Writer Christina Ham recently entered into an overall deal with Universal Content Productions after working as a supervising producer on "Westworld." Previously, Ham served as a co-producer on "Sweet Tooth" for Netflix/Team Downey/Warner Bros, and she spent two seasons on "The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" for Warner Bros/Netflix. She wrote for the first season of "Them," a two-season order at Amazon/Vertigo/Sony, and she segued into the new series "Brand New Cherry Flavor" for Netflix/UCP. She is also an accomplished playwright, having developed and produced both nationally and internationally with the Kennedy Center, Arena Stage, Center Theater Group, The Guthrie Theater, Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Goodman Theatre, Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, Tony Award winning producer Arielle Tepper Madover off-Broadway at Theater Row, and the Tokyo International Arts Festival, among many others. She is a two-time recipient of a McKnight Fellowship in Playwriting and a Jerome Fellowship from the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, the Marianne Murphy Women & Philanthropy Award in Playwriting, a MacDowell Residency, and a previous nominee for Center Theater Group’s Richard E. Sherwood Award for Distinguished Emerging Theater Artist. She has received commissions from the Kennedy Center, The Guthrie Theater, and Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, to name a few. She is a member of The Kilroys who have been advocating for the equal representation of woman, trans, and non-binary writers on American stages. American Theatre magazine named her one the top 20 most-produced playwrights of the 2018-19 season.
by Christina Ham
directed by Logan Vaughn
Julianne Argyros Stage
Featuring: Richard Baskin Jr., Meredith Noël, Chibuba Osuala, Arie Bianca Thompson and Jennifer Leigh Warren.
OCT 2-23, 2022
Timothy & Marianne Kay/Argyros Family Foundation
Mickey & Nickie Williams
Nina Simone: Four Women
“An artist’s responsibility is to reflect the times.” Following the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church, Nina Simone shifted her talents to activism, creating some of our most powerful Civil Rights anthems. Described as “riveting, relevant and oh so real” by Broadway World, this deeply personal play with music imagines how the iconic chanteuse forged her true calling–and gave voice to countless other Black women fighting to overcome stereotypes and racism. Includes Simone’s most impactful songs including “Sinnerman” and “Mississippi Goddam.”
Previews: Oct. 2-6, 2022
First Night: Oct. 7, 2022
Regular Performances: Oct. 8-23, 2022
American Sign Language Performance: Saturday, Oct.22, 2022 at 2 p.m
Recommendation: Ages 14+
Running time: Approximately 90 minutes with no intermission.
Tickets to this production are no longer available.
About the Creative Team
Richard Baskin Jr.* (Sam Waymon/Musical Director/Composer/Arranger) (he/him) is a versatile entertainer, making a mark on the NYC scene as a vocalist, pianist, composer, orchestrator/arranger, educator, and actor. Originally from Saginaw, Michigan, he grew up singing and playing in church with many musical influences including gospel, Motown, jazz, R&B, pop, rock, soul, and country. Those experiences allowed him to win the top prize at the Amateur Night competition at the Apollo Theatre (Harlem, N.Y.) in 2007. After graduating from Western Michigan University and Indiana University with Jazz Studies degrees—he returned to New York to pursue a music career. He produces his own shows with his band, Ricky B. & the Soul Patrol—at NYC musical institutions such as Feinstein’s/54 Below, and The Triad Theatre. Baskin works as an in-demand Musical Director and consultant for new musicals and workshops. He is currently on the faculty at Manhattan School of Music. Baskin recently appeared on Broadway in the hip-hop/comedy/improvised show Freestyle Love Supreme. Website: [email protected] IG: @richardbaskinjr
Meredith Noël* (Sweet Thing) is making her SCR debut. Her regional theatre credits include A Christmas Carol, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf, The Village of Vale (reading) and Flood (reading) at Kansas City Repertory; Brainstorm at The Coterie Theatre; Crowns, The Wiz, The Parchman Hour, Oliver Twist, The Hampton Years and A Christmas Carol at Virginia Stage Company; and Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill and Grotesquerie Lake (reading) at Zeiders American Dream Theatre.
