Summer 2021 Digital Program

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Welcome from Artistic Director
Mark Booher
Welcome from AHC Superintendent/President
Dr. Kevin Walthers
Welcome from PCPA Foundation President Jim Bray

Lady Day- Covid Restrictions
Now more than ever, we are calling on YOU to help support PCPA. Please donate today and keep #PCPASTRONG Please go to OR Text PCPA to #50155

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By Lanie Robertson
Step into Emerson's Bar and Grill and witness one of Billie Holiday's last performances in Philadelphia, in March 1959, four months shy of her death, at the age of 44. This drama with music examines and explores the life of this legendary performer, with more than a dozen of the jazz legends' songs in this riveting portrait of Holiday and her music. Songs include "God Bless the Child," "T'aint Nobody's Business If I Do," "Crazy He Calls Me" and "Easy Livin'."
Adult themes and language

The Cast

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Billie Holiday

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Jimmy Powers

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August 19 - September 5, 2021
Solvang Festival Theater
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
Aug. 19
Aug 20
Aug. 21
Aug. 22 Aug. 23 Aug. 24 Aug. 25 Aug. 26
Aug. 27
Aug. 28
Aug. 29 Aug. 30 Aug. 31
Sept. 1 Sept. 2
Sept. 3
Sept. 4
Sept. 5
Watch Lady Day Director Wren T. Brown discuss his process for directing Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill.
Watch Karole Foreman, starring as Billie Holiday, discuss Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill.
Watch Stephan Terry discuss Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill.


Scenic Designer

Ed Haynes

Costume Designer

Lighting Designer

Donna Ruzika

Sound Designer

Corwin Evans

Production Stage Manager

Sarah Ford*

Stage Manager

To see a full list of our staff who supported this production, please click the link below.
The PCPA Company
This production of Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill was first produced at International City Theatre and Ebony Repertory Theatre.

Generously Sponsored by
Jerry & Sharon Melson
Elise Roberts

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Karole Foreman* as Billie Holiday
Photo by Craig Schwartz, courtesy Ebony Repertory Theatre

Production Crew

Sound Engineer
Deck Crew
Follow Spot Operator
Follow Spot Operator
Light Board Operator
Electrics Supervisor
Wardrobe Supervisor
Germán Martínez
Brooke Bianco
Julia Bianco
Ish Petersen
Paige Deeds
Juan Miguel Jimenez
Cody Soper
Tera Bruketta

*Member, Actors' Equity Association

Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc.
The videotaping or making of electronic or other audio and/or visual recordings of this production and distributing recordings or streams in any medium, including the Internet, is strictly prohibited, a violation of the author(s)'s rights and actionable under United States copyright law. for more information, please visit:

Billie Holiday
Jimmy Powers

Musical Numbers
“I Wonder Where Our Love Has Gone”
“When a Woman Loves a Man”
“What a Little Moonlight Can Do”
“Crazy He Calls Me”
“Pig Foot (And a Bottle of Beer)”
“Baby Doll”
“God Bless the Child”
“Foolin’ Myself”
“Somebody’s on My Mind”
“Easy Livin’”
“Strange Fruit”
“Blues Break”
“T’ain’t Nobody’s Business If I Do”
“Don’t Explain/What a Little Moonlight Can Do” (Reprise)
“Deep Song”

Place: A small bar in south Philadelphia.
Time: About midnight in March, 1959.
This is one of the last performances of Billie Holiday’s life. She died four months later of cirrhosis and heart failure on July 17, 1959.

Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill will be performed without an intermission

About the Play

The time is 1959. The place is a seedy bar in Philadelphia. The audience is about to witness one of Billie Holiday’s last performances, given four months before her death. More than a dozen musical numbers are interlaced with salty, often humorous reminiscences to project a riveting portrait of the lady and her music.
The play premiered at the Alliance Theatre in 1986 transferring to Off-Broadway followed by a Broadway production which opened in 2014 featuring Audra McDonald as Billie Holiday. McDonald was awarded her sixth Tony Award for her performance.
Lady Day won the 1987 Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Book.
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About the Production

