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PROVIDENCE, RI (March 17, 2021) – The Wilbury Theatre Group proudly announces the release of God Talks to An Agnostic – a twelve-part audio drama written, directed and featuring Don Mays, in collaboration with AFRI Productions and The Public’s Radio. Episodes will premiere on Sundays at 3pm on The Public’s Radio WNPN 89.3FM, beginning March 21 and be available, next-day, on all podcast streaming platforms.
Pitted against the backdrop of past and present racial and cultural issues of today, God Talks to An Agnostic features original music by Ashley Frith and Alvin Coleman and a performance by acclaimed Rhode Island actress Rose Weaver. This innovative new twelve-part audio play is a compelling exploration of the impact of religion on race, Black culture and a collective need for faith in something larger than ourselves.
“The motivation for creating God Talks to An Agnostic came from the refusal to let COVID completely shut down creating and producing theatre,” says creator, Don Mays. “Harking back to the days of radio dramas, we are producing an audio play using some of Rhode Island’s most talented actors. One of the things that’s very intentional in this piece is that there are so many black and brown characters, all of whom have very different stories and perspectives and share what matters to them.”
Mays adds, “The series is designed to be audio-only. This creates a different theatrical experience that is still visceral. Recording it has also been an adventure – confined to a small recording space, with my headphones on and my words on the page, it creates an almost spiritual environment. We are confident the audience will be able to feel that across their speakers each week.”
God Talks to An Agnostic was recorded by The Wilbury Theatre Group with support from the Rhode Island Commerce HArT Grant for Engagement, Service, and Resiliency (ESR) grant program, and a grant from the Bannister Black Philanthropy Fund at The Rhode Island Foundation.
“Over the last twelve months of the pandemic The Wilbury Group has explored every avenue of performance possible,” says Wilbury Artistic Director Josh Short. “The pandemic has been an opportunity for our artists to adapt and grow, and we’re thrilled that our friend and longtime collaborator Don Mays has shared this work with us that manages to be both very personal and epic, and we’re very glad that our partners at The Public’s Radio will be helping us release this work to a wider audience.”
“The pandemic has created challenges for artistic groups everywhere, with traditional venues shuttered for long stretches. One of the positive takeaways from this difficult year is that we’ve all had to explore new ways to share our creative work with our communities and stay connected. We’re delighted to use our airwaves to present this wonderful production, and we look forward to building on these kinds of collaborations long after the pandemic is over,” said The Public’s Radio Chief Content Officer Sally Eisele.
Don Maysis a Writer, Filmmaker, Director, and Photographer based in Providence. As a filmmaker, Mays has one feature film, one HBO short film, a documentary and several short films and scripts to his credit. As a theatre director, Mays has worked with several local theaters including The Providence Black Rep and Wilbury Theatre Group. Currently Mays has used his photography skills to document the social justice protests in association with the Black Lives Matters movement.
God Talks to an Agnostic is presented by The Wilbury Theatre Group in collaboration with AFRI Productions, and written and directed by Don Mays, with music by Ashley Frith and The Colemanation Group, sound design and production by Andy Russ, and production management by Annalee Cavallaro.
Featuring performances by Don Mays, Rose Weaver, Jackie Davis, Rudy Ru Cabrera, Pamela Lambert, Daraja Hinds, Jason Quinn, Jeff Hodge, Tania Montenegro, Cilla Bento, Mindy Britto, Lorraine Guerra, Tânia Montenegro, Becci Davis,Emmanuel Versailles, Lia Pinto, and The Watsons Gospel Choir. For all artist bios, visit www.thewilburygroup.org/agnostic