Rising Young Talent ERIC LOCKLEY Emerges on Stage in World Premiere of Marcus Gardley’s “BLACK ODYSSEY”

DENVER, Colo. (January 15, 2014) – Rising performer/playwright ERIC LOCKLEY is quickly becoming a leader among a new generation of artists, bringing stories about the African-American community to the stage. Lockley will star in the Denver Center Theatre Company’s world premiere of Marcus Gardley's new play “BLACK ODYSSEY,” running January 17 through February 16, 2014. Then, he’ll team up with MPAACT Theater Company in Chicago for the premiere of his original play, “WITHOUT TRACE,” at the Greenhouse Theater this April.

“Black Odyssey” centers on a black soldier returning home from a harrowing tour in the Afghanistan War. Directed by Obie Award Winner Chay Yew, this compelling new play fuses modern reality, humor, and song with ancient myth. Lockley appears as Malachai, a very bright 13 year old whose assurance that he’s ready to become a man can’t help but keep him in trouble. The talented cast also stars Tony Award Winner Cleavant Derricks (“Dreamgirls”), Tony Todd (“Final Destination” franchise), Brenda Pressley (“Dreamgirls”) and Shamika Cotton (HBO’s “The Wire”).

Lockley is proud to be part of this amazing new production, adding “What excites me about the show is how epic it is. The show goes from Africa to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, from the 1800’s to 2014, and all the while explores the nature of Fate, Faith and Family.”

Then beginning this April, Lockley’s newly penned original play, “Without Trace,” will premiere as an MPAACT Theater production at Chicago’s Greenhouse Theater. When Trace Sullivan goes missing from his family's inner-city apartment, his sudden return with a case of amnesia raises more questions than answers. Trace's father, a suspected Radical leader, grows more paranoid, while his mother, a loyal teacher, grows more worrisome. Amidst a crumbling America, political ties and emotional trauma all complicate the question: What happened to Trace? The show will be directed by Carla Stillwell and is scheduled to run April 17 through June 1, 2014.

Lockley continues to earn a solid reputation for his work in arts. Most recently, he was selected to write the PSA “My Harlem” for the non-profit organization Caring Across Generation, directed by the notable Tanya Wexler (“Hysteria” and “Ball in the House”) and performed by the Tony-Award nominated actress Micki Grant (“Another World”). He has earned praise for his original solo show “Last Laugh,” in which he performed at terraNOVA Collective’s 10th Annual soloNOVA Festival, the famed New York theatre LaMaMa and Space 122 (PS122). Also last summer, Lockley performed his educational solo show “Asking For More” for students at Harlem School of the Arts and last winter he performed his short play, “The Sad Secret Sex Life of Steve Urkel,” as part of The Fire This Time Festival in New York.

Lockley’s talents have earned him the Theatre Hall of Fame Fellowship Grant 2012, National Theatre Conference Emerging Professional Award 2012, Harlem Stage Fund for New Work Grant 2011, Mabou Mines Resident Artist 2009-2010 and Poets & Writers Grant 2009.

This Randallstown, Maryland native is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA and a double major in Africana Studies. He is a performer, playwright and producer within The Movement Theatre Company and the producing collective, Harlem 9. As a Performer his Stage credits include “CATO” (The Flea), “Holes” (Atlantic Thtr Co.), “The Winter’s Tale” (NYU), “Black Terror” (NYU), “SPUNK” (Penobscot) and “CHAINS,” performed in South Africa. Lockley also appeared on MTV’s television pilot “Failosophy,” a half-hour, studio-based panel show featuring the internet's biggest fails.


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