Written by Cleavon Smith and directed by Michael Gene Sullivan

imani press trio

(L-R) Cleavon Smith, Michael Gene Sullivan and Dezi Solèy.

TheatreFIRST presents

THE LAST SERMON OF SISTER IMANI

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Berkeley, CA, January 3, 2019 — TheatreFIRST announces a new production to start off 2019. Debuting in February will be THE LAST SERMON OF SISTER IMANI, written by Cleavon Smith. Smith penned TheatreFIRST’s 2016 production of VS. and 2018’s JUST ONE DAY: A story of Martin Luther King’s legacy, a one act play from BETWEEN US. He was also one of the co-facilitators for TheatreFIRST’s most recent production of THE PEOPLE’S HISTORY OF NEXT. Michael Gene Sullivan is slated to direct THE LAST SERMON OF SISTER IMANI. He is a recent teacher of the T1U Playwright track and this will be his first turn as director for TheatreFIRST.

THE LAST SERMON OF SISTER IMANI seeks to explore these questions in this urgent, powerful, revelatory piece.

When injustice takes your power, how will you reawaken? What must you leave behind? What might you need to become?

College friends Danielle and Adrian had very different upbringings, yet with a shared love of music, and aspirations to change the world they became music stars on the rise. Just as their second album of socially-centered hip-hop goes platinum, Danielle’s brother is shot and killed by police in her parents’ backyard. Grieving her brother’s death and facing what seem to her as the limits of pop culture activism, Danielle is muted for years. Danielle comes out of her reclusive state with a new name, Sister Imani, and a new spiritualism that quickly leads to the formation of an organization called The People. Around the same time, Adrian wins a seat in Congress and separately the two rise in stature. As Adrian is running a strong US Senate campaign and it seems as if the party of the left can win a majority, The People and Sister Imani are seen as pushing potential swing votes to the right. In their first meeting in six years, with a sense that the fate of the country will be decided in this conversation, Adrian and Sister Imani try to win the other over to their way of seeing the world and the course of action needed for a truly just society.

Dezi Solèy of TheatreFIRST’s THE FARM, PARTICIPANTS and BETWEEN US will star as Danielle.

THE LAST SERMON OF SISTER IMANI runs February 14th – March 3rd, 2019. Tickets are sliding scale $10-$30 and available at theatrefirst.com.

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TheatreFIRST seeks to revolutionize the intersection of audience, artist and activism. Now an all in-house development company, our staff, board, and creative teams are built to explore how best to lift and amplify marginalized stories. Making theatre a place where social justice happens means breaking down perceived barriers so that we might all explore an equitable world.

At A Glance:

TheatreFIRST presents

THE LAST SERMON OF SISTER IMANI

by Cleavon Smith
Directed by Michael Gene Sullivan

February 14th – March 3rd, 2019

Live Oak Theater
1301 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley CA 94709

Opening Night is February 14th, 8pm.
Press Night is Sun February 17th 2pm

Runs Thurs thru Sat, 8pm and Sun 2pm

Tickets: $10-$30 sliding scale

Tickets and further info available through website: theatrefirst.com and at the door 30 minutes prior to showtime.

Please contact boxoffice@theatrefirst.com for all accessibility needs.

Press Inquiries, including opening night tickets, script request, interviews with creative team and any other questions, please contact: christinachan@theatrefirst.com

At A Glance:
TheatreFIRST presents

THE LAST SERMON OF SISTER IMANI
by Cleavon Smith
Directed by Michael Gene Sullivan

February 14th – March 3rd, 2019

Live Oak Theater
1301 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley CA 94709

Opening Night is February 14th, 8pm
Runs Thurs thru Sat, 8pm and Sun 2pm

When injustice takes your power, how will you reawaken? What must you leave behind? What might you need to become?

College friends Danielle and Adrian had very different upbringings, yet with a shared love of music, and aspirations to change the world they became music stars on the rise. Just as their second album of socially-centered hip-hop goes platinum, Danielle’s brother is shot and killed by police in her parents’ backyard. Grieving her brother’s death and facing what seem to her as the limits of pop culture activism, Danielle is muted for years. Danielle comes out of her reclusive state with a new name, Sister Imani, and a new spiritualism that quickly leads to the formation of an organization called The People. Around the same time, Adrian wins a seat in Congress and separately the two rise in stature. As Adrian is running a strong US Senate campaign and it seems as if the party of the left can win a majority, The People and Sister Imani are seen as pushing potential swing votes to the right. In their first meeting in six years, with a sense that the fate of the country will be decided in this conversation, Adrian and Sister Imani try to win the other over to their way of seeing the world and the course of action needed for a truly just society.

Tickets: $10-$30 sliding scale

Tickets and further info available through website: theatrefirst.com and at the door 30 minutes prior to showtime.

Please contact boxoffice@theatrefirst.com for all accessibility needs.

Press inquiries, including press comp tickets, script request, interviews with creative team and any other questions, please contact: christinachan@theatrefirst.com