Brooklyn’s Billie Holiday Theatre to stream ‘Reparations’ for #StayAtHome Reading Series

Gys de Villiers and Lisa Arrindell are seen in the Billie Holiday Theatre's 2019 award-winning production of "Reparations." 
Gys de Villiers and Lisa Arrindell are seen in the Billie Holiday Theatre's 2019 award-winning production of "Reparations."(Dex R. Jones)

During these times of quarantine, one of New York City’s iconic arts institutions has created a virtual series for fans of black theater to have an intimate look into works it produced.
Brooklyn’s storied Billie Holiday Theatre recently launched its #StayAtHome Reading series, and online play reading series designed to reach audiences both locally and globally while the world continues to navigate new ways to take in entertainment amid the coronavirus crisis.
“Throughout history, the arts have been mankind’s answer in times of unthinkable struggle, hardship, and chaos,” Billie Holiday Theatre executive director Dr. Indira Etwaroo said. “This will be no different, as we present artists and stories online, and I am hopeful that we as a global community will emerge stronger, more resilient, and more united than ever before.”
The series bring together writers, directors and actors from across the country from within their own homes via Zoom and broadcast on its official Facebook account.
On Saturday, a special reading of James’s Sheldon’s “Reparations” will be streamed at 8 p.m.
The acclaimed play, which had its world premiere at The Billie last November, was the major highlight of the Bedford Stuyvesant-based theater’s season.
Directed by Tony Award-nominee Michele Shay, ”Reparations” tells the juicy story of a recently widowed Caucasian book editor who invites a younger African American writer to her apartment, only to find that a night of tenderness and passion turns into a tumultuous morning after when he threatens to reveal a dark secret from her past.
As family friends join them for an Upper East Side lunch, we discover whether the young writer will succeed in claiming his “reparations” for a life of racial injustice and personal betrayal.
For the online reading of the work, a majority of the show’s original cast will reunite including Lisa Arrindell, Kamal Bolden and Gys de Villiers.
The show is just part of the Billie Holliday Theatre’s rich history. Samuel L. Jackson, Debbie Allen, Tichina Arnold, Paulette Pearson Washington and Omari Hardwick are just a few of the boldfaced names that have graced the venue since it made its mark as a source of creative expression for people of African descent in 1972.

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