Common Ground, the new musical by Granville Wyche Burgess and Stan Wietrzychowsk, tells the yet-untold story of what really necessitated the Emancipation Proclamation. This special book-in-hand presentation, will be Monday, December 9 at 7:00 p.m. at The Actors Temple, 339 West 47th Street, NYC. Common Ground begins with a veiledly racist President Lincoln, carrying a country-at-war on his back, deliberating on how to make peace with his foes and forge an alliance with the formidable Frederick Douglass. Douglass, a literate, courageous “Moses” to his people, must show President Lincoln a new realty.
This is a “manly” story with two masculine forces etching our history. But – as the musical displays – the wives of these two statesmen played an integral role. Miranda Luze creates the role of Mary Todd Lincoln, a woman who – historically – was fraught with her own conflict.
Miranda, by her own admission, is a crazy-busy artist, forging her own career on stage and as an arts producer. So to grab-hold of an historic character trying to hold together a country and herself may have even been cathartic to play.
Tell us about yourself as an artist
I am a theatre artist spinning a lot of plates. I’m actor/singer busy auditioning and doing gigs around the city. I also co-founded a non-profit theatre company with some college alumni called Thousand Faced Theatre. We started the company because we all had a passion for new theatre and wanted to be more involved in it. This keeps me busy year round performing, directing, and producing new/original work. I’m also a voice teacher! @miranduhluzer/www.mirandaluze.com
Do you feel an added sense of responsibility when handling a piece of history like this?
Yes, it is very difficult to even act like some of this dialogue isn’t uncomfortable. However, it is important to tell these stories because treating people poorly based on our differences is till one of the most prevalent topics in our society.
Tell us about a staged reading … pros cons
The reading is an important look at the political process during one of the most important times in history. It shows you how imperfect everything was when trying to give people basic human rights. Seems familiar. 😉
The con is you don’t get to see the whole show!
Thousand Faced Theatre is producing some amazing new theatre in the next few months that I’m incredibly excited about! Make sure to follow us @thousandfacedtheatre to stay updated!