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RPR Productions

New York, NY


RPR Productions

presents the World Premiere of


Big Mama and Me

A new play by Richarda Abrams*

Directed by Richarda Abrams*

Composer: Bernyce A. Clark

Music Director:  Amina Claudine Myers



Richarda Abrams* -- Big Mama and Richarda


*Actors are appearing courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association.



Anna Kiraly-- Set and Projection Design

Sally Lesser -- Costume Design 

Chai -- Sound Design



Richarda Abrams* – Playwright/Director/Co-Producer

Composer: Bernyce A. Clark

Amina Claudine Myers - Music Director

 Lawrence Floyd*– Production Stage Manager

A. J. Muhammad - Dramaturg

Peggy Abrams – Co-Producer /Box Office Manager

RPR - Press Representative

Big Mama and Me is made possible in part with public funds from Creative Engagement, a regrant program supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and support from private donors. Big Mama and Me received a New York State Council on the Arts, Theatre Artist's Commission with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature and is fiscally sponsored by New York Foundation for the Arts.






Please turn OFF your cell phones and keep your masks on during the performance.


Whos Who

Richarda Abrams* (Playwright, Director, Co-Producer) is a 4-time AUDELCO award-winning actress/singer/playwright/producer of First By Faith: The Life of Mary McLeod Bethune. The solo show won a 2019 AUDELCO VIV Award for Solo Performance of the Year and was named the Best of Solo Theatre in the Last 10 Years United Solo Theatre Festival (USTF). Other awards include USTF 2018 Best Educational Show Award and sold-out the National Black Theatre Festival. Memberships: AEA, SAG-AFTRA, Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), Actors Studio, Dramatists Guild, Episcopal Actors Guild, A.R.T./New York, New York Women in Film & Television, and League of Professional Theatre Women. Richarda is fiscally sponsored by NYFA, received 2 NYSCA Theater Artist Commissions and numerous LMCC grants. She has performed all over the world and recorded Song for All (Black Saint Records) with her father Dr. Muhal Richard Abrams co-founder of the AACM, Member of Amina Claudine Myers' Generation IV and Voice Choir. Education: NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts’ BFA in Acting, and MA in Educational Theatre, NYU’s Steinhardt School of Education, drama/theatre in education at University of Leeds, ENGLAND. Richarda was last seen in New Federal Theatre’s Telling Tales Out Of School directed by Woodie King Jr. and next will be seen in American Rot directed by Estelle Parsons at La MaMa ETC.

Bernyce A. Clark (Composer)  ((


Amina Claudine Myers (Music Director) 2024 NEA Jazz Master, has a B.A. Degree in music education, Philander Smith College. She moved to Chicago, Illinois where she taught music in the public school system for six years. Myers began playing jazz in and around Chicago and was brought into the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. There she began composing for large and small ensembles, instrumental and choral music. Myers moved to New York in 1976. She was the Assistant Musical Director for the Off-Broadway production of Ain’t Misbehavin. She taught choral music at Sony Westbury. Amina continues to perform in Europe and all over the world with her Trio, Voice Choir, Generation IV, and solo performances. Her composing and music directing in theater includes Off-Broadway The Ladder, Occasional Grace, and Myers I Dream. Myers co-starred with Joseph Jarman in Dr. Muhal Richard Abrams theater work The Dream and she co-starred with David Murray in Primitive World by Amiri Baraka. She continues to tour on piano, voice, organ, and pipe organ while teaching privately in NYC.

Peggy Abrams (Co-Producer)


Anna Kiraly (Set and Projection Designer) Anna is a visual artist, set and projection designer. Her most recent collaborations include set and projections for EXISTENTIALISM with Anne Bogart/Talking Band, and THE GREATEST HITS DOWN ROUTE 66 with the New Light Theater Company. Other recent and past productions include set design for CHEKHOV LIZARDBRAIN, ISABELLA, and PAY UP with the Pig Iron Theatre Company, set and video for BURNISHED BY GRIEF, MARCELLUS SHALE and FLIP SIDE with the Talking Band, set design for WALK ACROSS AMERICA (with Taylor Mac/Talking Band), and costumes for KAFKA FRAGMENTS (with Peter Sellars). She is a recipient of the Arts Link Grant, the NEA/TCG Program for Designers, and the TCG New Generations. Her "noir" multimedia pieces THE QUAKE, SLOW ASCENT, and UFO (St. Ann’s Warehouse) won the Jim Henson Foundation’s support. Anna has collaborated with universities and colleges such as Barnard/Columbia, Fordham, The New School, Smith, Montclair, and Lehigh and designed for opera productions (AOP, Hungarian Opera, Zankell Hall) and concerts (New York Philharmonic/YPC). She was the projection designer for BETHUNE: Our Black Velvet Rose by Richarda Abrams at Theaterlab NYC. She teaches Stage Design and Media to directors.


