded this company in 2005 because there were simply too few opportunities for talented artists, especially artists of color, to perform in quality productions. In three short years, we have grown so much, breaking barriers to bring our audience unique, entertaining, and engaging performances. I want to thank everyone who has come together to make London, and our continued success, possible—our performers, our backstage talent, mentors, and our broad base of support from friends, family, and the community.”

A fundraising campaign is underway to secure support for the season, and has put the London opportunity within reach. Derek Lee McPhatter, Director of Development, is spearheading the effort: “corporate sponsorships, foundation grants, individual donations, rehearsal space, performance space, frequent flyer miles, hotel points, costumes—we are looking for support in whatever way possible. Every little bit helps.”

The Season Anchor - It Goes Unsaid

a dramatic performance piece by

Rhonney Greene, Teresa Michelle Lasley, and Derek Lee McPhatter
Spoken Word by Qelsi Qualls
Directed by Rhonney Greene

seeing is believing but what I see is not what I want to beleive


The 2008 Cast

Carolyn Barrett and Garrett Bantum

Rhonney Greene and Teresa Michelle Lasley

Devin McCalla and Indio Melendez


It Goes Unsaid is a blend of spoken word, dramatic monologue, movement, film, and photography, exploring the interrelated lives of six different characters. The color complex—the social values placed on skin color, hair texture, and other physical characteristics ascribed to blackness—is the social underpinning of this work.


Project Awards

In 2006 Under the Spell Productions was commissioned by the University of California, Los Angeles, to develop It Goes Unsaid to premiere as a part of the Raw Performing Arts Series. The Series premiere placed the show alongside the work of critically acclaimed poet/musician, Saul Williams, Staceyann Chin (Def Comedy Jam), and other notable performing artists.

The Harlem Arts Alliance/Creative Communities Program awarded co-author Teresa Michelle Lasley a grant to support the 2007 premiere in Harlem, co-produced with independent producer, Bryan E. Glover.

In 2008 co-author Derek Lee McPhatter was awarded a Manhattan Community Arts grant from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs to further develop the literary elements of this work.

It Goes Unsaid continues to gain momentum and has become an engaging point of entry for a conversation on race, gender, hip hop culture, the media, and other social issues.