THE DOUBLE V at Matrix Theatre

October 25, 2019

November 24, 2019

8:00 pm To 9:40 pm

Matrix Theatre, Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, USA




Event Description

One man’s simple letter ignites a nation’s first black civil rights movement.

 The multi-award-winning team that brought you When Jazz Had the Blues returns with Playwright Carole Eglash-Kosoff’s new original play. The Double V, Directed by Michael Arabian, will be at the Matrix Theatre.

 Produced by Leigh Fortier, The Double V is about activism, a dramatization of true events. How a simple letter to a newspaper initiated a series of changes that gave black Americans their first taste of equality in a society that had always denigrated them. The Double V campaign, early in the years of World War II, campaigned for both Victory in the war and Victory in the battles for racial equality in the United States. 


Written by Carole Eglash-Kosoff

Directed by Michael Arabian

Senic Design by John Iacovelli

Produced by Leigh Fortier

Lighting Design by Jared A. Sayeg

Costume Design by Dana Rebecca Woods

Music Preparation / Sound Design by Christopher Moscatiello

Projection Design by Fritz Davis

Publicity by Kuker & Lee PR



Nic Few* – Ira Lewis

Brie Eley – Marjorie “Madge” Evans

Preston Butler III – James “Jimmy Thompson

Terra Strong Lyons – Annie Culver

Cary Thompson – Frank Bolden, Clem Thompson

Joe Coffey* – Charlie Simpson, J. Edgar Hoover

Jamal Henderson – Joe Bibb Chris Thompson

John Apicella – William “Biff” Trent

 * Proud Member of Actor’s Equity

  The Double V opens at Matrix Theatre (7657 Melrose Avenue, 90046) on Friday, Oct. 25 through Sunday, Nov. 24. Performances are on Friday and Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 3pm. Running time: 100 minutes. The press is invited to review any performance. Ticket prices are $40 (VIP Reserved $50, Students $20 (groups of 8 or more email

Purchase tickets online at:

Phone Reservation line is: 323.960.7776


NIC FEW* (Ira Lewis) is a native of Atlanta, Georgia where he attended and graduated from Clark Atlanta University with a Master’s in Education Administration, and Masters-in-Fine-Arts from Brown University. As a member of the Screen Actors, Nic has been afforded a variety of opportunities in film, television and web series. Among his most recent projects are, ABC’s The Catch, Warner Brothers Picture’s CHIPS and InHale Entertainment & Full Frequency Media’s award-winning short, 90 Days. His past credits include, Balls to The Wall, The Undying, The Chadwick Chronicles, TV Land’s The Exes, CBS’s Eleventh Hour, NBC’s Go On, TNT’s Major Crimes and TBS’s Blotter! His regional, national and international theater credits include, Shakespeare’s Midsummer Nights Dream, Romeo and Juliet and Julius Ceasar, Black Birds, Molière’s Misanthrope, Ends Eve, Sex Acts, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, The Ballad of Emmit Till, Black Nativity, The America Play, Topdog Underdog, Confluence, Measure for Measure, Tartuffe, Tambourines to Glory, Spunk and The Cherry Orchard.

 BRIE ELEY(Marjorie “Madge” Evans) is an actress and content creator from Sugar Land, Texas. After training at Marymount Manhattan College and the British American Drama Academy, she performed onstage regionally and in New York City. Favorites include The Kennedy Center (Brave No World), Actors Theatre of Louisville (The Shaker Chair), Kings County Shakespeare Company (Twelfth Night), and The Classical Theatre of Harlem (Trojan Women). After one blizzard too many she relocated to Los Angeles, where she continues to perform on stage with Jewish Women’s Theatre (True Colors), Skylight Theatre (Obama-ology) and in readings for EST/LA, Antaeus and A Noise Within. Since relocating, she’s appeared on television, in commercials and acted in independent film including Grey’s Anatomy, Criminal Minds, Brooklyn 99, 2 Broke Girls, the multi-award winning films Night Call and Dekalb Elementary (2018 Oscar nomination, Best Short Film.) As a creator, she has advanced to the finals of the NBC Short Cuts Festival and secured distribution through BET and Amazon Prime. You also might catch her flexing her comedy chops around town at The Pack, Comedy Central Stage, Second City or UCB. Brie is a proud member of Actor’s Equity and SAG-AFTRA. She loves traveling, tequila and tea cup pigs. Thank you to Leigh, Michael, and Carole for the opportunity to honor the reporters of the Pittsburgh Courier and bring Madge to life. @brieeley

PRESTON BUTLER III – (James “Jimmy” Thompson) Touted by the LA Times as a “physical and emotional power seldom encountered on any stage,” Preston Butler III is a rare triple threat. Butler returns to LA after his performance of ‘Kitch’ in the West Coast Premiere of Pass Over by Antionette Nwandu (She’s Gotta Have It) at ACT in Seattle.

