Friday, November 8, 2019

SUSAN BATSON STUDIO PRODUCES THE WORLD PREMIERE

OF RUYA KOMAN’S “HER KIND”

NEW YORK, NY — Susan Batson Studio is proud to present the World Premiere of Ruya Koman’s dramatic one-woman show inspired by Pulitzer Prize winning poet Anne Sexton’s life —Her Kind.

Her Kind follows the journey of Anne Sexton’s early career as a writer and how she became a published poet just a little over two years after she wrote her first poem. The play opens with Anne Sexton’s first therapy session with her then therapist Dr. Orne, who encourages Sexton to start writing, after one of her nervous breakdowns in 1956. The play also provides a glimpse of what it means to be an American woman in the late 50’s and early 60’s as a number of housewives started entering the workforce.

The piece was written by and stars Ruya Koman, a New York based actress, filmmaker and writer. The piece includes poems written by Anne Sexton, as well as Anne Sexton quotes from various published resource materials. “Her Kind” is being directed by Carl Ford.

More About Writer/Actress/Producer, Ruya Koman

Ruya recently co-directed, produced and starred in “Interference”, which was selected out of more than 3,400 short films as one of the 15 semi-finalists at the 2018 NBC Universal Short Film Festival. Other screenings include the New Voices in Black Cinema Festival at BAM (New York City), March on Washington Film Festival (Washington D.C.), the Harlem International Film Festival (New York City) and Chelsea Film Festival (New York City). In 2016, she made her directorial debut with a short film that she wrote, directed and produced, “Reunion”, which was an official selection at the 2017 ECU European Independent Film Festival (Paris, France) and the 2017 Chelsea Film Festival (New York City). She recently wrote, directed and starred in her new short film “Little Charlotte’s Unannounced Visit” which recently screened at the 2019 Chelsea Film Festival (New York City).

As an actor, Ruya appeared in numerous award winning independent short films and on “Gotham” as the D.C. Comics character “Mother”. She is currently starring as the lead in the upcoming short thriller “Mourning Meal”. Ruya has been studying acting at the Susan Batson Studio for the past five years and has previously also studied acting with Michael Beckett at HB Studios for many years. More info: www.ruyakoman.com and https://www.imdb.com/name/nm5704789/?ref_=rvi_nm 

 

More About Director/Producer, Carl Ford 

Carl Ford is a writer, director, producer and acting coach/teacher. Mr. Ford’s film directing credits include “Generation X”, a short form video documentary about the 1996 Million Man March; “The Price of Admission”, a short form documentary distributed by Bravo. His other short films “A New York Minute”, “Maybe”, “Barnone”, and “Echoes in Blue” have all done the festival circuit and won awards at LA Shorts Fest, African Diaspora Film Festival, Roxbury Film Festival, Bronx Film Festival, NYIFFVM and several others. “Maybe” screened at BETJ and “Barnone” screened at IFC in 2004 and 2005 respectively. His directorial feature film debut which he also co-wrote called “Real With Me” screened at the Pan-African Film Festival and won best comedy at NYIFFVM. Mr. Ford has recently completed his second feature film “Free Richard” and co-produced another feature film entitled “30 Beats” currently being distributed by Lionsgate. He has also produced and written two television pilots “Barnone”—based on his short film–and “Soul of Fashion” a fashion show pilot for BET. Mr. Ford has also worked as a producer and unit production manager on Miramax, Island Pictures, Orion Classics and Forty Acres and a Mule Productions.

His stage directing credits include “Fort Greene Group Therapy” with Andre Royo produced at NBC theatrical space at the Here Theater, “The Rememberers” at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre in the United Kingdom. His original play “The Hard End” which he produced and directed was mounted at the Stella Adler Theatre in Los Angeles in 2008. 

From 1996 to 2010 Mr. Ford was the founder, chairman and CEO of Black Nexxus Inc., a bi-coastal production company and acting studio that developed and nurtured such talents as Adepero Oduye (Pariah, 12 Years a Slave) and Angelique Zambrana (Precious). After closing Black Nexxus, Mr. Ford went on to co-found Susan Batson Studio LLC., with his mother celebrated acting coach and guru Susan Batson. Mr. Ford has had the pleasure of coaching and creative consulting with such luminaries as Brandy Norwood, Q-Tip, Pharrell, Ice-T, Sean Combs, Tatum O’Neal, Jill Scott and Anthony Minghella. Mr. Ford has had the privilege of holding acting workshops in Los Angeles, New York, London and Australia.

Directors Statement:

When I was in college, my political science professor recommended that I take a look at this visionary feminist poet Anne Sexton. He said “I feel like you and her have something in common that I cannot distinguish but I think you will understand once you have read her.” So, I went to my college library and found a poem entitled Ringing the Bells. There was something mystifying about this poem, so I kept reading and kept feeling and being moved by every poem Anne Sexton wrote. And about two years ago, I saw this amazing actress Ruya Koman developing a one woman show about Mrs. Sexton at my acting studio and I knew I wanted to be a part of it.

