Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Compliment: In One Era

To Whom It May Concern:

It was the pleasure of the Alta Walk Community to enjoy; learn and relearn our United States History.

As a Science major and a teacher of it for 34 years; my major Interest was about scientific achievements (of course some Scientific History was always involved).

Our U.S. History is so interesting and each of the 48 states and 2 territories has its abundance of history.  This special Program [ IN ONE ERA AND OUT THE OTHER] made it colorful; all facts in concise manner.  I was not bored because music accompanied each decade, accordingly.

The decade singing put me on a high.  It’s a must for our students both High School and College.

Connie Campbell
Alta Walk Retirement Home
Durham, North Carolina 27713

Compliment: In One Era

The performance of In One Era & Out The Other, was thoroughly enjoyed by all at Alta Walk. All generations can relate to history with music and pictures......and when you put it all together it is an amazing experience for all to enjoy.
While enlightenng our youth, it also brings back many memories for our older generation.

Melinda Kizer
Life Enrichment Assistant
Alta Walk

Sunday, July 22, 2012

EbzB Associate Profile: Julie Florin

Julie A. Florin

(MUSIC DIRECTOR) Julie holds her Master of Music in Church Music from East Carolina University, Certificate of Church Music from Shenandoah University, Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Penn State University and Bachelor's in Theatre Arts from North Carolina Central University. She holds a Service Playing Certificate from the American Guild of Organists. Musical direction for the following theatre companies: Raleigh Little Theatre, Burning Coal Theatre Company; EbzB Productions; Hot Summer Nights at the Kennedy; Meredith College; and University Theatre at NSCU Julie is a freelance musician who has taught public school and done church music ministry among other musical pursuits. Much love and thanks to Greg.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Compliment: EbzB's Proud Association with Mike Wiley

Mike Wiley is one man, with so many roles

| July 18, 2012 
Mike Wiley: actor, playwright, filmmaker, educator and, now, beginning banjo player
Photo by Photo by D.L. Anderson
Mike Wiley: actor, playwright, filmmaker, educator and, now, beginning banjo player
It sneaks up on you, the first time you see a solo stage work by documentary theater playwright and actor Mike Wiley. You're struck as he vividly impersonates a witness to an event from the history of race in our country, like the Montgomery bus boycott, Jackie Robinson's integration of major league baseball or the trial of the men who murdered Emmett Till.
After that character has his say, someone from another walk of life takes center stage and contributes his testimony. Then a third, of a different gender, race and social or economic class, brings up a crucial fact not considered up to then. A fourth dismisses it, but a fifth responds differently to the revelation.

Before you realize it, Wiley has assembled somewhere between two and three dozen souls before your eyes, all by himself, without major costume or makeup changes. Over the past 10 years, in at least that many original performances including One Noble Journey, Blood Done Sign My Name and Dar He, this gifted solo performer and playwright has repeatedly invoked whole communities on stage, re-enacting their struggles with some of the thorniest moments in African-American history.

"He's a modern-day, one-man Rashomon," says producer Serena Ebhardt, who has directed Wiley in a number of his solo works and who wrote a history of Brown v. Board of Education that he performs on stage. "He explores all of the voices in a particular historical moment as a writer as well as an actor. Using his breath, body, eyes, face and voice, he is capable of literally making you believe he is all of the different people for whom he speaks. And he is really very good at looking at a picture from all sides."

"It's almost a genre he's developing to tell the inexhaustible story of the African-American experience," says Ray Dooley, head of UNC's Professional Actors Training Program, from which Wiley graduated in 2004. "You marvel at the chameleon nature of his character changes and the technique he uses to do that. And to see someone use that masterful technique in the service of such worthy, important and compassionate material—really, every time I see Mike, it's a highlight for me."
Before, during and after his studies at UNC, Wiley toured his one-man shows at schools, community centers and theaters in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. The odyssey garnered him a warning letter from the Department of Dramatic Art—before it won him the University's Graduate School Impact Award, for service to the state. That service also earned him a commendation in 2008 from then-Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue, who termed him "an actor who challenges his audiences to consider how they think about our history and current events."

Wiley's visibility as an artist has increased dramatically in the past couple of years. After Duke's Center for Documentary Studies and UNC's dramatic art department co-commissioned his first work for multiple actors—a history of the Freedom Rider movement called The Parchman Hour—a student production of it toured the South and clinched its subsequent professional premiere at PlayMakers Repertory Company.

"The thinking was good, the writing was good and the sophisticated physical and gestural vocabulary was thrilling to me," says PlayMakers Artistic Director Joseph Haj. "It seemed a great opportunity for the organization, and I couldn't have been more pleased with the outcome."

During that time, regional filmmaker Rob Underhill based his short films Empty Space and Wolf Call on sections of Dar He, Wiley's solo performance about the lynching of Emmett Till. After those films began receiving recognition and winning awards, Underhill began work on a full, feature-length version of that work—in which Wiley plays more than 30 characters on the screen.

This year, the film version of Dar He has taken best film awards at the Black International Cinema Berlin festival and the North Carolina Black Film Festival and accolades at black film festivals in San Francisco, Newark and Charlotte, with additional screenings coming up in the fall.

"Mike almost writes in a cinematic format: with smaller scenes, lots of impacts," Underhill says. "On stage he wants to be very engaging with the audience, and that translates well in the editing room."

