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Sold-Out Shows, Rave Reviews!

Our FringeNYC premiere could not have gone better…

ONAJE sold out all five shows, the performances were riveting, and both audiences and critics were exceedingly positive. Check out these great reviews from onstageblog.com and Theatre is Easy (theasy.com) .

Thanks again to our incredible cast, crew, and creative team — and to everyone whose generous support helped bring ONAJE to life!

“The Naked House Painting Society”

“Easily the festival’s best. Riveting drama with genuine humor and intense relationships. Mystical in nature, the play turns on incisive philosophical dialogue.” — Winifred Walsh, The Baltimore Sun

“Slavery,” a play in one act

Ownership is the issue as two associates draft a patent at a huge law firm in Robert Bowie, Jr’s one‑act play “Slavery.”

“Crash & Burn PA”

“It’s pretty damned refreshing. Tightly woven, with comic prowess and a nicely fast pace. If you want a carefree night of fun and laughs, this is your ticket.” — Pandora Locks

“Witchcraft,” a play in one act

“‘Witchcraft’ offers the suspenseful flavor of Alfred Hitchcock show. The drama unfolds with many unanticipated twists and turns…” — Janet Stidman Evleth

Poet Laureate - Harvard Alumni Association

Robert is also an accomplished poet and HAA Poet Laureate. You can read some of his poems here.

More plays by Robert Bowie, Jr…

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Onaje Reflections

One year ago this past Sunday, our play Onaje had its opening night in NYC. We caught lightning in a bottle that night because of the exceptional talent of those people who came together to make that magic happen. Every performance was sold out and every reviewer gave us a rave.

Since that opening, Onaje has picked up steam, and is headed for a new production and a great future. We thought it might be interesting to ask: “Where are they now?”

Here is what we’ve learned:

Curtis Jackson, who played the titular Onaje, is currently assistant directing a new immersive performance Incomplete Conversations (produced by his company, Silent Theatre Company), a full-length play presented throughout multiple spaces and three floors. He also starred in Blacksite: The Musical! (produced by Soft Cage Films), and Eugenie, a short film with the Southside Filmmaking Youth Initiative.

Tim Rush, who played Henderson, was cast in the double role of Jackson/Kirk in Wendy Macleod’s Women in Jeopardy at The Shaker Bridge Theatre in New Hampshire last spring.

Bristol Pomeroy, who played Richard Middleman Sr, continues to be considered for TV and stage roles.

Prop Master Joey Paradise moved on to FRAGMENTS, a play about a woman with Alzheimer’s remembering being a girl in Austria during WWII. He also joined the New York company of Jersey Boys as a stage management sub and is working as a consultant and script doctor.

Ralph Meizler, our amazing Stage Manager, is currently in rehearsals for the touring company of Broadway hit Frozen.

Mary Hodges, who played Sarah, has been Assistant Director on Slave Play as it has made its way to Broadway! She can also be seen playing Judge Anita Wright on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

I also asked some members of my production team to send in their reflections.

Sue Conover Marinello, Producer

In the year since producing Onaje at FringeNYC in 2018, I have marveled at the amazing bonds this project formed. This story, the poetry of this writer, the vision of this production united us. The cast, the crew, the writer, the audience — so many wonderful people who make theatre possible — are joined in the shared experience that is Onaje. While this play highlights specific events that take place on the backdrop of an actual historical riot, Onaje joins us all in a shared history and quest to create a better America and world. It strives to imagine a reality where people respect one another.

To produce Onaje at FringeNYC was intense and wonderful. To continue to move this project forward to its next production is inspiring. The magic of theatre is borne out of hard work, focus, play, experimentation, and precision. Through 2019, Onaje  has grown. I am grateful for those strong 2018 bonds, and look forward to 2020 as producers, cast, crew, writer and audience will once again unite to make theatre possible.

Katie Marinello, Social Media Manager

Onaje was a life-changing experience for me. Bob and Sue took a chance, letting me be their social media manager while balancing a full-time job. I learned so much in such a short time as we sold out tickets, grew our following, and increased engagement. I felt energized in a way I hadn’t in forever. Not only did I get to work with a fabulous group of people and see six dynamic and varied plays in six days, my next client was sitting in the audience at Bob’s play! Since then, I’ve been able to quit my full-time job and launch KT World Communications, LLC, a social and digital communications company. Bob has become a mentor as well as a friend and client and I couldn’t be more grateful. I can’t wait to see what’s next!

Jim Marinello, Assistant and fan

A year ago, I was lucky enough to see Onaje awe audiences night after night. Some of them remember 1967; many didn’t. Audiences came with high expectations, and they were not disappointed. Expectations have only grown since then. I have been a super fan of this piece since I first saw it in a staged reading well before the Fringe, and I am pulling for it to find the right forum and production to present its powerful message to a wider audience.

Informally, we have heard that everyone is doing well. More specifics to come but one year later it is pretty clear that good things come from collaborations with good people.

We thank each and every one of you who made this magic happen. If you have any reflections or updates to share with me, please send them along!

My Sappy Self-Addressed Greeting Card

Ever since I finished the operetta with Christian in beautiful San Miguel, Mexico this August I have been having withdrawals. I have been waking up laughing from nightmares because they are in perfect Hallmark Card couplets: “Happiness is when all your dreams come...

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Good Advice, But It Was Too Late for Lear

So his fool tells King Lear: ”Thou shouldst not have been old till thou hadst been wise.” I am 72 years old today and one step further into my next life. No not the afterlife… the next step and the opportunity of freedom which that entails. As it's my birthday, I hope...

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Maybe an Old Dog Can Learn a New Trick… Maybe

I’m trying to teach an old dog a new trick: “patience.” But “impatience” has been one of that old dog’s primary character traits. I am that old dog. After my play Onaje received its wonderful reviews in New York last October, I was impatient to immediately take it...

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About Robert Bowie, Jr.

Playwright and Poet Robert Bowie, Jr. of Baltimore, Maryland has had ten plays produced, including  “Onaje,” which was selected for professional production at FringeNYC in October 2018. Its five sold-out FringeNYC performances received rave reviews. Other plays include “There Ain’t No Wyoming” and “Naked House Painting Society,” which were produced through The Baltimore Playwrights Festival. Bowie’s political farce “Crash & Burn P.A.” was the only submission selected by the 2016 Festival Committee for a full production at Theatrical Mining Company, Baltimore. 
 
Currently, Bowie is working on a operetta in partnership with Mind The Art Entertainment. Entitled “Vox Populi,” it is a comical, interactive tale about the deadly sin of pride. 
 
Bowie’s plays are focused on social justice and span a broad spectrum between drama and comedy. His subject matter ranges from plays about racial prejudice and civil rights to political farce. 
 
Bowie is a graduate of Harvard University and is the Poet Laureate of The Harvard Alumni Association (HAA).

“Without the arts, we are a rudderless boat.”
— Robert Bowie, Jr.