It has been a true honor to work side by side with Ms. Koman. From script development to rehearsal Ms. Koman has inspired and created a dynamic and gut wrenching one woman show that is as powerful and rebellious as the subject of this show. The play Her Kind has moved me in every rehearsal and in every script adjustment to be a better director and finally to be more aware of the difficulty and complexity it is to honor your voice.

 

More About Producer/Acting Coach, Susan Batson

Actor, writer, director, producer, teacher and coach Susan Batson has been called an “alchemist” by the New Yorker. In private consultation on film sets all over the world and in her New York acting studio, Susan Batson has enjoyed the privilege of working with Nicole Kidman, Juliette Binoche, Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, Tom Cruise, Kerry Washington, Zac Efron, Chris Rock, Jamie Foxx, Sean Combs, Liv Tyler, Jennifer Connelly, Kirsten Dunst, Laverne Cox, Common, Janet Jackson, Rihanna and countless other actors searching for truthful connections between themselves and the characters they play. Nicole Kidman, who has worked closely with Susan for more than twelve years, hails her as a uniquely insightful acting coach with “a hell of a lot of pure talent,” while Oscar winner Juliette Binoche praises Susan’s ability to “shake you like a tree and get the fruits down.” Susan Batson was publicly thanked by Kidman after receiving her Oscar for The Hours (2002), and by Tom Cruise in his Golden Globes acceptance speech for Magnolia (1999).

Born in Roxbury, Massachusetts, Batson began her lifelong excursion into the art of acting at Adele Thane’s Boston Children’s Theater. She graduated from Emerson College’s Theater Arts Program and received a John Hay Whitney Fellowship to study with Uta Hagen and Herbert Berghof in New York. She was in the original cast of Hair and became a protege of theater legend Joseph Papp and Harold Clurman. She is a member of the Actors Studio and a recipient of a New York Drama Critics Award, an LA Drama Critics Award, and an Obie. She has worked with directors like Spike Lee, Michael Haneke, Erik Poppe, Kim Farrant, and Jane Campion to name a few. Susan Batson was also a producer of the hugely successful Broadway revival and television production of A Raisin in the Sun, (2007) (TV), starring Sean Combs.

Batson’s mother, the late Ruth M. Batson, a renowned champion of equality in education, remains the guiding spirit in Batson’s commitment to the education of the artist. She is available to her legion of loyal clients 24 hours a day.

Susan Batson is the author of the book “Truth: Personas, Needs, and Flaws In The Art of Building Actors and Creating Characters” and has been profiled in the New Yorker, the New York Times, Variety, the Hollywood Reporter, and Backstage.

 

CALENDAR LISTING

Theatre | Performing Arts

 

WHAT

Her Kind

 

WHO

By Ruya Koman

Directed by Carl Ford

 

FEATURING

Ruya Koman: ANNE SEXTON

 

WHEN

Thursday, November 14th – Sunday, December 8th

 

PERFORMANCES

Thursday, November 14th, 2019, 8:00pm (OPENING NIGHT)

Friday, November 15th, 2019, 8:00pm

Saturday, November 16th, 2019, 8:00pm

Sunday, November 17th, 2019, 6:00pm

Thursday, November 21st, 2019, 8:00pm

Friday, November 22nd, 2019, 8:00pm

Saturday, November 23rd, 2019, 8:00pm

Sunday, November 24th, 2019, 6:00pm

Thursday, December 5th, 2019, 8:00pm

Friday, December 6th, 2019, 8:00pm

Saturday, December 7th, 2019, 8:00pm

Sunday, December 8th, 2019, 6:00pm

WHERE

Susan Batson Studio | 311 West 43rd Street, Suite 201.

 

ABOUT

Her Kind follows the journey of Anne Sexton’s early career as a writer and how she became a published poet just a little over two years after she wrote her first poem. The play opens with Anne Sexton’s first therapy session with her then therapist Dr. Orne, who encourages Sexton to start writing, after one of her nervous breakdowns in 1956. The play also provides a glimpse of what it means to be an American woman in the late 50’s and early 60’s as a number of housewives started entering the workforce.

Admission is free. Complimentary wine and snacks will be served at each performance. Please RSVP at [email protected] 

 

ABOUT SUSAN BATSON STUDIO

Susan Batson Studio (SBS) is home to the Oscar-winning Batson technique which has guided such luminaries as Oprah Winfrey, Nicole Kidman, Tom Cruise, Juliette Binoche, Jaimie Foxx, Laverne Cox, Zac Efron, Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga, Mary J. Blige, Common, Naomi Campbell, Jaime King and Rihanna. Formerly known as Black Nexxus, SBS has produced such theatrical productions as “A Raisin in the Sun” and “Short Eyes” and has produced and supported such independent films as “I Was There” and “The Coolest White Boy Ever”. In this new market where actors must create and produce their own work Susan Batson Studio is committed to developing and showcasing material from our students in our new theater. Susan Batson Studio offers creative consulting services to projects at all stages of development and production in film and theater. Founded in 1996 by Carl Ford, Susan Batson Studio continues to provide top notch education to the acting community across the world through workshops, classes and events. 

PRESS CONTACTS

Carl Ford, Director of Susan Batson Studios, (917) 563-6114 | [email protected] 

Ruya Koman, Producer, (201) 362-0998 | [email protected]