Published on March 27th, 2019 | by Jerry Doby0
Billie: This Ain’t No Billie Jean King Story, Legendary Rapper YoYo Headlines Stage Play About Sexual Abuse
Since news broke of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment and misconduct of high-profiled actresses in Hollywood, the floodgates have opened wide with women speaking out nationwide with a sense of reckoning. The #MeToo and Time’s Up revolution have given women a reason to speak up and speak out. Pink Guerilla Entertainment is happy to announce that legendary hip hop artist/actress Yolanda “YoYo” Whitaker will headline the stage play, “Billie: This Ain’t No Billie Jean King Story.” The stage play will run at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, April 12-13, 2019 at the Barnsdall Gallery Theater, located at 4800 Hollywood Blvd. in Los Angeles.
YoYo is a Grammy-nominated rapper and actress best known for classic rap hits as “Can’t Play With My Yo-Yo,” “The Bonnie & Clyde Theme” with Ice Cube and “I Wanna Be Down” with Brandy, Queen Latifah and MC Lyte. As an actress, she’s appeared in such cult classics as “Boyz in the Hood” and “Menace II Society. ” Her television credits include “The Breaks,” “The Jamie Foxx Show,” “Martin” and “New York Undercover.” A feminist and community crusader, YoYo is working to empower young people with her youth program, called YoYo’s School of Hip-Hop. She runs her youth program in both Los Angeles and Highland Park, Michigan. The mission of YoYo’s School of Hip-Hop is to help educate youths within the community about dance, music, and learning how to compose and perform powerful messages in rap music.
Billie King, a survivor of sexual abuse, is silent no more. A writer, director, playwright and author, it took the Compton, Calif. native more than 20 years to come to grips with the shame, pain, and guilt of abuse to finally tell her harrowing story in a 210-page, tell all, self-published autobiography, “Billie: This Ain’t No Billie Jean King Story.” As a follow up, King staged a theatrical production to sold-out crowds and encore performances in 2016.
Now, with the revolution of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements in full swing, it’s only fitting that King joins the conversation and shares her story with a new audience, After all, it’s her artistic pursuits that got her out of South Central. She rose from a broken family and a tragic life to become an award-winning writer and director.
Gritty. Compelling. Raw.
“I am a survivor,” said King, executive producer of “Billie: This Ain’t No Billie Jean King Story.” “I am so grateful for the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements that is putting a spotlight on the prevalence of sexual abuse and assault around the world. Survivors like me can finally come out of the shadows of shame and face their abusers, which hopefully, will lead to a path of healing.” She added, “I hope through my art, I’m providing a safe space for men and women to reclaim their lives, guilt free.”
Interestingly, King’s name – which is an homage to her father’s name — led many to jokingly ask the obvious question; but, there’s no relation to her and the legendary tennis player, Billie Jean King. Hence, the in-your-face title of the book and stage play. And although both Kings come from two different worlds, both women have something in common: a struggled to keep their secret safe and yet, a perseverance to prevail against the odds.
Along with YoYo, familiar names joining the cast of “Billie: This Ain’t No Billie Jean King Story” include DJ Rogers Jr., a talented songwriter who has penned platinum hits for some of the most iconic artists and producers in the music industry, including Sean “Puffy” Combs, The Notorious B.I.G., Faith Evans, Stevie J., and Kelly Price – just to name a few. In 2015, Rogers was nominated for the Soul Train Music Ashford and Simpson Songwriter’s Award for the Grammy-nominated song, “Shame.” Performed by Tyrese off his sixth studio album, “Black Rose,” the single hit #1 on the Billboard Adult R & B Songs chart. As an actor, he’s starred in the popular David E. Talbert’s play, “He Say She Say … But What Does God Say” and recently appeared in Carl Weber’s “The Family Business,” on BET.
Also, actresses Rahvaunia (“For the People,” “Criminal Minds” and “Mistresses,”) and Alijah Kai, the daughter of popular actress Tichina Arnold, rounds out the cast. Kai is making her theatrical debut in “Billie: This Ain’t No Billie Jean King Story.”
Tickets are $30. For ticket information about “Billie: This Ain’t No Billie Jean King Story,” visit www.BillieThePlay.com.
On Eventbrite, visit www.billietheplay.eventbrite.com