Wiley used to cringe when people called his work a ministry. "Gospel exploitation is alive and well in quite a few plays out there, and many have been made into films," he observes. "But as a society, we have forgotten over time the milestones of African-American history. There are so many untold stories and unknown individuals. It finally hit me: These plays are a prayer for remembrance. And now that I have two sons, it goes a bit deeper for me: They're a prayer for hope as well. They're my attempt, as skillfully as possible, to put on the skin of each individual person in my shows."

Wiley meticulously researches the stories he puts on stage. For his first production, One Noble Journey, he haunted Virginia's state library in Richmond, where manuscripts on Henry "Box" Brown, an intrepid 19th-century slave, were kept. For the adaptation of Tim Tyson's Blood Done Sign My Name, Wiley interviewed a number of principal characters during repeated trips to Oxford, N.C., where the autobiographical novel was set. He routinely transcribes video or audiotape interviews while working on characters and scripts. "On stage, he's literally taking the words out of people's mouths," Ebhardt says, "and he honors all of their viewpoints. If Stokely Carmichael actually saw The Parchman Hour, I don't believe he'd be too pushed out of shape with how his words were used."

The fall looks busy. In August, he's in Deep Dish Theater's season opener, August Wilson's Radio Golf. In September, he begins filming a screen adaptation of One Noble Journey with Underhill. For the spring, he's contemplating a solo piece—with jazz orchestra—on John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk and Nina Simone with Duke music professor John Brown. An adaptation of Danielle McGuire's At the Dark End of the Street is in the works, as are possible collaborations with regional playwrights Chaunesti Webb and Ashley Lucas and novelist Paul Cuadros.

Quite a few stories for one man. But Mike Wiley is clearly up to the challenge.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Denny's Challenge - July 14, 2012.

EbzB Productions is a proud sponsor of the 2012 Denny's Challenge 5K. Please join us in making a difference!
July 14, 2012.


Benefits the Melanoma Research Foundation

The Parchman Hour: December 1, 2012

Purchase tickets to see Serena in Mike Wiley Production's THE PARCHMAN HOUR.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

In One Era Reviews

In One Era Compliments and Reviews...

"A must-see, multi-generational show that the whole family will enjoy."

"A sing-along experience that really gets people thinking and talking!"

"These are the songs I sang with my father - it brought back such wonderful memories.  Thank you so much!"

"Serena Ebhardt's throaty vocals have stark beauty and authenticity.  She spins little dramas when she sings.  Crowds adore her."
-The News and Observer, NC

"Ebhardt has the ability to grab the audience from the first note and not release them until the final blackout."
-West Chester Daily News, PA

Twice Featured Pick for "What's Up - In The Wings"
-The News and Observer, NC

"Serena Ebhardt recently performed portions of her “In One Era and Out the Other” review at the fundraiser for our local independent theater.  Her performance was definitely the highlight of the event.  Everyone left feeling happy they had attended and uplifted about our country.  Thank you Serena and EbzB! "
Doris Friend
-Deep Dish Theater Gala Chair

"Thanks again for a great performance.  I have gotten lots of positive feedback."
Michael Longmire
-Page Walker Hotel

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

EbzB Awards & Honors

EbzB Awards & Honors

2012      Serena Ebhardt receives a scholarship for additional training with the Lincoln Center Institute.

 2012     Serena Ebhardt receives certification as a Teaching Artist from the National Center For Creative Aging

2011      The Night Before Christmas Carol wins a Silver and a Bronze "Telly" Award

2010     The Night Before Christmas Carol airs nationwide on Public Broadcasting Stations.

2010    Serena Ebhardt receives the Lincoln Center Institute Scholarship

2008     War Bonds airs nationwide on Public Broadcasting Stations.

2007     War Bonds filmed by UNC-TV, North Carolina's statewide public television station to air as a companion piece to the upcoming epic WWII documentary series THE WAR by legendary filmmaker Ken Burns.  The edited-for-television version airs early 2008 as part of UNC-TV's North Carolina WWII documentary project and is currently planned for national distribution availability thereafter.

2006     News & Observer's Year's Best Theatre Roundup for Dar He: The Lynching of Emmett Till.  Co-produced and directed by Serena Ebhardt, written and performed by Mike Wiley of  Mike Wiley Productions.

2006     Independent Weekly Year's Best Theatre Roundup for Dar He: The Lynching of Emmett Till.  Co-produced, written and performed by Mike Wiley of  Mike Wiley Productions.

2006     Classical Voice of North Carolina (CVNC) Year's Best Theatre Roundup for Dar He: The Lynching of Emmett Till.  Co-produced, written and performed by Mike Wiley of  Mike Wiley Productions.

2006     War Bonds: The Songs and Letters of World War II is signed by Alkahest Artists and Attractions for representation.

2004     EbzB Productions receives the North Carolina Theatre Conference Constance Welsh Theatre for Youth Award. This award is given each year to an outstanding program providing theatre experiences to young people.

2003     David zum Brunnen receives the North Carolina Theatre Conference Herman D. Middleton Service Award.

2003     Serena Ebhardt receives the DAC Emerging Artist Award for Serena's Serenades, a CD recording of her cabaret work.

2003     David zum Brunnen receives the Indie Award for Arts Advocacy.

2001     David zum Brunnen receives the Indie Award for Arts Advocacy.

Monday, July 2, 2012

National Center for Creative Aging - Teaching Artist

Teaching Artist, Serena Ebhardt of EbzB Productions is honored to have completed the training offered by the North Carolina Arts Council and the National Center for Creative Aging.