The passion and pain of Freeze Frame will burst onto the stage in a fusion of dance, music, film and theater for four performances only on February 5 – 7 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. Written, directed and choreographed by three-time Emmy Award-winner Debbie Allen, Freeze Frame takes audiences on a rollercoaster ride through some of LA’s toughest streets where gangs, poverty, violence, and drugs are an everyday reality. With original music by Stevie Wonder,
James Ingram, Ricky Minor, Arturo Sandoval and Thump, Freeze Frame is a dance-driven narrative that will reframe the conversation about violence in America.
In addition to the public performances, there will be a gala benefit performance of Freeze Frame on Thursday, Feb 4 to be followed by an onstage Architects of Change panel conversation on violence in America hosted and presented by Maria Shriver and Allen as part of Shriver’s ongoing Architects of Change: The Conversation Series, aimed at opening hearts and minds to affect positive impact in the world. All Gala proceeds to benefit the Debbie Allen Dance Academy and Arts Education for the young people of the Greater Los Angeles area and America.
“The opportunity to spur social change is at the heart of not only Freeze Frame but also my own artistic core,” said Debbie Allen. “Maria Shriver and I know that to affect real positive change in the violence and mental health problems in this country we must engage in constructive dialogue. The many voices in Freeze Frame bring to life the stories of those most affected by violence and provide a lens through which audiences can be a witness, see themselves in the picture and consider how to make change.”
“I’m thrilled to be partnering with Debbie Allen and producing the Architects of Change conversation to bring about social change through dance, theater and thought-provoking conversation,” said Maria Shriver. “It’s our hope that this conversation and production will make people stop, think, reflect, and inspire them to take part in the larger national conversation and become part of the solution.”
“It is important for us, as well as a privilege to present Freeze Frame and the Architects of Change: The Conversation Series at The Wallis, supporting both Debbie Allen, an artist and commentator on the world in which we live, and Maria Shriver, whose journalism and activism seek to inspire social change,” said Paul Crewes, the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts’ new Artistic Director who takes the reins full time in April 2016. “This critical work and the issues it debates are particularly relevant at this time in America.”
Freeze Frame will have four performances: Friday & Saturday, Feb 5 & 6 at 8PM, Saturday, Feb 6 at 3PM, and Sunday, Feb 7 at 12PM. For more information, visit TheWallis.org
The Gala Benefit Performance and panel discussion will be Thursday, Feb 4 beginning at 5:30PM.
Freeze Frame is the next installment of The Wallis’ Arts & Ideas: Community Connections series, which aims to spark dialogue about societal issues, cultural issues and ideas through stimulating conversations and thought-provoking performances.
About Freeze Frame:
Originally commissioned by the Brisbane Arts Festival, Freeze Frame is a dynamic mix of street-tough characters sharing their stories through a series of high-powered scenes of dance, song and drama. More than thirty Debbie Allen Dance Academy protégés and professional guest artists appear together onstage for explosive ‘break-the-floor’ moves propelled by a score that features new music, most notably by soul and funk legend Stevie Wonder and James Ingram. The rich and smooth mix of hip-hop, soul, gospel and R&B is led by Ricky Minor, who was the music director for American Idol, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, the Super Bowl and the Grammy Awards. He has also worked on tour with Whitney Houston, Alicia Keyes, Christina Aguilera, Ray Charles and Beyoncé. Audiences will be moved by the dance, the amazing voices and the indescribable true story of how art, dance, music and hope are able to transform lives. Freeze Frame is a passionate performance that will inspire, stun, and change the conversation about violence in America.
About the Freeze Frame Cast:
The cast of highly-talented performers is comprised of a mix of seasoned professionals including three-time Emmy Award-winner, Tony-nominated, and Drama Desk winner Debbie Allen; Tony Award-winner Clinton Derricks; Broadway’s Vivian Nixon (Hot Feet, Memphis, Women on the Verge); So You Think You Can Dance Finalist and All-Star William Wingfield; up-and-coming internationally acclaimed vocalist Matthew Johnson;and students, past and present, from the Debbie Allen Dance Academy. Additional cast members to be announced.
About Architects of Change: The Conversation Series:
Architects of Change is a live gathering hosted and inspired by Maria Shriver that opens hearts and minds. Founded in Los Angeles and produced by Shriver Media, the bi-monthly conversation series invites Architects of Change: those conscious idealists among us who see things as they are but imagine what they can be. The series brings to life the preeminent community of Architects of Change who gather daily at Mariashriver.com and benefits A Woman’s Nation non-profit organization.
Shriver Media is a 21st Century socially-conscious media company that produces films, documentaries, original digital reporting and live events to inform, inspire, enlighten and entertain. Our team collaborates with like-minded partners and offers diverse media brands that we believe can impact individuals and society in a positive way. We ignite hearts and minds. Visit us at ShriverMedia.com.
For more information about Debbie Allen and the Debbie Allen Dance Academy, please visit: www.debbieallendanceacademy.com.
For more information about The Wallis, please visit: TheWallis.org