ALIVE! is a celebration of a generation in song featuring a full company of performers who are age 55 and over.
Conceived and written by Vy Higginsen and Ken Wydro (the creators of MAMA, I WANT TO SING), and directed by Mr. Wydro, ALIVE! is about healing and the transformative power of story and song. The cast is comprised of everyday people ages 55 and over, from all walks of life, representing everything from hard working mothers to an ordained minister. ALIVE! features a unique blend of gospel, jazz, R&B and pop music – songs that served as a soundtrack. for this generation. Through the music and through authentic stories and testimonies, ALIVE! tells how it used to be and how life could be going forward. Proving that it’s never too late to live a dream, this cast is ALIVE! and Kickin'.
Vy Higginsen is an award-winning author, publisher, playwright, and media personality. Vy is the first female advertising executive at Ebony magazine and went on to become a contributing editor for Essence. She created her own magazine, the African-American lifestyles publication Unique NY and served as its publisher and editor. Vy also spent a decade behind the microphone at major New York radio stations, including WBLS-FM, WWRL-AM, and WRKS-FM. On camera, she has been a contributing reporter for WNBC-TV (including the long-running "Positively Black" segment) and The Metro Channel. In 1983, Vy co-wrote, produced and directed the classic gospel musical, MAMA, I WANT TO SING. Vy also conceived and produced SING! MAMA 2, and BORN TO SING: MAMA 3. In March 1988, Vy co-produced JOE TURNER'S COME AND GONE by August Wilson on Broadway. www.vyhigginsen.com
Ken Wydro is a published author, producer, playwright, and seasoned professional speaker. Ken has an undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Rochester and a Master's Degree in Theater from University of California, Berkeley. His published works include Think on Your Feet and Flying Solo: The Art of Living Single. Wydro also co-wrote, produced and directed the long-running gospel theatrical, MAMA, I WANT TO SING. Wydro is also an active Broadway producer with credits including THE MOUNTAINTOP, EVITA, THE BEST MAN, AMERICAN BUFFALO, and JOE TURNER'S COME AND GONE. He is also the author of two original plays: SECRETS: THE UNTOLD STORY OF SIGMUND FREUD AND CARL JUNG, and VICE VERSA. www.kenwydro.com
Mama Foundation for the Arts
Founded by Vy Higginsen in 1998, Mama Foundation for the Arts has been internationally acclaimed for rebuilding Harlem as an artistic cultural center featuring entertainment and arts education.
The Foundation’s mission is to present, preserve, and promote the history and fundamentals of gospel, jazz, and rhythm and blues music for current and future generations. The Foundation has established a cultural space in Harlem where youth and adults have access to quality training and employment as performing artists.
The Foundation was inspired by the worldwide success of our award-winning musical, MAMA, I WANT TO SING. A combination of arts education, public workshops, and live events contribute to Harlem's resurgence as an artistic and cultural destination. www.mamafoundation.org