Monday, July 26, 2010

The Poet Warriors Closes FRINGE Run on a High Note

After five emotional performances, the company of THE POET WARRIORS bid goodbye to the 5th Capital Fringe Festival yesterday afternoon. In a sold-out house, the company once again moved a highly engaged audience to tears and to their feet, when they offered a heart-felt standing ovation.

This final performance was attended by many of Washington's finest local talent, artistic and music directors -- and the most enthusiastic audience. Joel Markowitz of DC Theatre Scene, wrote "It was my favorite musical of this year’s Capital Fringe Festival, and I am confident that it will find a wider audience in the future. With an intelligent and beautifully written book, score, and lyrics by George Purefoy Tilson, this show had a wondrous cast of extraordinary singers and actors -  Jase Parker, Rachel Brook, Jonathan Henson, Ben Levine, Alan Naylor, and Jamie Ogden  whose  angelic harmonies and heart-felt performances earned a long standing ovation by the audiences and this writer. Thanks, George, for bringing this amazing production to DC audiences. It was an honor to be part of the audience at the final performance. I saw a local Artistic Director in tears applauding wildly. I hope she will bring the show to her theatre. Two hours never moved so quickly and so elegantly."

THE POET WARRIORS will "go and go and go so far, that it will return eventually."

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The reviews are in… said…
"[It has] moments that are intensely genuine and evoke honest emotional response." 

"this production was a sterling example of a new musical, well-produced, well-directed, and exceedingly well-cast that isn’t afraid to have a few false numbers in order to have musical moments that truly shine."

"[Jase] Parker’s entire performance was captivating—he exuded an energy/presence/what have you that demanded focus while serving, never hindering, the action of the play.

audiences said… 
"It was poignant, funny, and moving… The actors were completely committed to their characters and drew you in from the start."

"It is a beautiful beautiful story in so many ways. I loved it. And I was so very moved by it. It will stay with me for a long time."

"[we] were blown away by it, as was the entire audience – as you saw when the show got a standing ovation."

"I am not a fan of musical theater. This show may have changed my mind about that!"

Come experience THE POET WARRIORS in the hands of six incredible performers. Tickets available for only three more performances!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Standing Ovation on Opening Night

The incredibly talented and unflappable company of The Poet Warriors opened last night to a full house, drawing a thunderous well-deserved standing ovation. The two-hour theatrical experience was punctuated by a very engaged audience that pondered, laughed, and cried as they watched this heart-felt story unfold from the hands of six amazing artists.
After a very intense 2 1/2 month work period, The Poet Warriors are out in full force. Come join us. "Git it, while the Gittin' is Good!"

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Under the big top…

If anyone questions whether DC has a bohemian side they should have been down at the Fringe Festival headquarters on July 1st! Many of the 134 shows were represented by their producers and artists. People jammed themselves into the Festival tent on NY Ave to hear performances by several of the artists, but mostly to hang out, drink beer and pitch their shows. Our fearless producer was right in there working the crowd. It was very much a “show me yours, I’ll show you mine” kind of evening! When the box office people found out we were with “Poet Warriors” they volunteered that ours was in second place for ticket sales! Spread the word – our performers are awesome and deserve full houses!
George P. Tilson

Friday, July 2, 2010

Meet our musicians...

Greg Watkins – Music Director/Pianist  
A native Washingtonian, Greg is a proud alumnus of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, and current candidate for a Bachelors degree in Music Education at The Howard University. An extremely gifted individual, he is a pianist, musical director, vocalist, composer, arranger, producer, and an aspiring educator. He is a former member of the Washington Performing Arts Society’s Children of the Gospel Mass Choir and Howard University's premiere vocal jazz ensemble Afro Blue.

For several years, Mr. Watkins faithfully served as member, Associate Choral Director, and organist for the Metropolitan Baptist Church (Washington, DC). Prior to and following this assignment, he served as pianist and organist for several other churches in the Washington Metropolitan area including The Isle of Patmos Baptist Church, The East Friendship Baptist Church, and The Emmanuel-Brinklow Seventh Day Adventist Church. Mr. Watkins has toured Italy, performing as baritone soloist in the Annual Amalfi Coast Music & Arts Festival with Gospel recording artist Nolan Williams, Jr. He has also traveled to Russia and China, performing as member and Student Conductor of the world renowned and critically acclaimed Howard University (Concert) Choir. In 2008, Mr. Watkins served as pianist and Assistant Musical Director, alongside Director and Broadway and television actress Lynda Gravatt for the Duke Ellington School of the Arts’ collaborative all-school musical of William F. Brown’s The Wiz. In 2009, he was featured in the leading role of The Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadows, a two act opera by Steven M. Allen, based on the life and love of Paul Laurence Dunbar and Alice Ruth Moore. Most recently, he served as Musical Director for the Restoration Stage Theater Company’s two week production of All That Glitters, at The H Street Playhouse.

Mr. Watkins is a recipient of numerous awards and achievements including the ASCAP Foundation/Cherry Lane Foundation/Music Alive Scholarship Award in Honor of Quincy Jones, for his outstanding work in production, composition, performance, and musical direction. He currently serves as Music Director of the Washington Youth Choir, Director of Music and Arts at the Jerusalem African Methodist-Episcopal Church (Clinton, MD), vocal psalmist of Patrick Lundy & The Ministers of Music, and is the Artistic and Musical Director of his own youth & young adult community gospel ensemble WORSHIP BY CHOICE, which he founded in January 2005. Mr. Watkins has shared platforms with notable artists including Yolanda Adams, Take 6, Melba Moore, Minister Byron Cage, The Reverend Richard Smallwood, Dorothy Norwood, Phylicia RaShaad, India Arie, Clay Aiken, Donnie McClurkin, Regina Belle, Dr. Maya Angelou, Patti LuPone, Ben Vereen, Brian McKnight, and Neena Freelon. Some of his theatrical stage credits include Hallelujah: the Soul of Broadway, Junkanoo, Come Sunday: Duke Ellington’s Sacred Music with Dance, Gian Carlo Menotti’s Amahl & the Night Visitors, Loften Mitchell’s Bubbling Brown Sugar, James Baldwin’s Amen Corner, and Marc Blitzstein’s Regina. His playwright and production credits include his own I’ll Make a Difference, and The Devil Tested Me But God Preserved Me, along with three children’s musicals written by Howard University Theatre Assistant Professor Denise J. Hart, entitled, How I Learned to Be a Kid, When a Tree Grows In Brookland, and A Marvelous Celebration of Sound, which featured many of his own musical compositions and arrangements.

Brian Alpert - Drums 
Brian has been a student of the drums for 44 years. The list of those he has worked with reads like a "who's who" of the Washington area music scene, including guitarists Danny Gatton, Muddy Waters' Bob Margolin, blues legend Jimmy Thackery, and jazz and blues virtuoso Tom Principato. Brian has also backed-up legendary jazz pianist Mose Allison, accomplished jazz artists Deanna Bogart and Tim Eyermann, and even once supported comedy legend Red Skelton! These days Brian is a member of Doc Scantlin's Imperial Palms Orchestra and recently appeared on Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion with the roots rock ensemble Karl Stoll and the Danger Zone. Brian's list of influences is wide ranging, from Ringo Starr and Gene Krupa to many of the great drummers of New Orleans, Louisiana. Read stories culled from his 30+ years on the road on his website,

First press coverage...

Our very own Rachel Brook (Miriam) was interviewed by Washington Jewish Week. Check out what she had to say!!