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CHOCOLATE

COVERED

ANTS

written by Steven A Butler, Jr. directed by Courtney Baker-Oliver


Restoration Stage, Inc. Restoration Stage, Inc. is an independent theatre company. It earns most of its revenue from the sale of theatre tickets. Other sources of revenue include script publishing (royalties) and production income from consulting services on theatrical productions being otherwise produced. Additionally, Restoration Stage, Inc. creates and licenses audio and audiovisual work for manufacturing (as Restoration Records), distribution and all other forms of related commercial exploitation. These include, but are not limited to the sale of DVDs of live performances, original cast recordings, merchandising, touring revenues, etc.

Our Mission: The core focus of Restoration Stage, Inc. is to develop new artists and present themes that positively impact families and communities--specifically in the Prince Georges County area. Through the production, direction, and/or development of these artists and themes, Restoration Stage seeks to contribute to the on-going dialogue about how to improve the condition of the family in American society. Our Founders: Courtney Baker-Oliver and Steven A. Butler, Jr. created Restoration Stage, Inc. in May 2005 and serve as Restoration Stage’s legal directors. Initially created as a producing entity for Butler’s play, THE TRUTH, it has expanded to include additional projects currently in various stages of development. Since 2005, Restoration Stage has employed the talents of more than fifty performers, designers, technicians and other support staff to produce its productions.

Please visit us online at www.restorationstage.com “Restoring the Black Family- One Story at a Time”


FROM THE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR Fall, 2016 “Chocolate Covered Ants” arrived right on time. In the wake of the Trayvon Martin killing (and all of the others whose names we have come to know through senseless tragedies), our dedicated group of actors, designers, and technicians set out to workshop, then produce Steven A. Butler’s prescient play to great success. I had started 2016 feeling good about having put up a piece of theatre that was both well-received and apropos to the moment. Like so many artists before me, I am driven by the desire to respond to the times in which I live. “Ants” was my artistic outlet and I felt good about every aspect of how it went. I was ready to move on to something a bit lighter. Those were my thoughts as we planned our next show-a big, splashy, historical epic set in 1927 called “The Very Last Days of the First Colored Circus.” We held auditions, selected a dynamic cast of performers and prepared to have a great time making good theatre. Then Philando Castile and Alton Sterling were killed in the same week. Police officers were murdered in Dallas. Freddie Gray’s “rough riders” were acquitted and the Republican Party nominated Donald Trump at their convention. Bearing witness to these trying times, I started to seek an outlet for my frustration. I knew I needed to be saying something with my work as a director that spoke to the moment. Sleepless nights and restless days led me to quiet conversations with my most trusted advisers (you know who you are) and they all said the same thing---your work with “Chocolate Covered Ants” isn’t done. I wish I could say that these encore performances of the show was due to my business acumen---that it was a recognition of it’s sold out run last winter and had some correlation to box office potential, but that would be a lie. We’ve decided to bring the play back to the stage at the because it says what you won’t hear elsewhere on stage (and certainly not in Steven’s frank, poignant and insightful voice): Black men’s lives are in peril. We’re an endangered species in America, and that’s not okay. The reasons for our struggle are various, systemic, and specific. They are reasons that require the IMMEDIATE attention of all who care about our survival. We have issues that must be taken seriously. Right now. October, 2018 Like many people I know, I never thought the dawn of the Trump administration could really happen. It did. And the rights of marganilized people are being eroded more each day. I am scared for the future of humanity-and terrified about what it holds for people who look like me.


So, we’re back for an encore run of Steven’s masterpiece. Suli Myrie and the rest of the show’s unbelievable cast have returned to tell this powerful story. I’m glad that you have come to have this talk---not for us, but for you--for our fathers, sons, husbands, and brothers, and for the hope that we can find a way to continue. It’s that serious. There is nothing more important to me than family. I’d like to thank my partner in all things, Steven A. Butler, Jr. for creating this amazing piece of drama. Reflecting the struggles, hopes and dreams of Black people is your raison d’être---and we are all grateful for your gifts. That you allow yourself to be a vessel in this way is a great benefit to society. I am humbled by you and that beautiful mind of yours each day. I would like to publicy thank Kay Kendall and Jack Davies whose support have made this run possible. The courage your funding this project demonstrates is profound and will be long remembered. Kay, you’re someone so very special. Thank you! Thank you to my parents for unconditional love. Thanks to my inlaws unwavering support. Steven and I are forever in your debt for things people have no idea about. To our amazing cast--THANK YOU for your dedication to this project. Suli Myrie, you are one of the great actors. It’s time that people know that. Thank you for embodying Adrienne in every fiber of your being. I have learned so much from watching you work on this piece. You have my love, and my deepest respect. This cast is a