Earlier this year, he also played ‘The Greatest,’ Muhammad Ali in Fetch Clay, Make Man, a play exploring Ali’s friendship with Hollywood’s first black millionaire, Stepin Fetchit. Butler also starred in The Royale, a play based on the life of the world’s first African American heavyweight champ and Ali’s biggest inspiration, Jack Johnson. Internationally, Butler toured in France with the World Premiere of FORE!, a new play written by the 2018 Obie Award-winner, Aleshea Harris, and performed in a musical drama that he co-created in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Other credits include: Gem of the Ocean (South Coast Rep), Sense and Sensibility (South Coast Rep), Hecuba (Stella Adler Theater), and Cotton Patch Gospel (American Coast Theater). He is a Graduate of MFA Acting Program at the California Institute of the Arts. 

TERRA STRONG LYONS – (Annie Culver) is an actor, singer and dancer. She started her career in entertainment at the illustrious School for Creative and Performing Arts high school in Cincinnati, Ohio. Since the age of 13 she has worked in professional regional and national theatre, mostly musical theatre. Some of her credits include ‘Timoune’ in Once of this Island, Lutiebelle in Ossie Davis’ Broadway Musical Purlie, Fats Waller’s Aint Misbehavin’, High School Musical and Hairspray. Upon high school graduation, Terra moved to Nashville, Tennessee where she joined the world-renowned Jimmy Church Showband and traveled internationally as a headline singer and dancer for 5 years. Terra is also a film actress. This year, she received a nomination for Best Guest Actress in a Drama Series, her first film nomination since moving to Los Angeles 3 years ago, in the 8x Emmy Nominated web series Conversations in LA. This year Terra also starred in the feature film Zoombies 2 as the lead villain ‘Jezel’. Both titles available now on Amazon Prime.

 CARY THOMPSON – (Frank Bolden, Clem Thompson)

CARY THOMPSON (Frank Bolden, Clem Thompson) Originally from Chickasha, Oklahoma is  thrilled to work with Carole Eglash again,and with Michael Arabian and such a wonderful cast on a work that needs to be broadcast world wide.”If we don’t remember history we are doomed to repeat it”. Cary is a memeber of The Odyssey’s Koan Group,and The Michael Chekhov Theater Company. Thanks to all for their hard work and dedication. “Laissez lez bons temps rouler”!

 JOE COFFEY* – (Charlie Simpson, J. Edgar Hoover) Scottish audiences just saw Joe in the original play titled These Streets at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this past August.  Recent film credits include East of Middle West, Dark Arrows and Guest of Honor.  Commercially, Joe has been one of the faces of the Dodge car company for the past 5 years portraying 1920s Detroit auto-founder, Horace Dodge.  He is represented by Eileen O’Farrell Management, 90210 Talent and Abrams Artists Agency.  For more on Joe, please visit  soli Deo gloria.  

 JAMAL HENDERSON – (Joe Bibb, Chris Thompson) is new to the theater world,  with his introduction coming during the Hollywood Fringe Festival,  where he originated his role of Ricky Beats in and Encore award winning original play, No More Toys, written and directed by Pierce Minor. His on screen credits include his starring role as Davonte in the film South Central Love, currently traveling the festival circuit. He is also a writer and producer having produced his own short film, Past and Presence, co-produced a horror anthology web-series, Macabre, and a series of spoken word visual shorts, titled Things are Beautifully Bad. He always brings this quiet yet bold confidence to his work and when you see him on camera and on stage. You can find excerpts of his poetry across his social media platforms penned under the name “RHEN” and is currently working on turning his poetry into a book.

 JOHN APICELLA – (William “Biff” Trent) This is John’s fourth appearance on the Matrix stage (Strictly Dishonorable, Rough Crossing, Little Egypt). As a founding member of The Antaeus Company he appeared in The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Diana of Dobson’s, Hothouse, The Curse of Oedipus, You Can’t Take It With You, Mother Courage and her Children, Trial By Jury, The Truth Can’t Be Trusted, Patience, The Liar, The Man Who Had All the Luck, and The Wood Demon. On other U.S. stages: Hillary and Bill (Victory Gardens, Chicago), The Imaginary Invalid, Glengarry Glen Ross, The First Picture Show, (A.C.T. San Francisco), 36 Views (Laguna Playhouse), A Christmas Carol (Dallas Theater Center), Archy and Mehitabel: A Back Alley Opera (The Yard, Martha’s Vineyard), Temptation, The Wood Demon (The Mark Taper Forum), Sex Parasite, Largo Desolato (Taper, Too), The History Boys (Ahmanson), Durango (East West Players), Marathon Madness, Juno and the Paycock, White Marriage (Odyssey Theatre Ensemble), and many other other shows over the past 40 years in Los Angeles’ intimate theaters.  For film and tv, please see



