September 26, 2019 – October 20, 2019
by Dominique Morisseau
Directed by Valerie Curtis-Newton
September 26 – October 20
Speaking truth to power SUNSET BABY begins with the story of Nina, a strong and independent woman named after the rebellious songstress, as she is visited by her estranged father and former revolutionary in the Black liberation movement, Kenyatta. She can’t tell what he’s after, a fix to their broken relationship or the only physical items of value she ties to her mother – a collection of love letters written by her infamous parents. As the lives of father and daughter begin to intertwine, old wounds are revealed, generational differences exposed, and smoldering truths laid bare. Morisseau’s SUNSET BABY is an energetic and vibrant narrative of the duality and intersectionality of family, legacy, and liberation.
“[A] smart and bracing new play about two generations of urban outlaws struggling to stay afloat in the lower depths…[Sunset Baby] covers vast acres of social and political ground.” – The New York Times
“…smart, entertaining and moving…while asking penetrating questions about the nature of liberation. Is it possible to be a good revolutionary and a good parent? Why are the gains made by one generation so often casually thrown away by the next? And what are the things we do for love?” – The Guardian
Aishé Keita is a Jamaican-Malian American storyteller. She is a Seattle based with credit at the Intiman Theater: Lysistrata, The Wedding Band; Seattle Shakespeare Company: Romeo and Juliet, Measure for Measure, Bring Down the House, The Tempest; Freehold Engaged Prison Tour: Hamlet, Henry V, Emboldened; Book-it Repertory Theater: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and Seattle Repertory Theater and The Guthrie in Minneapolis for Familiar. Aishé is in deep gratitude to be playing Nina and thankful to her partners for their continuous love and support throughout the process.
Sunset Baby is Marcel’s debut production with ArtsWest, and he is honored to perform with this outstanding cast, directed by the renowned Valerie Curtis-Newton. Marcel is a real native of Seattle, and has performed locally with Book-It (Behold the Dreamers, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Cider House Rules…Pt. 2), Seattle Shakespeare Company (Measure for Measure, Henry V), Seattle Public Theater (Of Mice and Men, Master Harold…and the Boys), Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center (Death of A Salesman, Diva Daughter’s Dupree, Bobby and Jerome), and several other local theaters. Marcel has also performed internationally, (Panafest ’05 in Ghana, West Africa), as a member of Seattle’s own Nu Black Arts West Theater. TV credits include guest starring roles on Leverage (TNT), Grimm (NBC), as well as several local and regional commercials. Marcel is eternally grateful for the support and inspiration continually provided by his wife, children, entire family, friends, and colleagues.
Tyler is excited to be back at ArtsWest for his third production with the company, the first being My Mañana Comes in 2015. Most recently he was seen in Lady Windermere’s Fan at Taproot Theatre and My Antonia with Book-It Repertory Theatre. Thanks to the company and the director!
The Head of Directing at the University of Washington’s School of Drama, Valerie also serves as the Artistic Director for The Hansberry Project, an African American theatre lab. She has worked with theatres across the country including: The Guthrie Theater, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Intiman Theatre, Actors’ Theatre of Louisville, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Seattle Children’s Theatre, The Mark Taper Forum, New York Theatre Workshop, among others. She has been awarded the National Endowment for the Arts/Theatre Communications Group Career Development Grant for Directors, the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation’s Gielgud Directing Fellowship, the Seattle Stranger Genius Award in Performance and the Crosscut Courage Award for Culture.
Aviona Rodriguez Brown
Production Stage Manager
Aviona (she/they) is a afrolatinx curvaceous person who bends time and space itself to be involved in the theater. This is their second PSM position at Artswest and has come to consider AW as an artistic home. Aviona is a Seattle based actor, director, model, teaching artist, stage manager, poet, producer, student and social justice leader. As a social justice leader, Aviona is working to begin a detention replacement program that teaches at risk children and adults art therapy. As a teaching artist, Aviona is developing a solo show of self-written poetry which depicts the intersectionality of being multiracial, accepting herself as queer, while dealing with mental illness and drug addiction after each performance they offer a poetry writing workshop. www.avionabrown.weebly.com
Christopher is a freelance Theater Artist based in Seattle, Washington. This production marks his 11th with ArtsWest. Previous ArtsWest credits include Office Hour, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Lady Day at Emersons Bar and Grill, Sweeny Todd: the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Frozen, Mothers and Sons, Death of a Salesman,Violet, Judy’s Scary Little Christmas, and Little Women. Christopher has also designed numerous shows with the following companies; 5th Avenue Theatre, Portland Center Stage, Seattle Opera, Village Theatre, Book-It Repertory Theatre, ArtsWest, Seattle Public Theater and Vespertine Opera Theater. He also worked as a Set Designer for the Amazon Studios on the Emmy Award nominated television show The Man in the High Castle. Christopher holds his MFA from University of Washington and his BFA from Wright State University.
Bryce Bartl-Geller is a Seattle-based lighting and projections designer. He relishes projects that provide social commentary or focus on social justice and that have design as an integral part of their storytelling. He is thrilled to be designing for his first time with ArtsWest. Bryce is an ensemble member of The Horse in Motion. Selected work: Feathers and Teeth (Washington Ensemble Theater), The Arsonists (The Horse In Motion), Brandi Alexander and Searchers (Edinburgh Fringe Festival); Public Works Seattle As You Like It (assistant, Seattle Rep), Jitterbug Perfume (Café Nordo), Men on Boats (Cornish College of the Arts); The Fig Tree Waltzes (Acrobatic Conundrum); Boys’ Life, Force Continuum, The Inexplicable Redemption of Agent G (UW School of Drama); How to Succeed in Business (Fifth Ave, 2nd assistant). Bryce studied lighting design at the University of Washington where he received the Shelly and Phil Schermer Design Scholarship. He also works as a scientist in a LiDAR lab researching forest resilience to wildfire. www.bartl-geller.com
Jessamyn (they/them) is a props designer based in Seattle. Past favorite shows include The Last World Octopus Wrestling Champion at Arts West, The Twilight Zone: Live! at Theater Schmeater, and Trevor at MAP Theatre.
Jessica Morena Caycho
Originally from Lima, Peru, byways of Alexandria, Virginia and now in Seattle, Washington —better known as Duwamish territory. Jessica is a secondyear graduate student at the University of Washington pursuing their MFA in Costume Design. They last designed the first half of Body Awareness (Floyd and Delores Jones Playhouse), and Desire Under the Elms (Firehouse Theatre). You can see their next work at The Penthouse Theatre for Chekhov’sThree Sisters this fall. She would like to thank her parents, Caton, her roommates, and this wonderful cast. Please donate to The Bail Project at https:// secure.givelively.org/donate/ the-bail-project to fund bails for incarcerated people.
“BWW Review: SUNSET BABY at Arts West Presents a Slice of Life” — Broadway World