Resident Artist from Oregon Shakespeare Festival to Direct at Town Hall Theatre

Dawn Monique Williams, Director A Civil War Christmas Photo by Jordyn Williams

Dawn Monique Williams, Director A Civil War Christmas Photo by Jordyn Williams

Dawn Monique Williams, a native of Oakland, is drawn to heightened language, magic realism, mythology, and poetic diction. She is a resident artist at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival where this year she directed Merry Wives of Windsor. And this holiday season she brings her talents to Town Hall Theatre!

Merry Wives of Windsor (2017) Directed by Dawn Monique Williams. Anne Page (Jamie Ann Romero, center) wants to win love her own way, with the help of her friends (Emily Ota and Jennie Greenberry, with Ensemble).

Merry Wives of Windsor (2017) Directed by Dawn Monique Williams. Anne Page (Jamie Ann Romero, center) wants to win love her own way, with the help of her friends (Emily Ota and Jennie Greenberry, with Ensemble).

A 2016 Princess Grace Theatre Fellowship recipient and former OSF Killian Directing Fellow, Dawn’s recent directing credits include Romeo and Juliet, August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson, and Lynn Nottage’s By The Way, Meet Vera Stark. Other plays directed include the English language premiere of Gracia Morales’ NN12, Othello, Twelfth Night, In The Blood, Children Of Eden, Burial At Thebes, Medea, and La Ronde; international directing credits include Edinburgh Festival Fringe productions of Scapin The Cheat, Anna Bella Eema, and The Tempest. She is a proud alum of the Drama League Directors Project and a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. You can also read her recent interview with Theatre Bay Area where she is featured as one of "five black, female Bay Area directors to keep on your radar."

Romeo and Juliet Directed by Dawn Monique Williams: Romeo (Siddiq Saunderson) and Juliet (Adrianna Mitchell) Photo: Erin Clark

Romeo and Juliet Directed by Dawn Monique Williams: Romeo (Siddiq Saunderson) and Juliet (Adrianna Mitchell) Photo: Erin Clark

A Civil War Christmas, which opens November 30 at Town Hall Theatre, is directed by Williams. The show is a musical that masterfully interweaves stories of lives from both sides of the Civil War, sharing messages of compassion, good will and wishes for peace. A Civil War Christmas features an impressively large and multi-talented ensemble of local performers, who also perform as musicians in the show.

Town Hall Theatre Artistic Director Susan E. Evans asked Williams, "What speaks to you personally about A Civil War Christmas?"  

Honestly, I am very interested in telling stories about black lives at this time in American history. I love the intersections this play is dealing with in terms race, class, religion, national identity, and citizenship. We are often given very isolated narratives and accounts of the Civil War and to look at just one night in the lives of such a cross section of folk is deeply moving, and affirming. I’m glad that Paula Vogel wrote this story of hope as an answer to A Christmas Carol; it is uniquely American and certainly asks us to go on a journey with spirits from our past, present, and future.
— Dawn Monique Williams

Evans: Do you think the play resonates right now, and why?"

 

This play couldn’t be more timely. Perhaps there hasn’t been a time our country was more divided since the Civil War. I believe very strongly in the principal of Sankofa, “to go back and get it,” and I think we are at the time in our history when we must remember how we’ve failed, reclaim what makes us strong, and move forward owning, not denying, our history. Inside of all of our political rhetoric are human stories of hard decisions, sacrifice, resiliency, and perseverance, Paula’s play gives us the opportunity to go back and get it so that we may march forward with compassion and grace.
— Dawn Monique Williams

A Civil War Christmas runs November 30-December 16, 2017 and promises to be a very special family event for school age children through adults. Join us for this warm and deeply-moving musical, by Pulitzer Prize-winner Paula Vogel, and music by Daryl Waters. TownHallTheatre.com

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