CAROLE EGLASH-KOSOFF – (Playwright) lives and writes in Valley Village, California. The Double V is the historic follow up to her multi-award-winning production of When Jazz Had the Blues. She has also published five books and wrote and directed an award-winning short documentary, The Life & Art of David Labkovski. In 2006, following the deaths of her husband, mother, and brother in a single month, she traveled to South Africa to teach in the black townships and pen her first book, The Human Spirit – Apartheid’s Unheralded Heroes which was later produced as a play at the Odyssey Theatre garnering favorable reviews. Her second novel, When Stars Align, a historical fiction novel, dealt with the love of a mixed-race boy and a white girl in the turbulent era after the Civil War became her second play. Winds of Change, her third novel, continued that saga. Sex, Drugs, & Fashion, her next book, fictionalized the decades she spent working in the apparel industry. Her fifth book, By One Vote, is dramatized non-fiction, telling twelve true stories of events in American history, shaped by a single vote. Carole graduated from UCLA, has visited nearly seventy countries and oversees the A Better Way Scholarship Program that grants scholarships to graduating high school seniors.



Michael Arabian has directed (both in New York and Los Angeles) numerous world premieres, winning over 50 awards.  A Producer, Director, Writer, and Teacher, he also founded Theatre InSite at CBS Studios-Radford, forming a partnership with CBS to produce site-specific environmental theatre and develop shows for film and TV, utilizing their back lot and sound stages.

 Michael now runs InSite Productions, an independent company that develops and writes projects, at time collaborating with other writers and producers in Theatre, Film, and TV.

His production of Waiting For Godot at the Mark Taper Forum was honored with five Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards, including outstanding production and direction; was nominated for 10 Ovation awards, winning five, including best production and was cited as one of the ten most memorable productions of 2012 seen in either New York or L.A. by Los Angeles Times critic Charles McNulty, who called it a ”luminous revival.”

 In addition to the Mark Taper, he has directed at such theaters as the Roundabout in New York, the Getty Villa, San Diego Rep, Laguna Playhouse, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, Rogue Machine, Odyssey Theatre, the Hudson, the Actors Studio among others. He has taught many acting and directing programs, most notably at the USC Film School, USC School of Dramatic Arts, Howard Fine Studio, and the L.A. Film School.

 LEIGH FORTIER – (Producer)

Plays produced by Leigh have garnered numerous awards, including the recent Best Musical Production Ovation Award for “When Jazz Had The Blues”, over 20 LA Weekly Awards,  18  NAACP Awards (26 Nominations), three of five GLAAD Media Awards nominations for Best Play in one season (including award recipient Medea, the Musical). Highlights include multiple award winning plays The Talented Tenth directed by Oz Scott and starring Robert Guillaume at the Hudson Avenue Theatre, Up The Mountain by Kevin Arkadie (numerous production awards and LA Times 10 Best), and Kathy and Mo: The Dark Side starring Kathy Najimy and Mo Gaffney (co-produced with Jimmy Nederlander at the Henry Fonda Theatre). Along with Burn This (directed by Jessica Kubzansky at the Odyssey Theatre), The New Bozena (directed by Rainn Wilson), Walking the Blonde (presented by Kathy Bates and Sharon Gless), Snakebit by David Marshall Grant (nominated for GLAAD Media Award), and the World Premiere Pope Joan for Broadway producer Michael Butler (HAIR). Leigh produced and co-created the hit musical A Gay Christmas Carol (GLAAD Media Award nomination for Outstanding Production). Leigh also produced Room 105 (about Janis Joplin) starring Sophie B Hawkins, critically-acclaimed award-winning Serrano The Musical (directed by Joel Zwick with Book and Lyrics by Madeline Sunshine). Other recent critically -acclaimed productions include When Stars Align  (Odyssey theatre) and When Jazz Had the Blues (Matrix theatre), and Gruesome Playground Injuries at the Hudson Theatres. Leigh’s upcoming projects include “Nature is a Hanging Judge” ), and a web TV pilot “West Bollywood”.

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Ticket prices are $40 (VIP Reserved $50, Students $20 (groups of 8 or more email

Purchase tickets at

Phone Reservation line is: 323.960.7776

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