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To our Fam and Friends,

We are currently at Curious Theatre in Denver, Colorado, viewing America from its purple mountain majesties. 🙂 It’s breathtaking. 

After the premiere of Ameriville at the Humana Festival (Actors Theatre of Louisville, KY) we have been blessed with the opportunity to fine tune the play and give it a new “proscenium” life after its already powerful shape for the “round”. We are very proud of the work we’ve created and excited about the electrifying community dialogue and mobilization that is happening because of it.

America is ready for the conversation and with “Ameriville” we are talking loud and sayin’ something.

We are excited with the possibilities for the year ahead of us as we prepare to take Ameriville to New Orleans, New Hampshire, Montana, and D.C.. We are thrilled that in the coming year, UNIVERSES is opening it’s doors to new company members and we are charged that we will host our 1st summer play lab and retreat, providing play and technical development opportunities for other artists in our communities. 

As you know, for the past 13 years UNIVERSES has financially supported itself through self generated/touring income but as we begin a new journey in helping to develop and produce the works of our “artistic community”, we are reaching out to you, “our community of family and friends” to help launch us into a new direction. We thank you for all your support throughout the years and hope that you will add UNIVERSES to your list during this season of giving. 

Here’s a toast to what the new year will bring as we ALL set off and row our boats against the current.

Wishing you all the best,

(Mildred, Steve, Gamal, Ninja)

Please give what you can and all you can. Go to:

Support UNIVERSES today.


Hello people

“its been a long time, I shouldn’t left you.”

Hello people, Steven Sapp here, reaching out to you from the inside. I have come to bring the continued tales of the ensemble Universes. The journey finds your heroes and heroine still moving forward. The last couple of weeks have found us bouncing from city to city, performing still and preparing for the next relaunch of our newest theatrical salvo “Ameriville” We have been to Dance Place in DC, to perform Live From the Edge, and to begin to restage Ameriville for the proscenium. Then we headed to Atlanta for a double bill with Marc Bamuthi Joseph presented by The National Black Arts Festival and the Rialto. Next we were off to Oakland/SanFrancisco to be presented by Youth Speaks. And the roadwarriors continue over to Richmond, Virginia a little worn down but excited by all the people and energy that we’ve met on our travels. And now we find ourselves preparing for the next leg of an amazing year. Denver is next, Curious Theatre is the place, and Ameriville is reason why. We have gone back in the lab to take another look at Ameriville with Morgan Jenness (dramaturg) and Chay Yew (director). The show premiered at The Humana Festival 09, but we decided to tweak in a bit, for its denver premiere. Ok, I hope that can hold you. I’ll be back with more. There are some exciting news to announce. Tune in for the next episode.

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Universes newsletter (text) as posted on July 2009

