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November 25, 2014 Published in Arts & Style, Other News

The Arts Thrive At ARHA

The Arts thrive at Alexandria Redevelopment Housing Authority.

“Senior Moments, written, directed and starring our own Jason Ellis is an outstanding production and a must see!" That was the statement of Roy Priest, Chief Executive Officer of the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority after having attended the premiere of Senior Moments at the Lee Center last weekend. The play was staged at Lee Center Nov. 15, 16, 21 and 22.

Interviewing Jason Ellis, playwright/director, it was evident that Alexandria has a place in his heart that motivates him to honor and memorialize it through art. "Alexandria has a very rich history, particularly in the African American community and there was no better way to tell this story than by interviewing senior citizens who lived through those experiences and could give a far more authentic and certainly humorous recollection," states Ellis.

It is also important to note that 100% of the proceeds will go towards funding a variety of programs to assist with educating, empowering and enriching the lives of youth within Alexandria who live in ARHA properties. Priest, CEO of ARHA has always supported the arts as a means of building self-esteem and overall expression.

Ellis continues to write and perform plays that he hopes uplift people. He stated, "I have always had a passion for writing and directing, and I am fortunate enough to work at the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority which affords me the opportunity to use my talents in advancing our motto of building community partnerships."


The LaDrey High Rise was filled with residents and community members on Nov. 12, 2014. The cast of The Morning Bishop Theatre Playhouse, Inc. performed to an enthusiastic audience that evening. Scenes from a number of female playwrights were highlighted in he  PLAYFEST's Wo-Man Works this year. Award winning writer Sudanya Kirk, Kposivi Clark, Patricia Elam Walker and MD Abdalla were the playwrights featured this year. The small cast of five played multiple roles and sang to make for a powerful performance.

Alicia Harris, Jacqueline Harris, Matiza Sacotinogo, Lerene Olliverrrie and Laura Olliverrie  comprise up the Theatre of Purpose cast .McKenya Dilworth directed the performance. The PLAYFEST turned four years old this year and started from a conversation Mr. Priest, CEO of ARHA and McKenya Dilworth, community arts practitioner had about providing a platform for affordable arts for the community and giving space for playwrights who may not have had the opportunity to see their work produced. "PLAYFEST was an outstanding performance," stated Priest after he attended the presentation at LaDrey.

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