After several months of an imposed hiatus, the Azuka Theater returns to theater live and in person with the world premiere of “Young Money”, by local playwright Erlina Ortiz.
“Young Money” is the story of Tomasina aka Kila-T, one of the hottest new artists in Hip-Hop / Rap. She has humble roots and has built her career from scratch after working in menial jobs after menial jobs.
Straightforward and intelligent, Kila meets Gardenia, a focused and dedicated mother in her fifties, who has been fired from her job. She is bitter and nostalgic, feeling trapped in a life she did not choose.
When an attack on the Kila concert suddenly forces the two women to reunite, questions of morality, success, and redemption arise as these women discover that they may have more in common than they do. originally thought.
Philadelphia-based filmmaker, theater director, painter and educational artist Briana Gause directs the play.
Graduating in 2019 from the University of the Arts, where she studied directing, playwriting and production, Gause says her main interest in life has always been theater.
“I’m fairly new to this area, but I did a one-year apprenticeship at Wilma,” she explains. She was also one of the directors of the Set Model Theater production in 1812, was assistant director of “No Child” at the Arden, and more.
“I would say my mission is to create opportunities for love and education to flourish through art,” she admits. “And as to whether or not I have a preference in everything I do, I have to say that producing is my greatest love. It gives me the opportunity to support other people’s dreams as well as my own. C tis when I tend to feel most satisfied.
This is not the first time that Gause has been involved in “Young Money”. Previously, she conducted a reading of the play as part of Coffee and a Play’s DigiRep festival. Although she is familiar with the work of the playwright, she still faces some challenges.
“It’s mostly about feeling confident sometimes in the decisions I make,” she says. “As a director, all the pressure is on you, so you may start to feel a little anxious as a manager. It can also be difficult to learn to communicate with all the departments involved, such as some technical aspects of staging a play. “
But it can also be a lot of fun, Gause quickly adds. “It’s fun to play and tell stories. It’s fun to experiment and try new things. I like to inject magic into the room. I like to ask questions and then answer them. I really like the whole process.
She admits that she also enjoys teaching others a lot. “And for my future, I would like to do even more teaching. I like to tell my students that if they believe in themselves, they can be successful. They will find a way. I like to tell them that their story is unique. That their story is theirs. And finally, I want them to be true to themselves. If they are, they will one day succeed.
“Young Money” takes place at the Louis Bluver Theater in the Drake, November 3-21.