Valley Breeze

The North Providence Breeze 02-13-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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6 PAWTUCKET FEBRUARY 13-19, 2019 | VALLEY BREEZE | PAWTUCKET EDITION PAWTUCKET – On April 4, 1967, exactly a year before he was assas- sinated in Memphis, Martin Luther King Jr. addressed the congregation at Riverside Church in New York. "It's the first time he openly criticizes the war in Vietnam," says Jonathan Pitts- Wiley, whose Mixed Magic Theatre is presenting "Beyond Vietnam." In the speech, King "really starts ask- ing broader global questions about economic inequality and the need for economic justice in the U.S. and beyond," says Pitts-Wiley. The show will be presented Feb. 22-24 and is in line with MMT's mis- sion. "We're looking to build more literate, arts-active communities by putting diverse images and stories on the stage," says Pitts-Wiley. "Beyond Vietnam" is a companion piece to MMT's production of "Letter from Birmingham City Jail." "These are just two examples of King's incredible thinking on civil dis- obedience and matters of conscience that are absolutely engrossing in their depth, breadth, and prescience," says Pitts-Wiley. "These two pieces are roughly four years apart and do a good job of illustrating King's evolu- tion as a thinker and activist." In "Letter from Birmingham City Jail," Pitts-Wiley directed his father, Ricardo. In "Beyond Vietnam," the elder Pitts-Wiley gets to direct his son. "Interestingly, it's not really all that challenging," says Pitts-Wiley when asked if it's difficult to keep the father/son relationship out of the director/actor relationship. "My dad is one of my favorite people to be around and work with, so getting to unpack and dramatize any story, particularly a historical one, is truly a pleasure." While MMT has been around for about 17 years, they are relatively new to their current space on Mineral Spring Avenue in Pawtucket, inside a former mill complex. "We're fitting into our space well, though this sea- son's been a bit of a tricky one given the amount of rainfall and our issues with roof leaks," said Pitts-Wiley. They've turned their focus to origi- nal works, "and developing a more robust talent pool of performers, tech- nicians, and staff. We've been lucky in that our programming travels well, so that's been a bit of a godsend in the more challenging moments." The best part of it all, he says, is getting to work with his father. "I get to hang with my dad doing important work that we care about. Hard to beat that." Mixed Magic Theatre presents "Beyond Vietnam" Feb. 22 through 24. For tickets, information and directions, visit www. mmtri.org . Mixed Magic Theatre's father and son team present 'Beyond Vietnam' BY FRANK O'DONNELL Valley Breeze Entertainment Writer RICARDO PITTS-WILEY, left, will direct his son, JONATHAN, in Mixed Magic Theatre's production of "Beyond Vietnam," which runs Feb. 22 through 24. City losing its branch of freighting company NEMF PAWTUCKET – The local branch of the New England Motor Freight Inc., at 400 Division St. across from McCoy Stadium, is one of many NEMF locations impacted by the com- pany's shocking announcement on Monday that it is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and clos- ing operations. The NEMF intends to use these proceedings to facilitate an order- ly wind-down of its operations, according to a news release. "After much discussion as well as consultation with outside finan- cial (advisers), it was concluded that it does not make sense to continue operations to support a business in which our mar- gins continue to shrink, thereby resulting in significant financial losses," wrote President and COO Thomas Connery in a Feb. 11 let- ter to the workers of NEMF. Upon the recommendation of its advisers, the company has determined that a Chapter 11 proceeding filed in New Jeresey is the best mechanism to maximize the value of its assets for the ben- efit of its employees and various creditors.

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