Alone with Nina Simone by Debra Khan-Bey, Peabody Preparatory '91

Alone with Nina Simone Cover

Sponsored by the Office of Alumni Relations Lifelong Learning and Alumni in Arts, Athletics, Media & Entertainment 

Join us for a captivating evening with Debra Khan-Bey, Peabody Preparatory '91, and Ron Beverly with the Staged Reading of a new play, Alone with Nina Simone.  Learn about the highs and lows of the legendary Nina Simone through music. Khan-Bey, Peabody Preparatory '91, explores the music, the mental illness, the loneliness, the revolutionary, the racism, and the abuse of Nina Simone. Alone with Nina Simone is directed and narrated by Ron Beverly. The music direction and original music is by Kenny Brawner. The event is open to alumni, students, staff, faculty, and interested guests. Light refreshments will be served immediately following the performance. 

Nina Simone was one of the most extraordinary artists of the twentieth century, an icon of American music. She was the consummate musical storyteller, a griot as she would come to learn, who used her remarkable talent to create a legacy of liberation, empowerment, passion, and love through a magnificent body of works. She earned the moniker ‘High Priestess of Soul’ for she could weave a spell so seductive and hypnotic that the listener lost track of time and space as they became absorbed in the moment. 

Disclaimer: The perspectives and opinions expressed by the speaker(s) during this program are those of the speaker(s) and not, necessarily, those of Johns Hopkins University and the scheduling of any speaker at an alumni event or program does not constitute the University’s endorsement of the speaker’s perspectives and opinions.

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ABOUT Debra Khan-Bey
Playwright, Actress and Musician

DEBRA KHAN-BEY (Nina Simone, Playwright) starred with Academy Award Nominee, Chazz Palminteri (Bullets Over Broadway, The Usual Suspects) in a staged reading of Ron Beverly’s two-person play The Spitting Image, at the famed Actors Studio in New York City. The Spitting Image was written for Debra and is currently in development. A television pilot is being developed for her as well. Debra portrayed Mamie Till- Mobley in David Holmberg’s White Woman, Black Boy: The Lynching of Emmett Till, directed by Tony-nominated, Austin Pendleton and she was also the lead producer and collaborated with producer and Academy Award Winner Bobby Moresco (Crash). Debra starred in and produced her short film American Hunger, starring two-time Emmy Award nominee, Ilene Kristen (TV: One Life to Live, Ryan’s Hope). She starred in Ron Beverly’s Workshop Production of Paul Robeson at the Actors Studio, opposite three-time Emmy Award Winner and Tony-nominated, Keith David.

Debra narrated Lyle Kessler’s (Broadway: Orphans) play Silence In the Mountains in a staged reading at theLAByrinth Theater starring Bobby Cannavale. She performed a lead role in Gabriele Di Luca’s radio play, Metropolitan Miracles directed by Robert Funaro (The Irishman, HBO: The Sopranos). She portrayed Juno Frankie Pierce in Toby Armor’s Aunt Susan and Her Tennessee Waltz at Theater For The New City. Debra performed in two solo plays in a reading series,
Reflections on the Voices of African American Women at the Palace Theater in Connecticut (Presented by Lauren Yarger at Gracewell Productions LLC). She portrayed Stacey Abrams in Speechifyin at Theatre West. She starred in Chekhov's The Seagull opposite Pendleton in NYC. Debra portrayed the lead role, Anne Wells, in a staged reading of the Hollywood classic Valley of the Dolls, also opposite Pendleton. She played in Jeremiah Kipp's hit film Slapface, which earned high praise on the Film Festival circuit.

ABOUT Ron Beverly
Director and Dramaturge

RON BEVERLY directed Academy Award Nominee, Chazz Palminteri (Bullets Over Broadway, The Usual Suspects) and Debra Khan-Bey in a Stage Reading of his new play, The Spitting Image, at The Actors Studio in New York City. He wrote and developed the film script Sweet Chariot with Academy Award Nominated Executive Producer, Chiz Shultz (A Soldier’s Story, starring Denzel Washington). He directed and produced his short film, American Hunger, starring two-time Emmy Award Nominee, Ilene Kristen (TV: One Life to Live, Ryan’s Hope). Ron directed Three-time Emmy Award Winner Keith David (TV: Greenleaf/OWN) in a NYC Workshop Production of his play, Paul Robeson. He directed and developed the NYC World Premiere of the play Wink by Neil Koenigsberg, (Film: The Giver, starring Academy Award Winners Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges). Ron directed and produced his hit farce play, the Audelco Award Nominated, Driving While Black & Other Felonious Funk in NYC, starring Jerome Preston Bates (Film: Shaft, Broadway: Jitney, Seven Guitars) and Gil Pritchett III (Broadway: Play On!).

Ron directed Jack Kehler (Film: Men In Black 2, TV: The Man in the High Castle) in his Web Project, A Little Miracle. He wrote and produced the Web short The Ultimate Intervention. Ron is a Moderator at The Actors Studio, Playwrights/Directors Unit with Academy Award Winner, John Patrick Shanley (Doubt, Moonstruck), Academy Award Nominee, Chazz Palminteri (Bullets Over Broadway, The Usual Suspects), Academy Award Nominee, Jose Rivera (Motorcycle Diaries) and Lyle Kessler (Broadway: Orphans).

 Event Date
Thursday, March 30, 2023
Start Time: 6:00pm EDT
End Time: 8:00pm EDT

Peabody Preparatory
Leakin Hall 207

21 E Mt Vernon Pl
Baltimore, MD 21202

Office of Alumni Relations
Brian Davis
Associate Director of Lifelong Learning

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