Program for Boston University Production

Obi: A Play in the Life of Ira Aldridge
The "Paul Robeson" of the 19th Century

July 18, 2000

7:30 p.m., Playwrights Theater, Boston University
Funded by the Humanities Foundation

(in order of appearance)

Quashee's Wife Angela Dilkey
Sam's Wife, Servant, Kitty Erika Dyer
Quashee, Obi Woman Jean Connally
Sam Chris Johnson
Overseer Edwin Milham
Ormond, the Planter James Gleason
Rosa, the Planter's Daughter Julie Tierney
Captain Orford Robert Deveau
Tuckey, Orford's free black servant Jeannette Ryan
Jack Mansong, alias "Karfa" Jovan Rameau


Charles Rzepka, Boston University
Jeffrey Cox, University of Colorado, Boulder
Peter Buckley, Cooper Union, New York
Debbie Lee, Washington State University

Director/Narrator Vincent Ernest Siders
Producer Charles Rzepka
Asst. Director/Choreographer Jean Connally
State Manager/Costumes/Lights Karen Stanley
Music Director/Accompanist Ryan Sandburg
Sound Coordination Dave Bellenoit
Videotaping Bob Rothstein

Notes on the Performers

Jean Connally (Quashee, Obi Woman)

Jean has appeared in theaters throughout New England, with the Black Mime Theatre of London and at EuroDisney in France, as well as the prestigious Edinburgh Theater Festival in Scotland in 1998. He has been with the New African Company of Boston since 1994.

Robert Deveau (Captain Orford)

Robert Deveau recently appeared with Beau Jest Moving Theatre in My Name is Leslie, as part of the Boston Theatre Marathon. He has been cited by The Boston Herald as "One of Boston's Best Actors".

Angela Dilkey (Quashee's Wife)

Angela graduated from New England Conservatory with a Master of Music in Opera. She has performed in Rossini's La Cambiale di Matriminio and in Nicolai's The Merry Wives of Windsor. Angela spent summer 1997 in Rome performing Puccini, and summer 1998 at Tanglewood singing Bach.

Erika Dyer (Sam's Wife, Kitty)

A May 2000 graduate of Boston University, Erika's recent credits include Eileen from Bernstein's Wonderful Town with the Walpole Footlighters, and the upcoming musical review Gloryland! with the Company Theatre of Norwell.

James E. Gleason (Ormond)

A student at UMass Lowell, James earned his BM in Music Performance in June 2001. He has performed in Taming of The Shrew, The New Moon, The Music Man, Rumors, and Into the Woods.

Chris Johnson (Sam)

Chris is a theater major at Northeastern University who has sung all his life, and especially enjoys a capella groups. He has appeared in Unseen Hand, Life Underwater, Once upon a Matress, Impromptu, Living On, and Tyaag.

Ed Milham (Overseer)

Ed holds a bachelor's degree in vocal performance, and master's degrees in vocal performance and conducting. He is currently the Music Director of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Reading, and teaches music at Bridgewater State College.

Jovan Rameau (Jack Mansong)

Jovan is a recent graduate of the MA program at Harvard University, where he last appeared in the Spring 2000 American Repertory Theater production of The Winter's Tale. He also has numerous film and TV appearances to his credit.

Jeannette Ryan (Tuckey)

Jeannette has performed in many Boston area theaters, including the Publick Theater, Instages, and Boston Baked Theater. She studied at Wellesley College, MIT, and The Boston Conservatory.

Julie Tierney (Rosa)

Julie Peterson Tierney holds a degree in vocal performance from the New England Conservatory. She is a frequent recitalist in the Boston area, and has performed with the Waltham Philharmonic and other groups. She is a student of Bernard Barbeau.

Our Crew

Vincent Ernest Siders (Director, Narrator)

Vincent is the founder of TYG Productions, a member of New African Company, and a graduate of Howard University. Directing/producing credits include TYG Interactive Theater, an experimental theatrical experience combining live theater and psychodrama; Super Sparrow Sleuth, a children's television program which uncovers the secrets of social etiquette through the misadventures of a child detective; and Harriet, a one-woman show on the life of Harriet Tubman, and winner at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, performed and written by Kisha Kenyatta.

Jean Connally (Asst. Director, Choreographer)

In addition to his acting career, Jean is a professional choreographer and dancer, with special interests in mime, movement, comedia del arte, and ballet. He has taught workshops for the NAC Theater Workshop, Oversoul Theater Collective, and Boston City Lights.

Karen Stanley (Stage Manager, Costumer, Lights)

Karen, a graduate of Boston University's Theater Division, has worked at the Huntington Theater, and Glimmerglass Opera, and as stage manager for Boston By Sea, which tours Boston Harbor.

Ryan Sandburg (Music Director)

Ryan received his MA in Music at the Boston University School for the Arts, with a concentration in performance accompaniment.

Dave Bellenoit (Sound)

Bob Rothstein (Videotaping)

Charles Rzepka (Producer, Program Notes)

Professor Rzepka teaches English at Boston University. He has written articles and books on Wordsworth, Keats, Austen, Thomas De Quincey, and other early nineteenth-century English writers. His most recent work has been in the areas of English popular theater and American detective fiction.

Our thanks also go to: Kate Snodgrass, Patrick Vogelpohl, and Mark Alavier, of the Playwrights' Theater; Annette Fern and Fredric Wilson, of the Harvard Theater Collection; James Spruill and Lynda Patton, of the New African Company; Aleta Pierce, for help with costuming; Larry Breiner, my colleague in the Boston University English Department, for his creative make-up suggestions; Allen Bush, publicity; Kaara Peterson, paymaster; Katherine O'Connor, chair of the Humanities Foundation; and Fran Heaton, her assistant.

Program for NASSR Conference Production (September 14, 2000)

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