Benefit Play for Breast Cancer Returns to the Valley This October

11 Sep
stage west at the herberger theater

Stage West-Herberger

Inquiries and Press Credentials: Contact LaTricia Woods, (480) 374-1908

New Production Features Hollywood Actress in a New Venue

Life-in-the-Cancer-LanePhoenix, Ariz. – September 10, 2014 – Back by popular demand, “Life in the Cancer Lane,” will be staged as a fundraiser during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  The hit play, written by the late Barbra Watson-Riley, has returned for its second run, and this year, award-winning actress Valarie Pettiford (“Stomp the Yard,” “Why Did I Get Married Too,” and “Half & Half”) has been added to the cast. A matinee and evening performance will take place at the Herberger Theater Center-Stage West on Saturday, Oct. 18, at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. 

“Life in the Cancer Lane” begins when women first hear the words “breast cancer.” With honesty, heart, a variety of emotion and humor, this story is told from real-life accounts of survivors and their caregivers, examining life after diagnosis and what happens when these women are thrown head first into the Cancer Lane. Whether it is the effects of chemotherapy or loss of hair… and friends, the play examines the twists, turns and bumps in the road along the breast cancer journey.

Rounding out the cast are local actors Larissa Brewington, Ashley Hare, Dzifa Kwawu, Yolanda London, Erika Moore, and Dineta Williams-Trigg with the role of announcer played by Marion K. Kelly (Mayo Clinic and Coalition of Blacks against Breast Cancer). The play is directed by Crystal Houston and Carla Waddles, produced by Tonya M. Evans, Esq., and co-produced by Lori Hall Armstrong.

All proceeds of the production will benefit Pinkwellchick® Foundation, Inc. (PWCF), a 501(c)(3) organization and will be used to benefit survivors and their families. The Herberger Theater Center is a major sponsor of the production and is joined by a host of corporate and individual sponsors, including Platinum Sponsors, the Watson Family and Leslie M. Gray.

Ticket sales are moving rapidly and both performances are expected to sell out quickly, as they did last year. Tickets are available at, through the Herberger Theater Center box office at (602) 252-8497 or online at:

About the Playwright, Barbra Watson-Riley

Sharing my story with Coalition of Blacks Against Breast Cancer!

“Life in the Cancer Lane” is a powerful production written by Phoenix playwright and activist Barbra Watson-Riley in the midst of her own battle with breast cancer. Watson-Riley was diagnosed in September 2011 with advanced stage 3 breast cancer. Her treatment included chemotherapy, a double mastectomy and radiation. Six months after completing treatment, she was diagnosed with metastatic cancer of the lung. Barbra’s valiant fight came to an end on Nov. 7, 2013. Even after her death, Barbra’s story endures; informing and impacting the lives of anyone who has ever been touched by the disease. Her work and spirit is carried on by her husband, Brendon, 12-year-old daughter Blayre, her parents Dr. and Mrs. Bernard Watson, Sr. and her brother, Bernard Jr.

About Pinkwellchick Foundation, Inc.

Through fundraising efforts, events, products (including Barb’s Bag™ of Care & Comfort for chemotherapy patients), productions of “Life in the Cancer Lane” and financial support of other organizations, allies and partners, PWCF will:

  • raise awareness of breast cancer and heart disease,
  • support breast cancer and heart disease research,
  • work for better detection, diagnosis and cures for breast cancer and heart disease, and
  • support those diagnosed with breast cancer and heart disease and their families.

For more information about Pinkwellchick Foundation, Inc., please visit

About Valarie Pettiford

Credit: Hareth Tayem

Credit: Hareth Tayem

Valarie has worked with some of the biggest names in entertainment, but is still a humble girl from Queens. Her theatre credits read like a very prestigious shopping list with numerous accolades for the execution of her craft. Valarie was a member of the original casts of “Sophisticated Ladies,” understudying Judith Jamison, and “Fosse,” for which she was recognized by the Drama League and nominated for Outer Critics Circle, Dora Mavor Moore and Tony Awards. On screen, Valarie has appeared in “The Wiz,” “The Cotton Club,” “Glitter,” “Stomp the Yard,” “Why Did I Get Married Too,” the short film musical “Not Your Time,” the award-winning short film “Response,” and Sony Pictures’ “Jumping the Broom.” Her role as Big Dee Dee Thorne on the hit sitcom “Half and Half” earned her three NAACP Image Award nominations.

Valarie plays the recurring role of Sandra Lucas on Tyler Perry’s “House of Payne.” Other notable television appearances include guest starring roles on “Criminal Minds,” “CSI,” “CSI: Miami,” “The District,” “The West Wing,” “Frasier,” “One Life to Live,” “Bones,” “The Cape” and “The Finder.” She was most recently a recurring guest star on the hit HBO series, “Treme.” Valarie will next be seen in a recurring role on CBS’s new series, “Golden Boy,” as Chi McBride’s wife.

2 Responses to “Benefit Play for Breast Cancer Returns to the Valley This October”

  1. Vivian Register October 5, 2014 at 5:08 PM #


    Brendon, I just found you & your foundation. I’ve signed up to receive the newsletters.

    Recently, I found CBBC organization & will be attending my 1st meeting on the 19th, I’m excited. I will be doing my 1st walk for the cure on 10/12. I was diagnosed with B/C in May of this year & in July I underwent a bilateral mastectomy.

    I would love to attend your event honoring your wife Barbra on the 18th, however I have no income at the present time & I am asking if your organization would sponsor me. I just need one ticket please.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    • TME October 5, 2014 at 5:16 PM #


      On behalf of Brendon and the PWCF Board of Directors, I wish you strength and courage on your journey and will follow up directly to give you information for a complimentary ticket for you and a guest so you can attend! We are looking forward to seeing you and connecting with other survivors who may be in the same situation. A number of sponsors have donated tickets so we give first priority to survivors and their families.

      Be encouraged!
      Tonya Evans, Chair
      Pinkwellchick Foundation, Inc.

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