Based on an actual event, The Ethiopian Ball takes place in Charleston, South Carolina, near the end of the American Revolutionary War. Narrator of The Ethiopian Ball is actress/singer Ashley Jordan, in the role of Crissy. Says Jordan, “The Ethiopian Ball is a rare jewel that I am proud and humbled to be a part of.” Starring as the heroic Lucy Lou is Skylight Music Theatre actress/singer Cynthia Cobb, who calls The Ethiopian Ball “such a joyous and informative experience. A little piece of history everyone should know about!” Starring as Lucy Lou’s true love, Gerald, is internationally renowned actor/singer Jason McKinney. Says McKinney, This bringing together of artistry, musicianship, technology, and a magical story has been a tremendous highlight for me.”
Also starring are singer/storyteller/educator Adekola Adedapo, singer/pianist/actor Steve Watts (in two separate roles), and actor/singer Greg Flattery. Featured musicians include Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra/Chris Hansen Band violinist/violist Glenn Asch, pianist/harpsichordist/organist Martha Galvin, and ace soul/jazz trumpeter Eric Jacobson. Says Adekola, “I liked working on the play because of the historical perspective. There was a constant movement among enslaved Africans to upgrade status in society and to escape slavery. Even though the play has light-hearted moments, the theme of cunning and sacrifice to win freedom is the underpinning of the plot.”
The Ethiopian Ball is a multi-layered love story of political intrigue, racism, and espionage, with abundant satirical humor and a host of spirited characters.
AUTHOR & LYRICIST
Roger Beaumont was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He received a Bachelor of Arts and Masters degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Ph.D. from Kansas State University, all degrees in history. After two active duty tours as a U.S. Army military police office, he worked as a public relations writer and elementary school teacher, and was Associate Director of the Center for Advanced Study in Organization Science. He taught history at the University of Wisconsin in Oshkosh and Milwaukee, Marquette University, and Texas A&M University. Author of 12 books, including Military Elites, War, Chaos, and History, and (with R. Snowden Ficks) a science fiction novel Deep Space Processional, Beaumont also has written about 90 published articles and book chapters. Co-founder of the journal Defense Analysis (now Defense and Security Analysis), he was a Secretary of the Navy Fellow at the United States Naval Academy 1989-90. He has been a member of the Science Fiction Writers of America. since 1973. He lives in Bryan, Texas, with his wife Jean.
COMPOSER & GUITARIST
Eric Beaumont was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He received a Bachelor of arts Degree in history at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM). Having been a schoolteacher, graphic designer, and librarian, he is a bookseller at Boswell Book Company. He has performed and recorded his original musical compositions solo and with various bands as Eric Blowtorch throughout the United States and in England and Jamaica. His interviews with the late novelist Nathan Heard were published in African American Review, and he has had various essays, reviews, and interviews published in the Milwaukee JournalSentinel, ShepherdExpress, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and Milwaukee Orbit. He lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.