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Satirical Tale of Self-Discovery: Fabulation Re-Educates Audiences at The Billie

Satirical Tale of Self-Discovery: Fabulation Re-Educates Audiences at The Billie
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Blending Nottage’s signature’s insight, humor and wit, Fabulation or, the Re-Education of Undine is a transformative theatrical experience.

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As part of its Spring 2024 Season, themed “RESISTANCE,” the renowned Billie Holiday Theatre in features  a revival of Lynn Nottage’s celebrated play, Fabulation or, the Re-Education of Undine, which opened on April 18 and runs through May 19. 

The play is a satirical narrative following the travails of 37-year-old African-American publicist Undine Barnes Calles – played by award-winning actress Felicia Curry (AUDELCO and Emmy nominated, Queens Girl in the World; WETA; POTUS)– as she grapples with the loss of cultural identity and her own humanity while climbing the socio-economic ladder. 

(l to r): Undine (Felicia Curry) and Kimberlee Walker in Fabulation, the play, at the Billie Holiday Theatre. Photo: Supplied/ Billie Holiday theatre

The supporting cast includes: Kimberlee Walker as Mother/As Cast; Evander Duck Jr. as Father/As Cast; Alex Gibson as Accountant/As Cast; Sharon Hope as Grandma/As Cast; Mariyea as Stephie/As Cast; Roland Lane as Flow/As Cast; Tito Livas as Hervé/As Cast, Mia Y. Anderson as Female Understudy. and James A. Pierce III as the Male Understudy.

In the play, Undine is a familiar character: She is a smart black girl from the ‘hood who has spent the better part of her adult life carefully curating herself into a hard-nosed and successful businesswoman. She gambles on fame, power and fortune in exchange for the total rejection of her own family and community. And for a while, she seems to be winning the game.

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A scene with the family in Fabulation, the play, at the Billie Holiday Theatre. Photo: Supplied/ Billie Holiday theatre

But after her oh-so-debonaire and dashing husband runs out on her and takes all of her money with him, she falls flat on her face, far from grace and is forced to confront her greatest internal fear: becoming all that she has rejected. The audience is left in suspense for much of the play, as we follow Undine on her popcorn trail back to herself, unsure if she will actually ever find her way home. 

Fabulation is set in modern-day Brooklyn’s Walt Whitman projects and marks a significant homecoming for Nottage, a Brooklyn native and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner. Brooklyn is beloved and ever-present throughout the production. 

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Lyn Nottage. Supplied: Billie Holiday Theatre

“I’m beyond thrilled to be sharing the play with my hometown audience. The very first theater I ever experienced was at the Billie Holiday, and so this is definitely a full circle moment for me,” Nottage said.

Directed by Martavius Parrish and under the stewardship of newly appointed Executive Director Shadawn Smith, the play is a poignant exploration of identity, empathy and the places we call “home.” If the stories of The Wiz and The Christmas Carol had a proverbial baby born in Bed-Stuy, this would probably be it

“With this being our first major theater production held on The Billie’s stage in quite some time, we chose a work that reinforces The Billie’s role as an incubator for Black voices, a bastion for the Black Theater canon and the place where Black theater lives and thrives,” said Smith. “The Billie is continuing its legacy of providing opportunities to Black and other creatives of color on- and backstage with this production. As someone with a longstanding history of advocating for these opportunities, it is a privilege to do so in my capacity as executive director of The Billie.” 

Blending Nottage’s signature’s insight, humor and wit, Fabulation or, the Re-Education of Undine is a transformative theatrical experience. 

For tickets to Fabulation, visit TheBillieholiday.org. For community partners/group sales inquiries, call 1-929-432-3322.


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Note: The lead role of Undine will be taken over by Kedren Spencer beginning May 7.





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