Director Wren T. Brown says Holiday’s music continues to soar and stir audiences six decades later. “I am excited to direct Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, because it affords me the opportunity to explore and examine the life of one of the most transcendent artists of the 20th century. Through her singing, Billie Holiday used everything that happened in her life to inform her art. Many of the songs she performed and recorded have become standards, and have caused audiences to feel her heart and soul, in a manner unlike any other artist. Sixty years after her death, at a time in America when race, gender, and the opioid crisis are being discussed loudly on a daily basis, Billie Holiday's life and career are a great example of what it means to not just survive but triumph in the face of lifelong abuse and struggle.”
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International City Theatre
 (ICT) is Long Beach’s resident professional, award-winning theatre company. With a mission to entertain, educate, inspire and provoke thoughtful dialogue through professional live theatre and under the direction of Artistic Director/Producer caryn desai, ICT is celebrating its 36th anniversary in 2021. Nationally recognized for its work, ICT has received more than 400 professional awards to date. ICT has been a defining catalyst for positive change in the Los Angeles/Orange Countyarea and annually offers five mainstage productions that are entertaining, educational and inspiring. With a strong commitment to education, ICT also offers six vital education programs designed to provide access to the arts for every demographic from age 4 to 104.ICT operates with the vision to strive to advance the development of live theatre and to expand its impact by enriching lives, embracing diversity, and increasing the value of artistic expression. ICT performs at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center, www.ictlongbeach.organd is proud to share its production of Lady Day at PCPA featuring the talented work of Wren T. Brown, Karole Foreman and Stephan Terry.

Ebony Repertory Theatre
 (ERT), is Los Angeles’ only African-American professional (Actors’ Equity Contract) theatre company, and the Resident Company and Operator of the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center. ERT’s commitment is to bring diverse, high standard, professional performing arts to the Mid-City community, as well as the greater Los Angeles area, to engender business development along Washington Boulevard and to continue to make the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center one of Los Angeles’ cultural destinations! ERT’s mission of cultural diversity and inclusion is tangible in the performances and exhibitions our organization has tendered throughout its nearly 15 years. Performances such as “Five Guys Named Moe,” “Gospel at Colonus,” and “Two Trains Running” have all earned critical acclaim. Our theatres' commitment to diversity and inclusion fosters a unique African American artistic experience that allows the multicultural audiences of our community and beyond to expand their understanding of diverse backgrounds. ERT is honored to share our Producing Artistic Director, Wren T. Brown and the production of “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill.

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About the Author

Lanie Robertson writes about iconic artists and the societal issues they faced in Nasty Little Secrets, The Insanity of Mary Girard, Back County Crimes, and Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill, which was produced on Broadway in 2014. His plays are widely produced nationally and internationally. He’s a member of the Dramatists Guild, Writers Guild, East; and the Societe des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques.
Robertson is quoted in discussing his inspirations in becoming a playwright, “From kindergarten until high school graduation, I attended sixteen schools in fourteen of these United States. I believe my childhood influenced my theater work in many ways: it established me in my psyche as an eternal outsider; it attuned my ear to the sound of people’s voices and to how meaning is often conveyed through intonations that revealed the truer feelings hiding behind the sense of the words people use; and it exposed me to a wide range of personality types and identities that lurk within regional identification.” While the author aligns with Aristotle in the need to tell a story with a beginning, a middle, and an end. He doesn’t however, adhere to a chronological structure. Instead, he approaches historical characters at significant points in their lives. Figures such as Billie Holiday, John Wilkes Booth, Georgia O’Keeffe, Eugene O’Neill, Hank Williams, Louis Armstrong, Mae West, Noel Coward, among others.
About Billie Holiday

Born Eleanora Fagan in 1915 and died at the age of 44 in 1959 after a tumultuous yet successful recording career that began after singing in Harlem nightclubs. Billie Holiday, nicknamed "Lady Day” recorded for Columbia and Decca records and performed to a sold-out concert at Carnegie Hall in the late 40s. At an early age she was influenced by Louis Armstrong and Bessie Smith. Her first recording, at the age of 18, was with Benny Goodman, one of the two tracks she recorded “Riffin’ the Scotch,” sold 5,000 records. Producer John Hammond said of the young Holiday, she sang like an improvising jazz genius. In the late 30’s she toured briefly with Count Basie and Artie Shaw. In 1941 Holiday recorded "God Bless the Child" becoming her most popular record selling over a million copies. Another huge hit followed when she signed to Decca Records and recorded “Lover Man” which crossed her over from jazz to pop.

