Sunday, April 17, 2016

Compliment: '69 Seasons

Thank YOU for a great production of '69 SEASONS here at the Turnage Theatre this past Saturday.  I think you have a great show on your hands that will be a vital part of EbzB's roster for a long time to come.

As the audience left the theatre, I heard lots of praise for the show.  But what I really noticed were the visceral reactions - people who felt personally invested in that turbulent time and how your production brought a lot of those emotions back to the surface.  I already told you about the one gentleman who left a few minutes early saying "That was a little too close to home. "  I didn't really take that as a criticism though.  It seemed to me that the show had struck a nerve, and depending on where you were in your life in 1969, the reactions will span accordingly.  This person may have been a Vietnam Veteran, or had a relative who was in Vietnam.

I loved the show.  It was heavy, without being heavy-handed.  But it also had its lighter moments which were important to keep that proper balance.  The show looked wonderful on our stage - your use of projections were able to really place the actors and the various narrative threads in context to a specific place and time.  For those who were coming of age and/or lived through those times, it was a nostalgic show.  For those who didn't, it was a great history lesson. 

Please give my regards to the entire company of '69 SEASONS.  We so enjoyed hosting you at the Turnage!


Joey Toler
Executive Director
Arts of the Pamlico/Turner Theatre
Washington, NC


“In 1969, I was 21, a student, and a white female married to a black man. The decisions I made then have affected the rest of my life. Your show brought clarity and articulation to that time of turmoil. Thank you. It was wonderful.”

 Warren Performing Arts Center,
Indianapolis, IN.

Compliment: Arts In Education at Virginia Cross Elementary

Chatham County Arts Council:  The performance at Virginia Cross Elementary School on Friday was powerful and so well done. Good work! @ebzb

Lesley Landis: The performance was so powerful. I'm very grateful to you all. Feeling deep gratitude for all that you all do for the arts, and the future, of Chatham County. 

Cheryl Chamblee: About to see "Checkpoint : You and Me," original theatre piece by Virginia Cross Elem.Hooray, @ebzb + @chathamarts !

Allison Buckner, Principal VCE: Wow!  That is all I can say.  The performance was outstanding!  I am so glad that you all made this possible for our students.  This was a rare and precious opportunity for them.  I know it will always be something that they will remember.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Arts In Education: Students Explore Immigration During Show Week at Virginia Cross Elementary in Siler City, NC

Students Explore Immigration During Show Week at Virginia Cross Elementary in Siler City, NC

It’s Monday morning and Director Serena Ebhardt is deftly organizing her 30+ cast members for an important session—blocking the show these students will perform in four short days. But first she has to explain what blocking is—arranging the location and movement for each of the actors on stage, both on the floor and in relation to each other. During the rehearsal, students are also introduced to other theatre terms—places, stage right, stage left, projecting. Three quick run-throughs (remembering to hold that spot for the student who is absent today), working out variations on the grid concept designed to move the actors through the story, and time is up for today. 

Checkpoint: Hope for Me and You is the original production crafted from the interviews VCE students conducted, transcribed, and edited with local community members.  Friday afternoon’s performance for the student body will be the culminating activity of the EbzB Artist-in-Schools residency, a collaboration of the Chatham Arts Council and the Chatham County Schools. Checkpoint explores immigration rights and responsibilities, the topic chosen by the VCE faculty, principal, and teaching artists during planning sessions last fall. EbzB’s Serena Ebhardt and David zum Brunnen bring a wealth of experience and expertise to this work. In addition to their extensive theatre training and experience as actors, producers, directors, and playwrights, they have received training specifically as teaching artists from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Lincoln Center Institute and the National Center for Creative Aging.

Other rehearsals this week will concentrate on the script, delivering lines, costuming, and music. Wednesday the cast will move to the performance space. And Friday the oral histories of their Chatham County families and neighbors come to life.

Related Articles
Meet the Artist: Serena Ebhardt Entertains, Educates, Enlightens

Bringing Theatre Residencies to Chatham Elementary School Students

To Learn More, visit
Chatham Arts Council  []
EbzB Productions []
Chatham County Schools []

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

’69 Seasons” Tours the Turnage On Saturday

’69 Seasons” tours the Turnage on Saturday

Published 6:03pm Thursday, April 7, 2016
From Arts of the Pamlico

Arts of the Pamlico, in association with EbzB Productions, will present the musical theatre production “’69 Seasons” this Saturday at the Turnage Theatre in downtown Washington. Curtain time is 8 p.m.

According to AOP executive director Joey Toler, the production can best be characterized as a “jukebox” musical, because it employs music from the era instead of original tunes.

“For those who lived through the late ’60s, particularly 1969, the show will be nostalgic. For those who didn’t, it will be a history lesson worth learning,” Toler said. A partial song list from the show includes such titles as “Dizzy,” “Proud Mary,” “Spinning Wheel,” “Major Tom,” “2525,” “Both Sides Now,” “Give Peace A Chance” and many more. The production contains close to 20 different musical numbers.

Beginning with Nixon’s inauguration, the show takes you through a turbulent year filled with war, protests, senseless violence and radical movements. These events are counterpoised with incredible music, avant-garde art and scientific achievements that literally took us to the moon and back.

The writer of the show is Durham native Howard L. Craft, author of a book of poems titled “Across The Blue Chasm” and many plays, including “The House of George,” “The Wise Ones,” “Tunnels,” and “Stealing Clouds,” to name just a few.

Kevin Wilson is the musical director and an internationally recognized guitarist and music educator. He has shared the stage and toured with music legends such as Stevie Wonder, Lou Rawls, The Mighty Clouds of Joy, The Isley Brothers, Ohio Players, Jon B, Tower of Power and gospel music’s queen, the legendary Shirley Caesar.

Leading the cast are Serena Ebhardt and husband, David zum Brunnen, co-founders of EbzB Productions.

David zum Brunnen has appeared in a variety of roles on stage, in films, commercials and videos — coast to coast — in the U.S. and Canada. Under the auspices of EbzB Productions, he has toured nationally with several projects and continues to do so. His portrayal of Charles Dickens in “The Night Before Christmas Carol” has now been seen by millions nationally and internationally on public television.

Serena Ebhardt is an award-winning actress, director, playwright and teaching artist. She holds her B.A. in dramatic art from the University of North Carolina, where she was a Paul and Elizabeth Green Scholarship recipient. Serena has received training as a teaching artist from The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The Lincoln Center Institute and The National Center for Creative Aging. She is the recipient of “The Cantey” award, and The International Television and Video Association’s “Silver Reel” award. Additionally, Serena is a charter inductee of the YWCA’s Academy of Women and a member of Actors’ Equity Association and Canadian Actors’ Equity Association.

Rounding out the three-person cast is Rasool Jahan. Rasool has appeared in numerous films and worked with such luminaries as John Ritter, Andy Griffith, Vanessa Redgrave and Brock Peters. She has also had the pleasure of working with director Phil Alden Robinson in “Freedom Song” (starring Danny Glover), as well as Academy Award-winning director Anthony Minghella in “Cold Mountain” (alongside Jude Law and Academy Award-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman). Rasool is currently working on a play about Ida B. Wells who is a key figure in American history.

Tickets for ’69 Seasons are $25 and can be purchased in advance by phone at 252-946-2504, at the AOP box office, or at the door the night of the production beginning at 6:30 p.m. For more information about this production and other AOP events, visit