beautiful collection of folks. Some of you (like Wilma Lynn and Marlon) I have known and loved forever. Others I will love from now until. All of you are extraordinary and I’m grateful that you have shared you great talent with Restoration Stage; trusting me every step of the way. Marquis, Charles, Tillman, Kandace, Miles, Austin - all of you are a part of this family for life. The advent of Restoration Stage is something I never dreamed of. It was born by necessity and is being nurtured by a long list of people who have engendered my deepest gratitude. They include Desire Dubose (Cuz) and Kimberly Gaines (Sis), who have walked this path with Steven and I from the beginning, Rikki Lacewell Howe, Marvin Bowser, Darnell Perkins, Derrick Rutledge, Lonnell Lomax, Vichelle Jones, Eric Wells, Dr. Joyce Garrett and so many others that my scattered brain will surely omit here. To Kimberly Douglass, Nolvert Garcia, Demetrius Cole and the rest of the staff at THEARC--I appreciate the integrity you have brought to the process. My dream team - Jerry Dale, Robert Hamilton, and Harlan Penn has truly made this production possible. Special thank you to Papa Dame and Randee Grant for the beautiful connect to our ancestors in the drums you provided. I dedicate this production to my biggest supporter/critics, Cooper Cafritz, and I will remember the wisdom of my Mike Malone.

Courtney Baker-Oliver Founding Artistic Director

one of Peggy always mentor


FROM THE PLAYWRIGHT

Dear Extended Family, When I first started writing, I apologized for the language I used and the controversial topics I wrote about. I no longer do that. The goal of a playwright is to create characters that are real and recognizable to the audience. You know the men in Chocolate Covered Ants. Even if you don’t want to admit it, you know them. They sit at our dinner tables. We have passed them in the streets. We, as a society, judge and pre judge every move they make. If their jeans sag, we assume that they are up to no good, and if they are too buttoned up and put together, we assume that they must be gay. Since as far back as our history books conveniently choose to go, the Black man has been ridiculed and picked apart. The auction block hasn’t disappeared. It has only gotten bigger. I recently journeyed to Europe to perform research for my next play with a group of other men of color. The one thing I remember the most from that very expensive trip wasn’t the Leaning Tower of Pisa or the Golden Gates of Versailles. It was being scrutinized by a homely Dutch woman while standing in line to visit the Roman Coliseum. “How can you (and your party) afford such an elaborate vacation?” she wanted to know. And before I could even muster and answer, she concluded--answering her own question out loud. “Oh, you must be rich and famous.” She actually stood there staring at us as if waiting for us to start dancing and spitting a verse. I wanted to scream. I thought Black people were put on pedestals in Europe, at least that’s what Josephine Baker told us. That transaction with the homely Dutch women just reiterated the fact that I (and all African American men) am (and currently are) a walking sideshow act. The audience members never get charged. Well, this time we have to pay up. The price is your comfortability as an audience member. At this show you will squirm in your seat. The language and topics will make you raise an eyebrow more than once. And on your ride home you won’t be able to not talk about it. You wanted a show? Well, here it is. Steven A. Butler, Jr.


SYNOPSIS

Chocolate Covered Ants “One day I looked into a mirror and I saw a man who thought so little of himself that that he felt like an ant in comparison to those who ruled his society. And even though I had no desire to know him, I pitied him. And no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t help him. I couldn’t comfort him because no one ever taught me how to love myself. One day I looked into a mirror and I saw my soul; my true reflection. One day I stared directly into the eyes of a chocolate covered ant.” –from CCA

Synopsis:

Dr. Adrienne Taylor is a social worker and a professor of mental health at fictitious college. There she’s spent three years researching the plight of the African American woman. Chocolate Covered Ants chronicles the final leg of her research--and examination of the African American male to determine what effects if any they played on the mental, social and physical survival of the African American female. After an intense search, Dr. Taylor has invited a select group of men from around the country to take part in this research. But these men are more than her subjects; her Chocolate Covered Ants. They are bound by ties that none of them have conceived of. Chocolate Covered Ants is their story.