Chibuba Osuala* (Nina Simone) (formerly Christine Osuala) is a first generation, Nigerian American actress returning to the stage after acquiring her Masters in Arts and Trauma Studies from NYU Gallatin School of Interdisciplinary Arts. There, she studied the connection between systemic oppression and abuse, and the passing on of communal trauma between women of the Africana Diaspora, and the manifestation of such trauma and healing, in creativity. Thus, she is excited to be a part of South Coast Repertory’s production of Nina Simone: Four Women by Christina Ham, which focuses on an artist who explored these themes so directly in her music. In the past, Osuala has worked with theatres such as Atlantic Theatre Company, LAByrinth Theater Company, The Playwright’s Realm, New York Theatre Workshop and The National Black Theatre; as well as with Sundance’s Theatre Lab (MENA). She trained at NYU Tisch Graduate Acting and SUNY Purchase BFA Acting programs respectively.
Keiana Richàrd* (Understudy) received her MFA from the University of California, San Diego. Some theatre credits include Lincoln Center’s Tony-nominated production of Dividing the Estate, McCarter Theatre Center’s Eclipsed and Center Theatre Group’s The Trip To Bountiful. Some of her film and television projects include Mid-City Blue, Adult Swim’s “Delocated” and NBC’s “The Player.” She is currently serving as Co-Artistic Director for Collaborative Artists Bloc where she produces, directs and performs in CAB’s programming. She has directed for theatre companies such as Celebration Theatre, Rogue Artists Ensemble, Ammunition Theatre, IAMA Theatre Company, Rogue Machine, Pomona College and LMU. keianarichard.com.
Maya Smoot (Understudy) is an actor and teacher currently living in Los Angeles. She is originally from the Bay Area. Her acting work includes Flyin’ West (Fannie) and Camille (Nichette) at Quintessence Theatre Group, ...And Jesus Moonwalks the Mississippi (Free Girl) at African American Shakespeare Company, Tomorrow Will Be Sunday at Chautauqua Theater Company, Mad Madge at CounterBalance Theater and The Pericles Project (Marina), The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Silvia), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Helena) at New Swan Shakespeare Festival. She received her MFA in Acting at UC Irvine and a BA in Drama at San Francisco State, she also attended British American Drama Academy (in association with Yale School of Drama). @mayasmoot
Arie Bianca Thompson* (Sephronia) is delighted to be making her SCR debut in Nina Simone: Four Women. On stage most recently, she originated the role of Octavia in the world premiere of Kirsten Greenidge’s Our Daughters Like Pillars (director Kimberly Senior) at the Huntington Theatre Company in Boston. Prior to that, she has worked at various regional and off-Broadway theatres, including Shakespeare in the Park, The Public Theater, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Hartford Stage, Urban Stages and A Noise Within. On television, she has appeared in "Law & Order: SVU" and stars as Pam Jones opposite Vivica Fox in LMN’s popular movie series "Keeping Up With the Jones" (two seasons). Her recent film credits include Tatyana in the critically acclaimed indie feature Once Upon A Lifetime (director David Skato, available on Prime) and Ashlaya in War of the Worlds: Annihilation (director Max Elfeldt, available on Tubi). You can connect with Arie on Instagram: @ariebiancathompson.
Jennifer Leigh Warren* (Sarah) is a critically acclaimed actress/singer lauded for her show-stopping Broadway performances as the original Alice’s Daughter in Big River (“How Blest We Are” written for her by Roger Miller), the original Crystal in Little Shop of Horrors and the original cast of Marie Christine and Lonesome Traveler. In RENT: LIVE on Fox TV, she showcased her acting versatility as Mrs. Jefferson, Mrs. Cohen, Support Sue and the infamous homeless bag lady. She starred as The Blues Singer in all four national tours of A Night with Janis Joplin (USA, Canada; now streaming on BroadwayHD.com) and premiered her award-winning one-woman concert, Diamonds Are Forever: The Songs of Shirley Bassey at the Renberg Theatre. She performed in Sir Peter Hall’s Shakespeare Repertory Company and her Disney Concert Hall debut was with the LA Philharmonic. Her full film and television credits are available at JenniferLeighWarren.com. She is a member of Actors’ Equity Association, SAG/AFTRA and a Dartmouth Graduate.
