Following the June 21 performance, the Shafrika company will offer a "behind-the-scenes glimpse into the journey of bringing this ambitious new musical to the stage," according to press notes.
The June 22 performance will be followed by a panel discussion on diversity in the arts, led by choreographer Luis Salgado, who is the Founder and Director of R.Evolucion Latina.
Jaradoa Theater is also making two special matinees — June 15 and 16 at noon — available at no cost to students participating in their outreach programs. Students who have been working with Jaradoa's Theater & Literacy program and R.Evolucion Latina's Dare to Go Beyond programs have been invited to these matinees. Talkbacks with the cast and creative team will also follow these special performances.
Written by and starring Anika Larsen (Xanadu, Avenue Q), Shafrika is co-conceived and directed by April Nickell.
The cast also includes Chloe Campbell, Anthony Comis, Stephen Gelpi, Chris Harbur, John Harrison, Ricardo Hinoa, Amanda Hunt, Stephanie Martinez, Zonya Love, Liz Picolli, Elizabeth Racanelli, Eileen Rivera, Oscar Salazar, Lawrence Stallings, Shelley Thomas and Gregory Treco. Shafrika features book and lyrics by Larsen, with original music composed by Tim Acito, Joshua Henry and Janice Lowe. The new musical, according to press notes, "tells Anika Larsen's own story of growing up in Cambridge, MA with nine brothers and sisters who are Black, White, Asian, Latino, and Native American. The 17-member cast portrays the many people in her world who help to shape Anika's identity while being raised in such a unique rainbow family. Along the way, she's forced to grapple with the truth in this unique and quirky exploration of race, identity and family."
Luis Salgado will choreograph the production with musical direction by Karl Mansfield. The production will also feature scenic design by Josh Zangen, lighting by Herrick Goldman, costumes by Andrea Varga and sound by Mike Farfalla.
Anika Larsen, who was most recently seen in the national tour of Avenue Q, played Euterpe in Broadway's Xanadu and has also been seen on Broadway in All Shook Up and Rent and Off-Broadway in Zanna, Don't!; Miracle Brothers; and How to Save the World and Find True Love in 90 Minutes.
Jaradoa (Just A Roomful of Artists Doing Outreach And) Theater is a company of professional theatre artists – actors, directors, writers, and designers – who have come together to "promote mercy, beauty, and truth through performance and service. They are committed to creating theater while serving the community at large through theater outreach and partnerships with relief organizations."
The Vineyard is located at 108 East 15th Street (between Union Square East and Irving Place). Tickets are $18 and are available through www.SmartTix.com (212) 868-4444. For more information visit www.JaradoaTheater.org.