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Written by LaDarrion Williams
Directed by Taavon Gamble
After her scene-stealing role as Mammy in Gone With the Wind, Hattie McDaniel became the first African American to win an Oscar. In this fictional retelling, Hattie refuses to attend the Awards Ceremony. See how a bartender and a maid with dreams and secrets of their own convince her to claim her spotlight in history. Don’t miss the East Coast Premiere celebrating the importance of this Black pioneer.
Please be advised that Boulevard of Bold Dreams contains frank discussions of race relations and the use of racially charged language, including “the n-word.”
Live far away? Schedule have you tied up in knots? Still nervous about going to the theatre? You can enjoy BOULEVARD OF BOLD DREAMS at home via our livestream! Now through Sunday, March 19, you can view the entire show via our livestream. Start, stop, pause, replay. Watch this moving play — your way!
$25 plus applicable fees.
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“Seeing Samantha Jane Williams play Hattie McDaniel, who in 1940 became the first Black recipient of an Oscar for her role as Mammy in the classic film Gone with the Wind, is reason enough not to miss Boulevard of Bold Dreams…the 90-minute, intermission-free production is captivating from start to finish. Its eloquent, artful staging intertwines the real and the imaginary.” – Bay State Banner
“Playwright LaDarrion Williams has mined a moment in history to explore the human cost of being the first to achieve a milestone in this moving and ultimately affirming exploration of the ambivalence surrounding the first Black person to receive an Academy Award. As many know, Hattie McDaniel, who played Scarlett O’Hara’s ‘mammy’ in the highly successful (and notoriously racist) 1939 film Gone With the Wind, was that person. BOULEVARD OF BOLD DREAMS depicts McDaniel (powerfully brought to life by Samantha Jane Williams) on Oscar night, sitting in L.A.’s Ambassador Hotel bar outside the ballroom where the awards will be presented. In the course of the play, she tells two Black employees—bartender Arthur Brooks (winningly portrayed by Stewart Evan Smith) and chambermaid Dottie Hudson (depicted by the feisty Michelle Fenelon)—of her ambivalence about attending the ceremony…Playwright Williams does a terrific job of providing a peek at this moment in history through the experiences of these fictionalized Black characters as well as imagining the perspective of McDaniel herself.” – StageandCinema.com
“What makes BOULEVARD OF BOLD DREAMS succeed is the tender, layered performances by its three actors, who have tremendous rapport on stage…A delightful, intimate show and well worth seeing.” – MetrMag
SPONSORED BY THE FOUNDATION TRUST
A part of the Giving Voice series
LaDarrion Williams (Playwright) is a Los Angeles based-playwright, filmmaker, author, and screenwriter whose goal is to cultivate a new era of Black fantasy, providing space and agency for Black characters and stories in a new, fresh and fantastical way. His first play, Katrina, won first place at the Alabama State Thespian Conference. It was also a part of A Noise Within Theatre for their Noise Now Reading Series. His adaptation of the best-selling memoir, Feeding A Monster, was directed by award-winning actor and director Art Evans at the Hudson Theatre in Hollywood, CA. In 2019, he was invited to be a guest writer for Center Theatre Groups’ August Wilson Monologue Competition. His play Black Creek Risin’was a part of the Great Plains Theatre Conference in Omaha, Nebraska. In September 2019, his play, Coco Queens, was a part of the Sundance Institute’s Playwriting Intensive and was also a semi-finalist for the 2020 Eugene O’Neill National Playwriting Conference. In 2021, his play Boulevard of Bold Dreams had previous public readings, both featuring Mildred Marie Langford, at The Echo Theatre Company in 2020, and the New Works Festival at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre in Santa Monica, California in 2021. After TimeLine’s production, it will also premiere at Greater Stage Boston in March 2023. Williams is currently a resident playwright/co-creator of The Black Creators Collective where his playUMOJA made its West Coast premiere in January 2022, and he also produced North Hollywood’s first Black playwrights festival at the Waco Theater Center. Serving as a writer-producer, Williams has curated three short films on YouTube. His viral and award-winning short film Blood at the Root is anticipated to become a Young Adult fantasy novel.
Taavon Gamble (Director) returns to GBSC having last appeared in Dames at Sea and Jonah and The Whale. He’s a New England based actor, director, choreographer, and educator. Direction/Choreography: Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Peach State Summer Theatre), Pippin (Jean’s Playhouse), Seussical (Pittsburgh Playhouse), Chicago (ASGT), A Chorus Line (Arundel Barn). Assistant Direction: Gem of the Ocean (Trinity Rep). Choreography: A Christmas Carol 2019 & 2021 (Trinity Rep), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Gamm Theatre), The Color Purple & Hair (WPPAC), Airness (UCSB), Kiss of the Spider Woman (Brown University), West Side Story & Chicago (Bigfork Summer Playhouse). Taavon teaches dance in the Brown/Trinity Rep MFA program and is a resident actor at Trinity Repertory. Next, he choreographs The Prom at SpeakEasy Stage. www.taavongamble.com
Samantha Jane Williams (Hattie McDaniel) is an actor, singer and producer. A Bronx native, Williams was apart of the New York based non-profit company Bedlam Ensemble where she was a resident actor, producer and company manager. Her work as an actor with Bedlam includes Nothing Person@l (The Producers Club), Pieces (Roy Arias), The Delirium of Edgar Allan Poe (Altered Stages 2), Grandpa Was A Bachelor (45th Street Theatre) and ALICE (The Shell). She also produced Measure for Measure and Border Sweet Border (Access Theatre) and performed in Bedlam’s Improv Troupe, during the company’s one year residency with Horse Trade Theater Company in September 2012. Williams also earned her degree in theatre performance and music at SUNY New Paltz School of The Fine and Performing Arts in the Spring of 2019. During Williams training at SUNY New Paltz she performed in many productions including giving a critically acclaimed “outstanding” performance as the Lady in Green in the production of For Colored Girls That Have Considered Suicide... She currently resides in Peekskill and is a current scholarship recipient for improv/sketch comedy at UCB (losangeles.ucbtrainingcenter.com), the diversity program at The Squirrel Comedy Theatre (thesquirrelnyc.com) and performs on an improv house team, accidentalFACETIME (@accidentalFACETIMEnyc) & Team Loomis with The Armory(thearmorycomedy.com) at The Tank Theatre (thetanknyc.org) in NYC.
Michelle Fenelon (Dottie Hudson) is a Haitian-American actress and model from Massachusetts. She is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Boston and Syracuse University where she graduated with a Bachelors in English and Masters degree in Broadcast Journalism. Her career on camera began as a sports reporter where she covered sports and interviewed athletes at all levels. Michelle began modeling and acting in 2021, having appeared in both National and regional commercials. As a model, she’s worked with brands such as Wayfair, Kohl’s, Garnier Fructis and CVS. She will be making her theater debut as Dottie in LaDarrion Williams’s Boulevard of Bold Dreams.
Stewart Evan Smith (Arthur Brooks) has appeared in numerous productions in New England. His GBSC credits include The Three Musketeers, It’s a Wonderful Life, and Lucky Stiff. Other recent credits include Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (The Huntington), Black Superhero Magic Mama (Company One), Shit-Faced Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Vanity Fair (Underground Railway Theatre), The Crucible (Bedlam/The Nora Theatre Company), and Between Riverside and Crazy (Speakeasy Stage; IRNE nomination). He is a regular ensemble performer with Theatre Espresso. He is featured in the independent films Uncanny Harbor, Scoundrel, and How to Win the Internet, as well as the internet series Staying in Boston. As a voice actor, he can be heard on many episodes of The Penumbra Podcast.