Logan Vaughn (Director) (she/her) is a New York-based artist and director of new work. As a director, she has worked with The Public Theater, MCC Theater, Sundance, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, The Apollo Theater, Geva Theatre, Playwrights’ Center, The Playwrights Realm, Mosaic Theatre, National Black Theatre and NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Vaughn received a 2019 Outer Critics Circle nomination for Best Direction of a Play for the New York premiere of Loy A. Webb’s The Light at MCC Theater and won BroadwayWorld’s 2019 Outstanding Play Production for the world premiere of America V. 2.1: The Sad Demise and Eventual Extinction of the American Negro by Stacey Rose. In 2019, she was named Associate Artistic Director of Ojai Playwrights Conference, and is the Associate Director of the first national Broadway tour of Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of The Temptations.
Jack Magaw (Scenic Design) makes his SCR debut with this production of Nina Simone: Four Women. His recent Chicago and regional credits include the world premiere of Relentless (TimeLine Theatre and Goodman Theatre), Two Trains Running (Court Theatre), The Agitators (Alabama Shakespeare Festival), Indecent (Arena Stage, Kansas City Repertory Theatre and Baltimore Center Stage), Legacy Land and Frankenstein (Kansas City Rep), America v. 2.1: The Sad Demise and Eventual Extinction of the American Negro (Barrington Stage Company), The Scarlet Ibis (Chicago Opera Theatre), Approval Junkie (Alliance Theatre and Audible Theatre Off-Broadway) and Talley’s Folly and I and You (Peninsula Players Theatre). Upcoming projects include Crimes of the Heart (American Stage) and the world premiere of How to Break (Village Theatre). He is an Adjunct Professor of Design at The Theatre School at DePaul University and he resides in Chicago. jackmagaw.com
Jessica Ford (Costume Design) is pleased to return to SCR, having designed The Fantasticks in 2013. Her favorite credits include costumes for the world premiers of Athol Fugard’s Coming Home at The Long Wharf Theatre and Berkeley Repertory, Lucy Thurber’s Transfers at MCC Theater, as well as The Agitators at Geva Theatre Center and Kill Local at La Jolla Playhouse, both by Mat Smart. For These Paper Bullets by Rolin Jones with music by Billie Jo Armstrong at Yale Repertory Theatre, The Geffen Playhouse, and Atlantic Theatre Company in NYC, she received Ovation and Drama Desk Award Nominations and an LA Critics Circle Award. Other regional credits include Alley Theatre in Houston, Dallas Theater Center, Baltimore Center Stage, and Arena Stage and Studio Theatre in Washington, DC. In New York, she has worked with Womens Project, Labyrinth Theater Company, and Ars Nova, among others. She earned her MFA at Yale School of Drama. jessicafordcostumedesign.com
Christine A. Binder (Lighting Design) is a Chicago based lighting designer who has been working in theatre, opera, and dance for over 30 years. In theatre, she has designed for Writer’s Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Northlight Theatre Company, Seattle Repertory Theatre, The Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and Geva Theatre Company among many others. Opera designs include work with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Tulsa Opera, New York City Opera, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Seiji Ozawa Matsumoto Festival in Japan, and Teatro dell'Opera di Roma. She is an Artistic Associate with Lookingglass Theatre Company, where she has over two dozen credits. She has several Joseph Jefferson Award nominations, a Suzy Bass award nomination, and is the recipient of the Dora Award for Best Lighting Design for Canadian Opera Company’s production of Eugene Onegin. She is the Head of Lighting Design for The Theatre School at DePaul University.
