August 13 – September 19, 2021
You Talk White
a new play by Craig Ester, directed by K Edmonds
Anyone who has ever felt weird and out of place will love this coming of age story. Desmond is the new kid in the neighborhood, and he’d like a friend. But Bell isn’t so sure: she thinks Desmond is loud and weird. He thinks she cares too much what others think. But maybe they have more in common than first meets the eye? Through the banter and play of childhood, Desmond and Bell discover what makes them different… and similar.
Meet the Cast and Crew!
Bréon Canady (Bell) is a local Detroit actor and creator and host of The Lesbian Dating App Disasters Podcast. Bréon is overjoyed to be back on stage with Open Book Theatre Company. This performance marks her first live show since the Pandemic. As an artist, Bréon has navigated many types of performance. She portrayed the best friend, the lover, the clown, the lawyer and everyone in between. She credits these experiences as major growth opportunities to learn about herself while fulfilling her passion. She is a BFA Acting graduate from Wayne State University. Past theatre credits include: Television Blues, Book Party, Don’t Break Up Over Text, Bright Half Life, Parade, Porgy and Bess, A Song For Coretta, Twelfth Night, The Merchant of Venice, and As You Like it.
Joe Gaskill (Des) is excited to make his Open Book debut with You Talk White and to finally get back into acting in theatre after a year long hiatus! Joe is a 2019 graduate of Wayne State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Performance, and performed there in such shows as A Christmas Carol, Crumble (Lay Me Down, Justin Timberlake) and Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead. Outside of Wayne State, Joe’s performed with such theatres as Planet Ant Theatre, Monster Box Theatre and Barefoot Productions, along with work in numerous short films. Outside of acting, Joe writes plays of his own, but admittedly is stricken with writer’s block most of the time, though he hopes to complete a new one eventually. Joe’s glad to be back in the world of theatre, and hopes you all enjoy the show!
K Edmonds (Director) is a multi-faceted performer/director with many credits to her name. Productions include: Jeff Daniel’s Roadsigns, and Willow Run; both at the Purple Rose Theatre, Bessie Smith in Devil’s Music, The Revolutionists; both at Theatre Nova, Good People at Open Book Theatre, Rosie the Riveter at Wild Swan Theatre, Ain’t Misbehavin‘ at Performance Network Theatre and Ruined at Plowshares Theatre. An accomplished musician, writer, and award-winning director (Boxfest Detroit 2011), the latter of which enabled K to begin her multimedia company, K Edmonds Media. K is an alum of Second City Detroit and the International Academy of Design and Technology. She is thankful of the support from her mother and inspired by her daughter Kemistry, and a host of talented performers she has been blessed to work with throughout her career. K previously directed Love Space, a One to One Virtual Theatre Production with Open Book Theatre.
Craig Ester (Playwright) hails from Detroit, Michigan and is an alumnus of Cass Technical High School where he studied with Tony Award-winning educator Marilyn McCormick. He is also an alumnus of the B.F.A Acting Program at Ball State University and the Mosaic Youth Theater of Detroit’s Acting Company. He is grateful to Open Book for the opportunity! He especially wants to thank his family and friends for their love. Recent professional credits include Macbeth (Macbeth) and The Last Cupcake (Baker) with Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, The Tempest (Prospero) and Othello (Othello) with Hoosier Shakes, Much Ado About Nothing (Don Pedro) with Shakespeare Royal Oak, King Lear (Edmund) with Portable Folio Productions, and Macbeth/Romeo and Juliet (Macduff/Seyton/Lord Capulet) with Michigan Shakespeare Festival’s Education Tour.
Krista Schafer Ewbank (Artistic Director) is the founding Artistic Director of Open Book. She loves having an artistic home and providing a place for other artists to work and play, and has been particularly proud of keeping live performance going in new ways during a global pandemic. Krista received Wilde Awards for her direction of The Watson Intelligence and her performance in Emilie, and was previously nominated for her performance in Boy Gets Girl as well as for her direction of Peter and the Starcatcher. A native Michigander, Krista holds a degree in theatre from Northwestern University and has worked in theatres across the country acting, teaching, and directing.
Maria Tejada (Production Manager) is a professional stage manager who has worked with several Michigan theatres including Water Works, Planet Ant, Roustabout and six years at Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC even traveling to Macao, China with the production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Maria graduated from Grand Valley State University with degrees in Theater and Spanish. While Covid has challenged her to think outside the black box, she is so grateful for the opportunity to travel to people’s backyards, parks, and computer screens to connect through art.