CHOCOLATE

COVERED

ANTS Written by Steven A. Butler, Jr. Directed by Courtney Baker-Oliver featuring

Suli Myrie

as Dr. Adrienne Hilton Taylor with

Marquis Fair Charles W. Harris, Jr. Wilma Lynn Horton Kandace Foreman Tillman Figgs Miles Folley Marlon Russ Austin T. Farrow Production Staff Executive Producers: Kay Kendall & Jack Davies Producers: Marvin Bowser, Courtney Baker-Oliver & Dr. Will Cobbs, Jr. Assistant Director: DesirĂŠ Dubose Associate Producers: Kimberly C. Gaines & Rikki Lacewell Production Stage Manager: Lonnell Lomax Technical Director: Robert Hamilton Set Designer: Harlan Penn Costume and Properties: Courtney Baker-Oliver Wardrobe Master: Zukeh Freeman Sound Designer: David Lamont Wilson Sound/Light Operators: Keta Newborn & Eric Wells Lighting Designer: Jerry M. Dale, Jr. Projection Design: Kalif Aljami


The Setting Most of the play takes place in the office of psychologist Dr. Adrienne Taylor. The room is decorated tastefully with plush leather furniture and is accented with African and other ethnic artifacts. Her large desk sits on one side of the stage. Dr. Taylor frequently utilizes a voice recorder to record her reflections. She is a lovely African American woman in her early forties. She is stylish and wears her hair in a bun. A secondary location---that of Dr. Patrick Hilton’s office is also briefly visited.

CAST (In order of appearance) Dr. Patrick Hilton - Tillman Figgs Tyrone Jackson - Marquis Fair Brian “Flexx” Smalls - Marlon Russ AJ McCormick - Austin T. Farrow Jayson Deeds - Miles Folley Alan McCormick - Charles W. Harris Jr. Dr. Adrienne Hilton Taylor - Suli Myrie Michelle Pitts - Wilma Lynn Horton The Ant Queen - Kandace Foreman


Scenes Act I

Prologue Scene One ---The Taste in My Mouth (Dr. Taylor, Michelle, and Flexx) Scene Two ---She Took All My Air (Dr. Taylor, Michelle and Tyrone) Scene Three ---Daddy Issues (Dr. Taylor and Dr. Hilton) Scene Four ---Perfect (Dr. Taylor, Michelle and Jayson Deeds) There will be a brief intermission. Act II

Scene One ---The Truth About AJ (Dr. Taylor, Michelle and AJ) Scene Two ---It’s A Boy (Dr. Taylor, Michelle and Alan) Scene Three ---Daddy Issues Redux (Dr. Taylor and Dr. Hilton) Scene Four --- Group Therapy (Dr. Taylor, Michelle, Alan, Flexx, Jayson, AJ, Tyrone)


ABOUT THE ARTISTS - CAST Suli Myrie (Dr. Adrienne Taylor) is a professional actress in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. She is a Restoration Stage veteran. MarQuis Fair (Tyrone Jackson) is honored to be a part of the inaugural cast of what will no doubt be an award winning play. MarQuis is a veteran of the DMV area theater scene appearing in such productions as HBP’s “A Soldier’s Play”, SMP’s “As You Like It”, TCP’s “A Raisin in the Sun” and many others. He would like to thank his family and friends for all of the support they have given him. The character of Tyrone has been one of the most challenging roles yet for him but he is grateful to Steven A Butler, Jr for taking a chance on him to fully realize the potential for such a layered character. He would like to dedicate this performance to his brother, Jaman Fair, who provided much of the inspiration (but not all) for the portrayal of this character. Wilma Lynn Horton (Michelle) is a Chocolate City representer! She graduated from Howard University and majored in Theatre Arts. While at Howard, she was part of the Roxie Roker Touring Company. Ms. Horton is currently a member of PinPoints Touring Company, African Collective Theatre Company