Everett Elton Bradman (Original Music/ Sound Design) is making his SCR design debut. His 2021-22 composer/sound designer credits include West Coast premieres (Trayf at Geffen Playhouse), audio dramas (Aurora Theater’s The Bluest Eye), student productions (UC Riverside’s Red Oleanders), Zoom theater (Actors Theatre’s Romeo & Juliet: Louisville 2020), podcasts (Z Space/Word for Word’s Retablos trilogy), filmed theater (San Francisco Playhouse’s Hieroglyph), hybrid visual/audio (New Conservatory Theatre Center's Interlude), and outdoor performances (Oakland Theater Project’s The Waste Land). Other recent adventures include teaching an online undergraduate course in theatrical sound design and co-writing a musical for Bay Area Children’s Theatre and The Rose Theater in Omaha, Nebraska. Stop by and say hello at eltonsounds.com!
Yee Eun Nam (Projection Design) is a visual artist and a media designer for live performances who returns to SCR after designing Clean/Espejos and The Canadians. Recent collaborations include Audible Theatre, Opera Saint Louis, Geffen Playhouse, San Francisco Symphony, Boston Lyric Opera, LA Opera On Now, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, BayStreet Theater, Ma-Yi Theater Company, SohoRep, Goodman Theatre, The Movement Theatre Company, LA Opera Connects, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, South Coast Repertory, Center Theatre Group, Pasadena Playhouse, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, New World Center, The Soraya, Perseverance Theatre, Fountain Theatre, Getty Villa, Latino Theatre Company and many more. Nam has multiple nominations for the LA Stage Alliance Ovation Award, Stage Raw and is a winner of LADCC Theatrical Excellence for CGI/Video in 2020. She is a member of United Scenic Artists, Local 829. She earned her MFA in Theater Design at UCLA and her BFA in Design and Metal Craft at SNU in Seoul, Korea. Portfolio: yeeeunnam.com
Kevin Boseman (Choreography) is a former featured dancer with the legendary Martha Graham Dance Company and world-renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. He has numerous Broadway, off-Broadway, and regional credits. He earned the Alvin Ailey Scholarship at the Ailey School and studied acting at the Atlantic Acting School. Boseman's choreography credits include the world premiere of America v. 2.1: The Sad Demise & Eventual Extinction of the American Negro at Barrington Stage Company, WiLDFLOWER at The Apollo Theater and The Sensational Sea Mink-ettes at Ojai Playwrights Conference.
Randall K. Lum* (Stage Manager) returns for his 19th season. In the years between his 18th and 19th seasons with SCR, he stage managed for Oregon and San Francisco Shakespeare Festivals, TheatreWorks, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Center Theatre Group, La Jolla, Laguna and Pasadena Playhouses, Arena Stage, Seattle Repertory Theatre, and ShowTown Theatricals. He production stage managed the Old Vic’s production of A Christmas Carol in San Francisco. Favorite productions he has stage managed include Equivocation, American Night, Ruined, Dead Man’s Cell Phone, The Royale, The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler, The Birds, Princess Marjorie, Three Days of Rain, Intimate Apparel, Kimberley Akimbo, Wit, Nan and the Lower Body, They Promised Her The Moon, Pride and Prejudice, Archduke, Fun Home, Hold These Truths, Finks, Constellations, Rags, Confederates, Fallen Angels, The Lake Effect and Peter and the Starcatcher. Other companies: The Old Globe, American Conservatory Theater, California Shakespeare Theatre and Berkeley Repertory Theatre.
Lauren Buangan* (Assistant Stage Manager) is excited to return to South Coast Repertory after assistant stage managing Million Dollar Quartet at Mission San Juan Capistrano. She holds a BA in Theater from UCLA, a Certificate of Achievement in Film from Orange Coast College, and studied drama at Queen Mary University of London. Her previous SCR credits include Our Town, What I Learned In Paris, A Christmas Carol, You're A Good Man Charlie Brown, Where The Mountain Meets the Moon, M. Butterfly, Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: the Rock Experience and Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.
*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.