UNIVERSES Poetic Musical Theater Ensemble ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ LATEST NEWS OSF Commission TCG Books Anthology Auditions Ameriville Representation Upcoming Shows ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ INFORMATION <a href=””>Website</a&gt; ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ RECENT PRESS “Amerivillerolls along like moving water: it has myriad paces, pitches, volumes, tributaries, and when one reaches the mouth and sees the great expanse of the body, a sense of sublimity washes over … Amerivilleis an experience on many levels: percolating, bubbling, and broiling, flooding the Bingham theatre to the very last row. Hold your breath and dive in.” —-Theatre Louisville ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~<a href=””>Join Our Mailing List</a> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Hi Fam., We are excited to give you this mid year report on all things UNIVERSES. It has been an amazing year, thus far, and we anticipate that it will not cease to amaze us. We thank you so much for all your support throughout the years. We couldn’t have done this much without you. Always looking forward, UNIVERSES (Steven Sapp, Mildred Ruiz, Gamal Chasten and Ninja) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Oregon Shakespeare Festival Commissions Universes UNIVERSES has been commissioned by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) to create a new work for its American Revolutions: the United States History Cycle. We have not yet decided what this new American Journey will be, but will keep you posted as our conversations make the path more clear. “These deeply gifted artists bring new perspectives and artistic styles to the Cycle and continue to deepen this portrait of our nation” — Alison Carey, OSF <a href=””>OSF Press Release</a> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Theater Communications Group (TCG Books) To publish UNIVERSES Anthology We are currently compiling our Anthology, chronicling the past 13 years of Universes works. We will keep you posted on its progress as we look forward to its release. TCG Books- Universes’ THE BIG BANG: Plays, Poetry and Process ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ UNIVERSES currently holding open online audition call (Ends July 20, 2009) Visit to apply Throughout the years, people from all cultural backgrounds and performance aesthetics have approached us about the possibilities of becoming involved with UNIVERSES. After much deliberation we have decided to welcome a handful of new members, some of whom will immediately step into understudy roles and others who we will begin to develop as members of the core Writing/Performance company. We are excited to open up this opportunity for you to audition for UNIVERSES. Please review the audition details on our web site and consider submitting. Online Auditions deadline: July 20, 2009 (by 5:pm) Must be 18 and older to apply ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Universes’ Ameriville @ The Humana Festival This year we had the privilege of premiering Universes’ AMERIVILLE at the 2009 Humana Festival (Actors Theatre of Louisville). This full length work which uses New Orleans and the events pre and post Hurricane Katrina as a lense through which we should view the state of our nation, was received with amazing ugency and nightly curtain calls. Ameriville proved to do just what it set out to do, make people dialogue way beyond the performance; make people assess their own contributions to the state of our nation; and make individuals mobilize and recommit to their communities. We are very proud of this new work and the conversations it sparks. Immediately following the Humana run, The Luckman Theatre (Cal State Arts) hosted Ameriville “UnPlugged” and New World Theatre hosted the Massachussetts premiere at University of Massachussetts (Bowker). Originally Ameriville received an Ensemble Theatre Collaborations Grant from The Association of Performing ARts Presenters (APAP)Ameriville received a 2008 National Performance Network (NPN) Creation Fund with New World Theater (MA), Helena Presents (MT) and Dance Place as co-commissioners. Ameriville received development opportunities from The Goodman Theatre(IL), New York Theatre Workshop (NY) and New World Theater (MA) leading upto the Humana Festival. In the upcoming days and months, Universes will regroup with Chay and Morgan at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OR), Dance Place and Curious Theater in Denver to revisit the work for the proscenium as well as tighting up and revisit the text. In November, Ameriville will premiere at Curious Theatre for a month long run and in February of 2010 Ameriville will go “Home” to New Orleans, premiering there at Southern Rep, in collaboration with Junebug Productions, Ashe Cultural Center and Tulane University. We are looking forward to all these conversations and will keep you posted. We want to extend a special thank you to all our New Orleans friends and family and to all those who helped making Ameriville possible. Special Thanks: National Performance Network (NPN), Theatre Communications Group (TCG), Chay Yew, Morgan Jenness, H-Art Management,Marc Masterson, Actors Theatre of Louisville, New York Theatre Wokshop, New World Theatre, Wesley Montgomery, Teatro Pregones, Elis Finger & Lafayette College, The Sheldon Theatre, Tanya Palmer & The Goodman Theatre, Fabian Obispo, NYU Skirball Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center (Rhythm Road, Network of Ensemble Theaters, Chip Walton & Curious Theatre, Nick Slie, Kathy Randels, Millicent Johnnie, Jose Torres Tama, Saddi Khali, Mrs. Herreast Harrison and The Guardians of the Flame, Kalamu Ya Salaam, Jim Randels, Students at the Center, Matt Schwartzman & John at Creative Forces (NOLA), Claudia Garafalo, Ashe Cultural Center, M.U.G.A.B.E.E., John O’Neil & Junebug Productions, Sunder Ganglani, Southern Rep., Tulane University, Miriam Weisfeld, Lisa Mount, Helena Presents and Dance Place. Writers: Gamal Abdel Chasten, Mildred Ruiz, – William Ruiz a.k.a. Ninja, Steven Sapp Cast: Gamal Abdel Chasten, Mildred Ruiz, William Ruiz a.k.a. Ninja, Steven Sapp Director: Dramaturg: Technical: Chay Yew Morgan Jenness Set: Paul Owen; Costumes: Lorraine Venberg; Lighting: Russell Champa; Sound: Benjamin Marcum; Properties: Alice Baldwin; Video: Jason Czaja; Stage Manager: Megan Schwarz; Choreographer: Millicent Johnnie. <a href=””>Universes Ameriville podcast at The Humana Festival (ATL)</a> from <a href=””>UNIVERSES</a&gt; on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;. <a href=””>More on Ameriville</a> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Abrams Artists Agency Earlier this month, Morgan Jenness and the Abrams Artists Agency extended an invitation to represent UNIVERSES as Literary/Theatrical Agents. Universes accepted the invitation and is looking forward to fostering a collaborative relationship between Universes’ internal booking staff, Abrams Artist Agency’s (Morgan Jenness) and Universes long time booking Agent H-Art Management’s (Harold Norris). We are excited about the possibilities. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~<a href=””>u hart abrams</a> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ UPCOMING SHOWS 2010 * April 11 – 15 , 2010 HOPKINS CENTER @ DARTMOUTH COLLEGE (Hanover, NH) AMERIVILLE * February 21 – March 8 , 2010 SOUTHERN REP < In collaboration with Junebug Theater/ Ashe Cultural Center/ Tulane University> (New Orleans, LA) AMERIVILLE * February 5 , 2010 HELENA PRESENTS (Helena, MT) LIVE FROM THE EDGE * January 13-17, 2010 PLAYMAKERS REP (Chapel Hill, NC) THE BIG BANG __________________ 2009 * November 14 – December 5, 2009 CURIOUS THEATRE (Denver, CO) AMERIVILLE * October 16-17, 2009 MODLIN CTR. FOR THE ARTS (Richmond, VA) LIEV FROM THE EDGE (On the 16th – High School Performance) AMERIVILLE (On the 17th) * September 19-20, 2009 DANCE PLACE (Washington, DC) Live From The Edge * August 23, 2009 ENCUENTROS FESTIVAL (Colombia) * July 22nd, 24th and 26th, 2009 OREGON SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL’s GREEN SHOW (Ashland, OR) ———————————————————————————————————————— THIS YEARS PAST EVENTS * April 30 – May 1, 2009 New World Theatre (Amherst, MA) AMERIVILLE * April 16 – 19, 2009 LUCKMAN THEATRE (Los Angeles, CA) AMERIVILLE (UnPlugged) * March 1 – April 5, 2009 ACTORS THEATRE OF LOUISVILLE – Humana Festival (Louisville, KY) AMERIVILLE * January 19-25, 2009 College of St. Benedict (Saint Cloud, MINN) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Thanks again for all your support. We will keep you posted as things evolve. Always looking forward, UNIVERSES (Gamal, Mildred, Ninja, Steve)