(ACT), and Brave Soul Theatre Company. This is Ms. Horton’s second production with Restoration Stage and she could not be more honored to play “Michelle”. She would like to give thanks to God from whom all blessings flow; her friends and extended family for all of their support. She would like to dedicate this to all of the strong black men in her family Kevin, Allen, Kenny, Brian, Allen Jr., Lawrence, Brandon, Eric, and Terrance. “You may all be my cousins, but I have ALWAYS considered you my brothers. I love you all for being who you are. And to my little cousin Mayir! I’m so proud of the little man you are becoming!” Last but never least, she would like to thank her Aunts and Grandmother for their unconditional love and support. “I love ya’ll immensely! God has truly blessed me with you guys.” Tillmon Figgs (Dr. Hilton) is a native of Brooklyn, New York, who now resides in the Washington metro area. He has been performing for local washington metro audiences for a number ofyears. Among his theater credits: Principle Prigg in “Platinum”; C.C. White in “Dreamgirls”; Tonton Julian in “Once on this Island”; Pretty Tony in “Grown Folk’s Business”; Reverend Cousins in “Put a Ring On It”; Russell B. Parker in “Ceremonies in Dark Old Men”; Father Wright in “Welcome Home”; the Cowardly Lion in “The Wiz”; Doaker Charles in “The Piano Lesson” and Adult Simon in “The Glory of Christmas Wonder”. Tillmon


has also performed in Community Theater for Sister Circle, Inc., Children of the Light, and Evangel Cathedral’s Annual Christmas Production. He stepped off the stage, and put on the director’s hat for productions of the “The Richest Man In The Valley” and “The Bridge”, and was the sound designer for “Ceremonies In Dark Old Men”. Tillmon also serves as assistant drama director for a local church in Maryland. Charles W. Harris, Jr. (Alan) entered the entertainment industry cast in productions aired in the late 1960’s on WHYY TV, Philadelphia, and has performed on numerous stages throughout the country. A classically trained actor, Charles’ career blossomed under director Alan Sharpe’s tutelage through Minority Arts Ensemble. Although working in almost every medium available, including virtual film, traditional film, television, industrials, internet, radio (dramas), supper clubs, and lounges, Charles’ passion is theatre. The theatre has blessed Charles on numerous occasions affording opportunities to perform on the largest and smaller stages of the Kennedy Center. In 1983, The Arts Club of Washington, D.C., nominated Charles for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Salem in “Breeders’ directed by Roderick Grice. While performing in 1984 at the Historic Takoma Theatre, the Theatre Angels blessed Charles by introducing him to the most delightful person he ever met, the woman of his dreams. Marrying and taking a sabbatical to help raise his

family, Charles remained attached to the theatre by creating the foundation for his business. Charles reentered the theatre scene working again with Mr. Sharpe through African-American Collective Theater ACT, subsequently leading to his working with Restoration Stage. Charles is most proud of helping children fulfill their potential through his acting business 3CT Productions (reopening soon), working for Lenore Blank Kelner’s Creative Kids, and performing in Helen Hayes recommended productions. Charles wishes you good luck and great skill pursuing your dream. Kandace

Foreman (The Ant Queen) has enjoyed being a company member with her Restoration Stage family. She has performed in New York’s Midtown International Theatre Festival, the DC Black Theatre Festival and done voiceover work. Previous stage credits include “Colorblind: The Katrina Monologues” (Police Officer) - which was voted as a Best of 2015 play in a professional theater by DC Metro Theater Arts - A Raisin in the Sun (Ruth Younger), Seven Guitars (Vera), “The Prison Plumb Line” (Lawyer/Anne Sulley), “Bone Soup” (Griot), “The Wiz” (Yellow Brick Road/Pitt Singer), “Black Lives Matter” (Fannie Lee Chaney) and “Miracle on 34th Street” (Sawyer). Kandace was the lead actress in the independent film La Otra and she has done work on the Netflix series House of Cards. The role of stage manager can also be added to her list of credits. Kandace


