Wendell Pierce on the Billie Holiday Theatre's Live Reading of "12 Angry Men...and Women"

Sep 11, 2020

Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 8pm, The Billie Holiday Theatre in Brooklyn presents its mainstage fall presentation with 12 Angry Men...and Women:  The Weight of the Wait in partnership with The New Press.  

12 Angry Men...and Women will be streamed live via YouTube from New York City's very first Black Lives Matter mural with 159 names of men, women and children killed by acts of racially motivated violence.  The mural is located on Fulton Street between New York and Brooklyn Avenues.

Select stories will be taken from the 2012 edition of the acclaimed 12 Angry Men: True Stories of Being a Black Man in America Today, as well as an orginal story to focuses on the killing of Breonna Taylor.

The staged reading features, Wendell Pierce (Death of a Salesman - London, The Wire,  Treme', Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan and Between the World and Me), Lisa Arrindell (The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Saints & Sinners, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof on Broadway), Billy Eugene Jones (A Soldiers Play on Broadway and Much Ado About Nothing at Shakespeare in the Park) with live music by renowned violinist, Daniel Bernard Roumain and a musical overture peformed live by a quartet of New York Philharmonic musicians.

Tony Award-winning actor Wendell Pierce has also been a part of several jazz projects, many with the Marsalis family
Credit Wikipedia

Pierce spoke with WBGO News Director Doug Doyle before heading to Brooklyn.

"The Billie Holiday Theatre has had decades of theater connection to the community in really showing what theater is, which is a forum where we collectively come together as community and reflect on who we are, where we want to go and what our values are. And to come back to the Billie Holiday Theatre is always important to me no matter how far and wide my commercial career takes me around the world."

Wendell Pierce, a Tony Award winner and someone who has performed on several jazz projects, says he and the other cast member wanted to do this presentionto of 12 Angry Men...and Women on the Black Lives Matter Mural on Fulton Street in Bedford-Stuyvascent.

"We wanted to include the women because so many of their stories are not being heard.  These are readings  recanting police brutatliy and incidents that people have experienced and gone through.  I think this is a monumental experience."

The event gets underway at 7:30 with a musical overture performed live by a quartet of New York Philharmonic musicians with the readings starting at 8pm.  Both can been seen on the Billie Holiday Theatre's YouTube Channel.

Click at the top of the page to hear the entire conversation with Wendell Pierce.