Franklin High School Alumni Theatre Troupe To Perform In International Festival

Strength out of Shadows

Franklin High School alumni appearing in “Financial Slavery” include, front row, left to right: Toni Kwadzogah and Alyea Pierce; back row, left to right: Ashley Krushinski, Frederick Philp, Rafael Lozada and Akash Jilla. Photo: Michael Pinnix.

A theater troupe founded by Franklin High School alumni is about to get some major exposure.

Strength Out of Shadows Theatre Company’s original production of “Financial Slavery: The College Debt Sentence” is slated to be performed at the New York International Fringe Festival later this month.

The Fringe Festival NYC – one of seven cities in which it is hosted – is the largest multi-arts festival in North America, and presents more than 200 of the world’s best emerging theatre troupes and dance companies, according to its web site. The festival runs from Aug. 12-28.

Strength Out of Shadows is an outgrowth of “Shadows,” an award-winning anti-bullying play created and performed by FHS students in 2012.

“Strength Out of Shadows Theatre Company is a company formed by Franklin High School Alumni who wanted to make a difference in their community by using theatre, spoken word, multimedia and dance to express ongoing issues in our society,” Ashley Krushinski, a troupe member, said in an email.

The play to be performed at the Fringe Festival uses multimedia to look at the choices college students have to fund their education.

The play “revolves around the topic of student loan debt and expresses the struggle students have paying for college, following cast members on the many different paths they take,” she wrote. “Student loan debt has become a serious issue in this country, especially with rising tuition prices and high interest on student loans. We wanted to bring more light upon the heavy issue.”

The play was written by Alyea Pierce, a 2010 FHS graduate, who is also a member of the cast.

FHS alumni in the cast include Toni Kwadzogah and Frederick Philp, FHS Class of 2010; Rafael Lozada, FHS Class of 2014 and Krushinski and Akash Jilla, FHS Class of 2015.

Also in the cast are  Allison Mitchell, Brandi Pinnix, Imani Cole, Allie Harris, Charles Jones III, and Oise Ohiwerei.

Video production by FHS teacher Michael Pinnix, lighting design is by John Latona, and original music is by Osaze Akejerah.

Financial Slavery is directed by SOS Artistic Director, Jennifer Little, who appeared in Phantom of the Opera on Broadway and internationally, and more recently turned to social justice theatre. The production is choreographed by Allie Harris and Brandi Pinnix.

Performance dates and times are:

  • August 21: 6:00-7:45 p.m.
  • August 23: 9:45-11:30 p.m.
  • August 24: 7:15-9:00 p.m.
  • August 26: 2:00-3:45 p.m.
  • August 27: 9:45-11:30 p.m.

Tickets are $18 and can be purchased at www.fringenyc.org. Performances take place at VENUE #2: Flamboyán Theater at the Clemente, 107 Suffolk Street, (between Irvington & Delancey). Subways: F/M/J/Z to Delancey/Essex.


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