thanks the cast and crew of “Chocolate Covered Ants” for an amazing journey. And most of all, she thanks her loving husband and children for their support. Marlon Russ (Flexx) is an Actor, Writer, Director, native to Washington, DC and a 2002 alumnus of The Duke Ellington School of the Arts. Mr. Russ has studied at the Studio Theatre Acting Conservatory in Washington, D.C. He is currently attending Theatre of Arts College for the Contemporary Actor in Hollywood. Marlon has performed for Cicely Tyson, Stevie Wonder, Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis, Sinbad, David E. Talbert, and many others. Marlon Russ has worked with Malcolm Jamal Warner, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Raheem Devaughn, starring in the BET blockbusters Multitude of Mercies 2005 and Odicie 2007, TV One For My Man 2016. Marlon Russ toured with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus 2010 – 2012 139th Edition “Zing! Zang! Zoom!” and 141st Edition Fully Charged. “Chocolate Covered Ants” Restoration Stage 2014, “Broke-ology” Theatre Alliance 2013, “Romeo and Juliet The Fatal Tour” 2014, “Set It Off” the Musical 2015 – 2016. Mommy Loves Me (Short Film) Director, “Set It Off” the Musical 2015 Assistant Director, “Romeo and Juliet The Fatal Tour” 2014 Assistant Director. Miles Folley (Jayson Deeds) It is great to be back with the Restoration family! I love ‘em all and I’m sure you’ll adore them too! Credits include Aaron the Moor

in “Titus Andronicus (DC Fringe Festival); Ferdinand in The Tempest (Avant Bard); Ollie Thomas in “The Very Last Days of the First Colored Circus” (Restoration Stage); Menas (u/s for Marc Antony) in “Antony and Cleopatra” and The Interpreter in “All’s Well that Ends Well” (Virginia Shakespeare Festival); Malcolm X in the “Life and Times of Malcolm X” (Anacostia Arts Center); Red in “In the Cut” (DC Black Theatre Festival) Instagram info is @miles_folley. Let’s connect! Peace and love. Austin T. Farrow (AJ McCormick, Jr.) is a graduating Senior at Howard University studying Theatre Arts with a concentration in Acting and also a proud alum of the British American Drama Academy’s (BADA) London Theatre Program and Midsummer in Oxford program. This is Austin’s debut performance with Restoration Stage, and he is so honored to share it with such an extraordinarily talented ensemble, all of whom he has watched and gained so much from. He wants to thank God, his family and friends, and the love of his life for allowing him to shoot for the stars and chase after his dreams. Howard credits include: “Blood at the Root” (Justin), “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (Demetrius), “Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet” (Marcus). BADA credits: “Time and the Conways” (Ernest Beavers), “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (Puck). Other credits: SoulFly Productions’ “In the Blood” (Chilli/Jabber), “Bayou Theatre Company’s Different, Damaged, Damned” (Chamuel).


ABOUT THE ARTISTS - CREW Courtney Baker-Oliver (Director) is a graduate of Howard University where he earned his B.F.A. in Theater.For fifteen years he worked as Assistant to the Director on the musical theatre productions of the legendary Mike Malone who Courtney credits with being his mentor. He also completed coursework at La Sorbonne and the American University of Paris in Paris, France. As a producer, director, writer, and teacher Courtney has spent more than twenty years training young people in the theatre. From his role as a faculty member at Duke Ellington Schoolof the Arts to his work as Education Director of the Theatre Washington (The Helen Hayes Awards) and beyond, he’s been developing the skills set required to direct and produce large scale productions on the world’s stage. Always pushing for positive images of Blacks in the arts, Courtney has developed tributes presented before legendary leaders Maya Angelou, Cicely Tyson and Congressman John Lewis among others. Courtney wrote and directed the debut tributes for the U.S. Postal Service’s African- American stamps honoring Paul Robeson (2004) and Marian Anderson (2005). He was a master teacher at Britney Spears’ Summer Arts Camp on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. Courtney has worked with Diana Ross, Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis, Taraji P. Henson, Frenchie Davis, Tony Terry and many more. He has directed or taught notables including Cornelius Smith, Jr. (Scandal), Samira Wiley (The Handmaid’s Tale,

Orange is the New Black), Corey Hawkins (BlacKkKlansman, Straight Out of Compton), Isaiah Johnson (“The Color Purple”- --Broadway) and numerous others. In 2005, Courtney co-founded Restoration Stage, Inc., the premier Black-owned and operated theater company in the Washington, DC area. Perhaps best known for the critically-acclaimed musical “THE TRUTH,” Restoration Stage, Inc. has been featured on AOL Black Voices, in CLIK Magazine, The Bleu Magazine, on Rod2.0.com, in The Washington Blade, Metro Weekly and in numerous newspaper articles. Other Restoration Stage, Inc. productions include “All That Glitters,” “The Very Last Days of the First Colored Circus,” “Drag On,” “The First Lady,” “Veils,” and “Silver Foxes.” In 2008, Courtney developed an original production for Dekalb County Schools in Atlanta, GA called “They Keep ComingVoices of the Civil Rights Movement.” In 2013, Restoration Stage, Inc. provided entertainment for Martin Luther King III’s celebration of his father’s legacy as part of the 50th Anniversary commemoration of the historic March on Washington. Steven A. Butler, Jr. (Playwright) is an Arena Stage Playwright’s Arena Playwrighting Fellow and actor whose plays have been seen across the world. His first full-length play, “THE TRUTH”, made its premiere at the H Street Playhouse in the spring of 2005, produced by Restoration Stage Inc.


