Arts & Entertainment

Press Releases

World Premiere of Beyond the Oak Trees Celebrates Harriet Tubman At Crossroads Theatre Company, Feb. 16-26

cebb9bc5df586d184f8a_Collage_copy.jpg
cebb9bc5df586d184f8a_Collage_copy.jpg

Past and present, history and a touch of fantasy converge on stage in the world premiere of Beyond the Oak Trees, by Kisha Bundridge, at Crossroads Theatre Company in New Brunswick, Feb. 16-26. The play offers a dramatic retelling of the daring story of  Harriet Tubman, former slave and fabled abolitionist who led hundreds of slaves to freedom along the Underground Railroad in the years leading up to the Civil War.

Set in the present at the Harriet Tubman Home for the Aged in Auburn, N.Y., (designated a National Historical Park on Jan. 10, 2017), and in the past on the treacherous route to freedom. Beyond the Oak Trees brings audiences into the heart and mind of Tubman.

Two college students, Joseph and Hodari, visit the home for a history project and discover their own history embedded within its walls, inhabited by an ethereal woman named Jessica who seems to know more than the average guide. The history they are studying comes to life as Tubman leads a group of vulnerable, frightened slaves north from Maryland on her last journey as “the Moses of her people.”

Sign Up for E-News

The play continues Crossroads’ “celebration of a woman’s gift,” the season’s theme honoring the power, glory and struggles of women in its mainstage productions. 

“This play gives a very intimate account of the humanity and burdens that Ms. Tubman carried,” said director Marshall Jones III, who also is the theater’s producing artistic director. “It also offers a unique glimpse of history from a modern perspective. Kisha has created an exciting tableau that portrays the complex nuances of cultural identity against the backdrop of American history. A must see!”

Beyond the Oak Trees features Ademide Akintilo as Hodari and Sampson, Elijah J. Coleman as Joseph and Jasper and Abigail A. Ramsay as Jessica and Harriet Tubman. Sampson and Jasper are two of Tubman’s “passengers” who rely on her for guidance and strength.

Akintilo holds a BFA and Coleman an MFA degree from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. Coleman also holds two BFA degrees from Buffalo University in acting and dance.

A duel U.S. and Nigerian citizen, Akintilo also trained at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and the Interlochen Arts Academy. Coleman has performed with the Buffalo City Ballet, Broadway Dance Center and Zodiaque Dance Company in addition to acting.

Ramsay holds a BA from Brown University and trained in theater at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. A versatile actor, she has performed at the Public Theater and many other venues in New York as well as regionally and internationally on stage, film and on BBC Radio.

Performances are Feb. 16, 17, 18, 23, 24 and 25 at 8 p.m.; Feb. 19, 25 and 26 at 3 p.m.; and Feb. 22 at 10 a.m. Ticket prices range from $25 for the 10 a.m. matinee to $55 for opening night on Feb. 18.

For tickets, go online to crossroadstheatrecompany.org or call (732) 545-8100. Crossroads is located at 7 Livingston Ave., New Brunswick.

Founded in 1978 by Ricardo Khan and L. Kenneth Richardson, Crossroads Theatre Company embraces the vision that African-American theater is intended for a broad-based, diverse audience.  As a major force in the development of new ideas and the introduction of formerly marginalized writers, Crossroads produces works that enrich and diversify the representation of African American culture on the American stage. Crossroads was the winner of the 1999 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theater in the United States.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Plainfield

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_70c3726c05e39d4b59a1_covenant_place_1

Wed, June 27, 10:00 AM

Plainfield Public Library, Plainfield

Senior Space

Education Health & Wellness

Mayor Mapp: Reunir las familias

June 24, 2018

Hay momentos en la historia en los que seremos juzgados no por nuestras acciones, sino por la falta de acción. Si la historia nos ha enseñado algo, es que no podemos quedarnos callados esperando que otros hablen por nosotros; luchar por lo bien siempre ha requerido voces altas, una llama, unidad de propósito, y tenacidad.

En los últimos meses, hemos visto acciones ...

Murphy Signs Bill Ending Child Marriage Championed by Westfield’s Fraidy Reiss and Unchained at Last

June 23, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ — Governor Phil Murphy signed a bill Friday that bars individuals under the age of 18 from marrying or entering a civil union. It was a major win for Fraidy Reiss, founder Westfield-based Unchained At Last, a nonprofit dedicated to helping women and girls in the US to escape or resist arranged/forced marriages and rebuild their lives.

This makes New Jersey the second ...

SRO'S - ENSEÑANDO POR EJEMPLO

June 17, 2018

Hay un grupo de oficiales de policía que les dan un servicio a nuestra comunidad de una manera notable. Todos los días estos hombres y mujeres se levantan, van al trabajo, y aseguran que nuestros hijos aprendan en un ambiente seguro. Los llamamos Oficiales de Recursos Escolares, pero son mucho más. 

Si llegas a la oficina de los Oficiales de Recursos Escolares en la ...

Meet Toran Smith: Union County All Star

June 18, 2018

Plainfield resident, Toran Smith, age 16, has been selected to play on the 2018 Union County underclassmen all star team.  On June 10th, the Union County All-Stars played against the Hudson County All-Stars at Kean University.  Smith played third baseman. 

Smith, a junior at Union County Vo-Tech magnet high school, is a Junior infielder on the Plainfield Cardinals Varsity ...

'Half Time' delivers with sterling cast

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other talents.

The musical centers on an effort to have seniors perform a dance number during ...

'Half Time' lights up Paper Mill stage

‘Half Time’ turns the tables on aging in gleeful production

By Liz Keill

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other ...

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn (William Morrow, 2018)

 

A friend, whose opinion on literature I respect greatly, reported to me recently that she had just finished reading A.J. Finn's debut novel, The Woman in the Window. Of it she said, “I wish I hadn't finished it,” which I interpreted to mean, “It was so good I'm sorry that I finished it.” ...

When the Men Go Off to War by Victoria Kelly

When the Men Go Off to War by Victoria Kelly (Naval Institute Press, 2015)

Victoria Kelly's first published volume of poetry, When the Men Go Off to War, is a wonder in that poems can be written so beautifully about the subject of war. Each poem is a jewel, polished and colorful, glittering with elegant imagery, and rich in emotional wallop. The book, divided into three sections, ...

The Queen of the Big Time by Adriana Trigiani (Ballentine Books, 2005)

            The Queen of the Big Time by Adriana Trigiani, a New York Times best selling author, was recommended to me by a young woman who actually came from the town of Roseto, Pennsylvania, the place where the novel is set. “The author did such a wonderful job of describing how the town actually is,” said the young lady.

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin's Press, 2018)

            What is the “final frontier” on the Earth's surface? Many people would say Alaska, the 49th state, which was added to the United States fifty years ago. Once one has traveled to that remote land, it is impossible to forget the magnificence of the terrain and beasts. Floating by ship in Glacier Bay, surrounded by ...

The Man in Room 306 at the Luna Stage, West Orange, NJ

            The Luna Stage, a Jersey theater gem, chose to revive its 1995 world premiere drama, The Man in Room 306, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the slaying of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Starring Jamil A.C. Mangan as Dr. King, this 90 minute production portrays Dr. King in the last hours of his life as he struggles to write a speech for the Poor ...

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins (Riverhead Books, 2017)

 

I wanted to like Into the Water by Paula Hawkins because I had enjoyed her previous novel, The Girl on the Train, which was a suspenseful thriller. However, when I finished reading the first part of the Into the Water, I realized that I had not absorbed anything that was happening in the story. I blamed myself for not paying ...