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Publishers of San Francisco Bay View newspaper to be feted at the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre Dec. 29

December 21, 2011

For tickets, call the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre Box Office, (415) 474-8800, with the code “WE.” Treat your family and friends to a joyous evening and support the Bay View!

by Wright Enterprises

Reggie D. White as Joseph and Kate Ball as Mary in “REJOICE!” directed by Margo Hall, playing Dec. 8-31 at the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre. – Photo: Richard Peña-Lopez
Utilizing the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre’s generous fundraising theater night model, Wright Enterprises and LaHitz Media present “Our Media Matters” Theater Night in honor of Willie and Mary Ratcliff, publishers of the San Francisco Bay View newspaper, 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 29, 2011. The Lorraine Hansberry Theatre is located in the heart of Union Square at its new home, 450 Post St., Second Floor of the Kensington Park Hotel, San Francisco.

“We are pleased that the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre is giving not only a platform for multicultural dialogue and cultural change, but they are giving back to the community in a financial way by allowing this fundraiser to begin funding our Youth Media Project,” said Mary Ratcliff, co-publisher and editor of the Bay View newspaper, which was founded by Mohammed al Kareem in 1976.

San Francisco Bay View newspaper publishers Willie and Mary Ratcliff – Photo: Luke Thomas, FogCityJournal
“REJOICE!” a world premiere, written by the Bay Area’s own Ron Stacker Thompson, founder of Oakland Ensemble Theater and now professor at the University of North Carolina, is the current play at the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre. “REJOICE!” retells the nativity story through glorious music and song. Nolan Shaheed wrote the music and lyrics Margo Hall is the director, Jacqueline Hairston the musical director and Traci Tolmaire the choreographer.

Tickets for “Our Media Matters” Theater Night, the perfect launch for the New Year’s celebrations, are $45 for general admission if purchased before Dec. 27 and $50 after the early-bird special. A no-host bar will be provided 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. prior to the performance. Also in advance of “REJOICE!” there will be a short ceremony honoring the Ratcliffs.

VIP tickets are $65 with an early bird special of $55, if purchased prior to Dec. 27. VIP tickets include an after-party with the cast of “REJOICE!” hors d’ oeuvres, and special guest Tony Saunders, who has written music for television and films and will be sharing from his latest CD, “Romancing the Base.” Visual art by artist Malik Seneferu and others will be on display. A percentage of the artists’ sales will be donated to the Youth Media Project.

“The Lorraine Hansberry Theatre is creating an atmosphere of unity as it reaches out to individuals, businesses and nonprofits that can utilize an entertaining play to raise capital,” said Jacquie Taliaferro, filmmaker and director of LaHitz Media. “We hope everyone comes out for a wonderful time and in support of Willie and Mary, who have sacrificially given to the community via the San Francisco Bay View newspaper,” added Taliaferro.

Renowned artist Malik Seneferu, who still lives in Bayview Hunters Point, shows his tribute to Stevie Wonder. – Photo: Minister of Information JR
“I’m excited to be a part of an event that honors Willie and Mary Ratcliff, who I have admired for their devotion to telling the truth even when its uncomfortable,” said Jackie Wright, owner of Wright Enterprises and co-presenter of “Our Media Matters” Theater Night at “REJOICE!” “Their work is important to our democratic way of life and developing the Youth Media Project is a way to carry on their legacy for years to come. Young people will get hands-on experience and be trained by people with ethics to hopefully swing the pendulum away from media trends like those of the Rupert Murdochs of the world,” added Wright.

The Lorraine Hansberry Theatre is an independent Black-owned arts company that has overcome many challenges over the years, including the deaths of founders Quentin Easter and Stanley Williams within months of each other in 2010. “Community, businesses, nonprofits, visitors from around the world can continue to enjoy the legacy started by Quentin and Stanley and the thousands of supporters and volunteers that held the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre together for over 30 years,” said Wright.

“Thanks to Shirley Howard Johnson, Al Dixon and the board of directors, the theatre functioned in its darkest period last year until they found a new home in Union Square and hired their new artistic director, Steven Anthony Jones. Now in its 31st year, the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre is worthy of our support as it gives a platform for Black voices and Black talent in a multicultural enterprise that benefits all of San Francisco and the arts world,” added Wright.

Now in its 31st year, the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre is worthy of our support as it gives a platform for Black voices and Black talent in a multicultural enterprise that benefits all of San Francisco and the arts world.

“The Lorraine Hansberry Theatre is a multicultural artistic business that positively impacts the City’s tourism,” said Shirley Howard Johnson, general manager. “By allowing individuals, businesses and nonprofits to benefit from Theater Nights which are available throughout our entire season, it’s our way of promoting community combined with commerce.”

In “REJOICE!” the three wise men are portrayed by Terry Stanley, Luther Michael Spratt and Rudy Guerreroas. “REJOICE!” runs through Dec. 31, 2011. – Photo: Steven Anthony Jones
Just recently New Birth Church of Antioch and Oakland, headed by Bishop C. Carl Smith, bought out the house to thank their more than 400 volunteers for their year-long service. “New Birth not only enjoyed ‘REJOICE!’ but they also brought additional commerce via parking, shopping and dining into the City. We thank New Birth for thinking of the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre as a place to honor the community as well as LaHitz and W.E. for seeing the LHT vision,” said Howard-Johnson.

To purchase tickets, call the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre Box Office, (415) 474-8800, with the code “WE.” Tax-deductible sponsorships for “Our Media Matters” Theater Night include promotion and visibility into January 2012 and are still available. Contact Jackie Wright at (415) 525-0410 for sponsorships that begin at $500. The San Francisco Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women is the fiscal agent.

To purchase tickets, call the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre Box Office, (415) 474-8800, with the code “WE.”

For more information about the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, visit Group sales and Theater Nights are still available through Dec. 31.

Wright Enterprises is a full service public relations firm headed by Jackie Wright, who has 20 years of media experience, including more than a decade of award-winning journalism experience in radio, television and print communications. She holds BAs in both journalism and drama from the University of Georgia, home of the prestigious George Foster Peabody Awards. Wright can be reached at or (415) 525-0410.


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