Steven’s plays have toured in numerous cities, and have been featured in National Theatrical Events. His play “All That Glitters” opened to a sold out crowd in the winter of 2010, and is slated to be produced again in 2016. “Chocolate Covered Ants” is the playwright’s third play and the first not to be accompanied by the always spell bounding music and lyrics of Christopher John and Courtney Baker- Oliver. A proud graduate of Howard University and a veteran of the UnitedStates Air-Force, Steven’s hopes for hisnew play, is that it simply brings about conversations on topics that most in the African American community have been too afraid to even admit exist. Lastly, Steven would like to think the Anacostia Playhouse, Courtney Baker-Oliver, Dr. Will Otis Cobbs, Jr., Desiré Dubose Adele Robey, Jivon Lee Jackson, Brandyn Poole and the entire cast of “Chocolate Covered Ants”, for all of their hard work and dedication to his work, and more importantly succeeding in bring quality professional grade theater to Prince Georges County. Desiré DuBose (Assistant Director) is honored to serve as the acting coach for “Chocolate Covered Ants”. She was in the first touring company of “Crowns” at the Arena Stage (Helen Hayes Best Musical), Goodman Theatre (Chicago), and the Alliance Theatre (Atlanta). Other regional credits include “Set it Off” the musical, “All that Glitters” and “The Women of Tin Palley” at H Street Playhouse, “Roll On” with Melba Moore at the Lincoln Theatre, “Three Sistahs” and “Harlem Rose”at Metrostage and “Big River” at the Ford

Theatre. Desiré holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from Howard University; where she also served as an Adjunct Professor for Musical Theatre and Creative Drama. She has performed and trained under the direction of Mike Malone, Regina Taylor, Al Freeman Jr. and Tom Jones. in 2007 Desiré was a featured mezzosoprano on the Albany Records classical album “Somewhere Far Away” live recording in the Czech Republic with Dvorak Symphony. She has also been a vocalist with the East Coast Jazz Festival and various agency bands in Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD. Harlan Penn (Scenic Designer) Is a graduate of Florida A & M University (BS Theatre) and the North Carolina School of the Arts (MFA Scenic Design). Favorite Scenic design credits include: Gem of the Ocean, Blues for an Alabama Sky, Jar the Floor, The Piano Lesson, Jitney, Nicholas Nickleby, Blacken the Bubble, Flyin’ West, Dreamgirls, For Colored Girls, King Hedley, Chicago, Ain’t Misbehavin and Extremities to name a few. Mr. Penn is currently the Chairman of the Technical Design and Production Department at Duke Ellington School of the Arts In Washington D.C. Harlan is thrilled to be working with Restoration Stage. David Lamont Wilson (Sound Designer) as the resident sound designer for Restoration Stage, Mr. Wilson is glad to be able to fine tune the sound design for


this production. Mr. Wilson’s design was last heard for Theatre J’s critically acclaimed “Queens Girl In The World” and Alliance Theatre’s “The C.A. Lyons Project” (Suzi Bass Award nominated). Mr. Wilson’s next design will be heard for the Theatre Alliance production of “For Colored Girls”. Favorite sound designs include The Welder’s “Not Enuf Lifetime”; the critically acclaimed Charter Theatre production of “Am I Black Enough Yet?”, “Dead Man Walking” at American University, “Inns & Outs”at Source Theatre; and “Titus” for the Washington Shakespeare Theatre. His resume also includes designs at the Kennedy Center, Signature Theatre, Arena Stage, Imagination Stage, the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts, and Georgetown University to name a few. David would like to thank “Little Daniel” for bringing additional sunshine into his existence! Lonnell Lomax (Stage Manager) is a native Washingtonian who discovered the art of stage management in his early high school years, his influence on calling shows startedin his 10th grade year at Duke Ellington School of The Arts. Lomax has been assistant stage manager for the Legends Concert series at the Kennedy Center featuring Smokey Robinson & Patti Labelle, lead stage manager for dance concerts, awards ceremonies, graduations, senior showcases, plays, workshops and dinner theatre and in 2012 and 2014, he was production assistant for the Congressional Black Caucus’ Phoenix Awards Dinner in which President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama were the guest of honor.