In 1947, without attorney representation she pleaded guilty to drug possession. The conviction caused her to lose her Cabaret Card limiting the venues in which she was able to perform. DownBeat magazine critic Nat Hentoff wrote of her later concert, “Lady’s sound, a texture simultaneously steel-edged and yet soft inside; a voice that was almost unbearably wise in disillusion and yet childlike. The audience was hers from before she sang, greeting her and saying good-bye with heavy, loving applause. It was a night when Billie was on top, undeniably the best and most honest jazz singer alive.” Holiday was posthumously nominated for 23 Grammy awards and inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, among others.
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Lady Day- Covid Restrictions

Now more than ever, we are calling on YOU to help support PCPA. Please donate today and keep #PCPASTRONG Please go to OR Text PCPA to #50155

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Welcome PCPA's newest Resident Artists

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Three new Resident Artists will be joining the PCPA staff this fall semester as teachers in the conservatory and actors in mainstage productions.

Audiences will remember Jennie Greenberry from her performance in the 2019 production of The Addams Family. She spent five seasons with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and has played major roles Off-Broadway and in regional theatres from coast to coast including the Repertory Theater of St. Louis, Dallas Theater Center, The Folger Shakespeare Theatre, Music Theatre Wichita, and Kansas City Repertory.
Eduardo Enrikez was born in Mexico and began his professional acting career in London appearing in the West End production of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare and at The Edinburg Festival in Dangerous Games. He's appeared in numerous stage productions in Los Angeles, worked in film and wrote the title song for the animated movie Sabel, opening in theatres next year.
Christen Celaya comes to PCPA from LA where she worked at Teatro Luna and The Southland Company. Previously based in New York she performed in Off-Broadway productions of The Imaginary Invalid, The King of Infinite Space, and the title role of Miss Julie. She is a film maker and created the independent film company Pocha Productions working to engage an inter-sectional feminist U.S. Latinx perspective through cinematic story-telling and to empower Latinx creatives and people of color at every level of production.
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COVID-19 Update
Your Health & Safety Are Our Priority

PCPA ask our audiences to join with us in providing the safest space possible for patrons, cast, crew, volunteers and staff. Please review this information prior to your attendance. Please arrive 45 minutes before the performance to allow time for the check-in process.

Attendance Policies

  • Audience members age 18 and over will present a government-issued ID, such as a passport or driver’s license and provide proof of a full Covid-19 vaccination completed at least 14 days prior to the performance date. Guest who need a reasonable accommodation due to a medical condition or deeply held religious belief, must provide proof of a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of the performance date.
  • Audience members under age 18 will need to have a parent or guardian attest that they are symptom-free.
    • o Parents/guardians will be asked, “In the last 14 days, has your child had close contact with someone who is confirmed to have Covid-19?”
    • o Parents/guardians will be asked about the presence of symptoms including: fever symptoms (alternating chills/sweating), cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, diarrhea, vomiting or abdominal pain.
  • All audience members, staff and volunteers are required to wear face masks (covering their nose and mouth) in all areas of the theatre and throughout the performance. Please stay home if you are feeling ill.
Enhanced Health and Safety Precautions
  • The theatre building now has an enhanced air filtration utilizing MERV 13 filters.
  • The theatre, lobby area and restrooms are cleaned and disinfected after every performance.
  • Multiple hand sanitizers are available throughout the lobby.
  • Touchless ticketing. All tickets are scanned upon entrance. Patrons are encouraged to opt for fully digital ticketing which allows you to show your ticket on your phone or print out your ticket at home, to be scanned upon entrance.
  • Digital programs replace paper playbills and are easily accessed through a link you will receive in your email reminder prior to the performance date and through a QR code posted in the lobby.
  • Until mask requirements are no longer necessary we will not be offering food and beverages, and patrons may not bring in food or beverages for consumption in the theatre or lobby.
  • At this time, there will be no “stage door” opportunities with the actors in the show.
  • If a performance is cancelled, our box office will contact you via email and we will update our website and social media pages with more information.

By purchasing a ticket to a PCPA production and/or entering a PCPA/Allan Hancock College venue, theatergoer assumes all risks associated with entering a place of public gathering and voluntarily waives any and all claims and potential claims against PCPA and Allan Hancock College relating to COVID-19 or any other communicable disease, or illness, or that arise from or relate in any way to, however caused, the risk of exposure or actual or alleged exposures to a bacteria, virus or other pathogen capable of causing COVID-19 or any other communicable disease or illness, in each case whether the actual or alleged circumstances giving rise to any claim or potential claim occur before, during or after the event.
All performances are subject to re-scheduling and cancellation. Refunds will not be issued but tickets will be credited to your PCPA account for a future performance. The PCPA credit will not expire. The safety and well-being of all our patrons, actors, volunteers & employees is very important to PCPA and we thank you for understanding. We appreciate your support and look forward to seeing you at the theater!

Business Office
805 928-7731
Box Office
805 922-8313

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