Sally Lesser (Costume Designer) has been active in New York theater and television for over 30 years. She was the Associate Costume Designer at the ABC soap One Life to Live for 4,904 episodes where she received 3 Daytime Emmy Awards and 9 nominations. She designed for Josephine the Short-Necked Giraffe for Mr. Roger's Neighborhood. She currently works as a swing designer for Good Morning America and The Good Wife. Her extensive background in theater includes the costume design for 150 plays. She designed the original Little Shop of Horrors for which she received the Joseph Maraham Theatre Design Award, she designed for Little Shop of Horrors Off Bway productions. She designed 25 major productions at La Mama ETC including the OBIE Award winning Shepard Sets at LaMama, directed by George Ferencz, music by Max Roach; Theater for the New City, American Place Theater, The Women's Project, and New Federal Theater. She was the costume designer for BETHUNE: Our Black Velvet Rose by Richarda Abrams at Theaterlab NYC. Regional credits: the Alley Theater, Pittsburgh Public, Syracuse Stage and San Diego Rep. At Berkeley Rep she won a Drama-Logue Award for her costume design of The Hairy Ape.

Chai (Sound Designer) (he/they/she). A sound designer, multimedia artist, and performer from Brooklyn, NY. His passion is finding ways to manipulate space in order to come closer to our truths. A lover of 4th dimensional art, cycling, fixing, and inventing.

Headshot-AJ Muhammad (1).JPG

A.J. Muhammad (Dramaturg) A.J. Muhammad has dramaturged plays produced and developed by NEC Inc., New Federal Theatre, HERE Arts Center, MultiStages Theater and various plays directed by Daniel Banks in the U.S. and internationally. He is on the producing teams of the OBIE winning The Fire This Time, CLASSIX, and is also the co-founder the Grove Theater NYC, Inc. Other projects include collaborating with Neyda Martinez on the development and implementation of the New Audience Project which was the recipient of a Rockefeller Grant and incubated at Teatro Circulo. He is also a librarian at the Schomburg Center For Research in Black Culture. A.J. is also an ensemble member of the non-profit arts and social justice organization DNAWORKS.

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Lawrence Floyd* (Production Stage Manager) s an actor, wrighter, director, producer, and the Co-Founder of Genesis East and West, Inc. with Dr. Myrah Brown Green, a 501 (c) 3 that specializes in Theatre/Film and Television Development. Proud Member of Equity, SAG-AFTRA and a lifetime Member of the Actors Studio.

Actors' Equity Association (AEA), founded in 1913, represents more than 50,000 actors and stage managers in the United States.  Equity seeks to advance, promote and foster the art of live theatre as an essential component of our society.  Equity negotiates wages and working conditions, providing a wide range of benefits, inculding health and pension plans.  AEA is a member of the AFL-CIO, and is affiliated with FIA, and international organization of performing arts unions.  The Equity emblem is our mark of excellence.


Thank you!!


This production was made possible by the generous contributions of the following Individuals

and Arts Councils from January 2023 to March 2024




$10,000.00 Plate Full of Big Mama's Potato Salad

New York State Council on the Arts, Theater Artist’s Commission


$3,600.00 Plate Full of Big Mama's Potato Salad

Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Creative Engagement regrant, a regrant program

supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council

$1,573.00 Plate Full of Big Mama's Potato Salad


$1,027.17 Plate Full of Big Mama's Potato Salad



$250.00 Plate Full of Big Mama's Potato Salad

Fiordellisi Williams Family Foundation

Elizabeth Van Dyke


$100.00 Plate Full of Big Mama's Potato Salad

Peggy,  Phyllis Bancroft, Karen Eterovich,

Bob & Jill Jaffe,  Gail Kriegel and Barry Mallin,  Ronald Scott,  Harry Shifman


$50.00 Plate Full of Big Mama's Potato Salad

Mary Anisi, Grace Garland, John Laffan, Lebasi Lashley,

Stanley W. Mathis, Lorca Peress, Juanita Smith, Theara Ward


$30.00 Plate Full of Big Mama's Potato Salad



$25.00 Plate Full of Big Mama's Potato Salad

Anonymous,  Sheila Evans, Ludovica Villar-Hauser, Margaret Williams

This journey is continuing please join us and get yourself a plate full:

Thank you to all of the loving kind words and best wishes from my family, friends and colleagues. 

Every word, card and emoji means the world to me. 


Thank you to the Chain Theatre for the great rehearsal space.

Thank you to the Episcopal Actors Guild  and Rebecca Lovett for making us feel right at home in this beautiful theatre.


Thank you to the Actors Studio  my Artistic Home.

Thank you to an incredible production team Peggy Abrams my co-producer and mom, Amina Claudine Myers, Anna Kiraly, Sally Lesser, Chai, A.J. Muhammad, Allen C. Harris for stepping when we needed you, led by our illustrious Production Stage Manager Lawrence Floyd. I am forever grateful that I get this chance to work with you.


Thank you to my Big Mama, Bernyce A. Clark!

We did it Big Mama.  We are ONSTAGE.  I love you Queen!


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