Lomax became the Stage Management Intern for The Alabama Shakespeare Festival 2017-2018 Season, assisting on productions such as “Glass Menagerie”, “A Christmas Carol”, “Much Ado About Nothing”, “Snow Queen”, “FLY”, and “A Miracle Worker”. Jerry M. Dale, Jr. (Lighting Designer) Jerry is honored to have been asked back to Restoration Stage as lighting designer for “Chocolate Covered Ants” after the success of “The Very Last Days of the First Colored Circus”. Jerry says “I am honored to work with such a great production team on a powerful story with so many talented actors. Lighting helps set the stage, the mood and make the actors look even better. I hope you enjoy the experience of ‘Chocolate Covered Ants’.” Kimberly C. Gaines (Graphic Design) is an arts administrative professional with a background in visual art, arts education and development. An alumna of Howard University where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Communications with an emphasis in film and a minor in photography she also has a Master of Arts in Arts Management from Savannah College of Art and Design. Her educational and nonprofit experience includes media empowerment facilitation for various projects and workshops for youth with NBC 4, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), various


Smithsonian Museums, and the Black Women’s Roundtable. Kimberly’s photography and design work highlight various professional accomplishments including projects for the Museum of the African Diaspora’s permanent exhibition, work for the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery, a private exhibition at the American University Katzen Arts Center and the photo archives of Washington Express Newspaper and City Paper. She has been a part of Restoration Stage, Inc. since the first production and has done every program from the beginning. Kimberly has been lead designer on a number of projects including the African American Civil War Museum traveling exhibition with curator . Kimberly continues to work with youth bridging creative sciences of photography, film and graphic design; most recently, as a City Producer for the Inaugural High School 48 Hour Film Project and teaching artist for Project Create in Southeast DC. Kimberly is a founding member of Parallel Film Collective based in Washington, DC. Most recently, she has excitedly produced her first feature length film Love Dot Com: The Social Experiment coming soon. Zukeh Freeman (Wardrobe Master) is excited to work with Restoration Stage as Wardrobe Master. Zukeh has performed in various community theatre productions throughout the DC metro area, and is thrilled to be the Black Box at THEARC

West for Chocolate Covered Ants.


Revolutionize. Rebuild. Rethink. Retell. Reticulate. Revisit. Reconnect. Resurrect. Re-evaluate. Restore. .


More than a chocolate covered ant Why do I feel like a chocolate covered ant, placed on a farm to be shaken and confused? Observed like a science project and critiqued on your favorite nightly news. I fell so misunderstood that the reason why when I’m seen on the streets I hide my face underneath my hood. See my true identity escapes me because I live in a society where history tries to erase me. I have dreams and aspirations too and it doesn’t revolve around you telling me what you think I ought to do. Yea I’m strong and athletic but that just goes to show you what some good old fashioned controlled breeding can bring through. Beyond the things your eyes can see lye’s a heart of compassion, and a mind that can shift your attention and become the world’s greatest attraction. However; when I try to rise up and prepare myself to take center stage something comes along and steals my thunder, and my heart is left in a rage. I’m so tired of the deception if you believe the color of my skin makes me a rejection; take it up with God because ultimately he’s been my protection. I know I am not perfect nor will I ever be, but until you loose me from these mental shackles our young men will grow believing a chocolate covered ant is all they will ever be. by Kelvin Hemsley Jr.


Restoration Stage, Inc.

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COVERED

ANTS Your contributions make these stories, OUR stories come to life! Consider donating today.

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Chocolate Covered Ants 2018  

Synopsis: Dr. Adrienne Taylor is a social worker and a professor of mental health at fictitious college. There she’s spent three years resea...

Chocolate Covered Ants 2018  

Synopsis: Dr. Adrienne Taylor is a social worker and a professor of mental health at fictitious college. There she’s spent three years resea...

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