Bravo Media looks to bridge our country’s divide in “Welcome to Waverly,”a new four-part event series premiering every night at 10PM ET/PT from Monday, October 22 – Thursday, October 25. Taking place in Waverly, Kansas, where the population is 563, the new docu-series breaks down what happens when big city sensibility meets small town values. A diverse group of seven professionals from major metropolitan areas will be paired up to work alongside a local counterpart in their respective industries for six weeks. Will preconceived notions be turned upside down? Will their differences prove impossible to overcome? Who will learn from whom?
More and more of the country is portrayed as a nation divided: big cities vs. small towns, diverse demographics vs. rural and white. “Welcome to Waverly” sets out to break down these divisions and see what happens when people from different races, religions, sexual and gender orientations live and work together in a small town. Enter Waverly, Kansas, where the landscape hasn’t changed much in the last 120 years, with a mayor who has held office for the past 16 years and ran unopposed in the last election, 99% of the residents are white, and nearly all identify as heterosexual. How will the town respond when they are introduced to the seven incomers which includes a gay pastry chef, an African-American chef, a liberal mixologist, a registered Republican who’s nervous about telling the group, and a 24-year-old Muslim politician? How will this eclectic crew react to the citizens of Waverly? With clashing values and personality differences, there is sure to be drama and conflict as well as stereotype-busting comedy, compassion, and some newly found common ground.
MEET THE INCOMERS:
Real Estate Broker – Miami, FL
Andrew sells high-end luxury homes in Miami and describes himself as socially outgoing. He grew up in a very diverse family being raised Jewish, with an African-American stepfather and brothers, and a sister who lives in Maine with her fiancé Emily. When it comes to speaking his mind, Andrew says “the truth hurts but the measure of a good friend is someone who tells it anyways.” He doesn’t think he’ll be uncomfortable in rural America and plans to go into this with an open mind hoping to walk away with a new understanding. He’s interested in seeing how lesser developed brokerages operate and he’d like to help them on a larger scale.
ANN MARIE STEFANEY
Pastry Chef – Charlotte, NC
Ann Marie was an Army brat born in Germany, yet she doesn’t feel she gained a unique world view from all the traveling she did as a military kid. She is gay and proud of her gold star status. Single and consumed with her job – she reads cookbooks in her spare time. What excites her about this project is the different beliefs, standards and cultures that will be together in close quarters. Ann Marie considers herself someone that is able to “break bread” with people who don’t agree with her lifestyle choices.
Politician and Activist – Minneapolis, MN
Aswar is a Muslim American, born in Bangladesh. He came to America when he was a young boy with his mother and sister to start a new life. Always drawn towards people and how different we can be from one another, the 24-year-old has run for Mayor of Minneapolis, worked with the police department, and volunteers with various community programs. Aswar is a politician at heart, and wants to go to Kansas to “change people’s views on brown skinned people.”
Personal Chef – Chicago IL
Born and raised in Chicago, Lamar was introduced to culinary arts through his grandmother who was and still is a huge influence in his career. He has since worked his way from line cook to one of the most talked about chefs in his area, and routinely gives back to the community helping teach kids to cook as a way in life. Lamar considers himself a Christian, having grown under his mother’s teachings through the church. He’s curious to see how other people live and appreciate a different form of America. “Food is a universal cure for a lot of issues. It allows you to take yourself away for a moment from all the seriousness, have a seat at the table and eat.”
Bartender – Brooklyn, NY
Born in South Jersey and raised by a single mother, Melissa grew up with three gay brothers and considers gay rights a personal and civil rights issue. She currently lives in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Before it closed down, Melissa worked at a bar that was a hot spot for political activism, conversation and discourse. She prefers dive bars to upscale bars because she likes to be able to talk and interact with her the patrons on a personal level. Her true goal in life is to develop human connections with everyone she meets through laughter, and maybe even some swearing. Although part of her family is from Wisconsin, she’s never spent any real time in the Midwest and is looking forward to forging connections with her new town, regardless of political affiliations or even despite them.
Nail Artist – Savannah, GA
Married and a mother to one son, Trenice joined the military at 21-years-old as a combat medic. Getting through boot camp basic training was the hardest thing she’s ever done, especially for a self-described girly-girl. Trenice is a proud gun owner and feels like Americans should be able to protect themselves. When it comes to nails, designing is her passion and she says, “I could put a spinner on someone’s nail if I wanted.” She wants to do this because she is eager to meet people dealing with different struggles.
Hair Stylist – Los Angeles, CA
A self-described “Barbie Boy” since birth, Zachary has always had a knack for beauty. Raised under an Arabic father who initially struggled with his son’s sexuality and a tier of strong women encouraging him, he set his sights on New York City. After moving to New York at 18-years old with his father’s acceptance, Zachary got a job at the Warren Tricomi salon in the Plaza Hotel where he honed his craft. He has since styled hair for the MTV Video Music Awards, Oscars, Emmys, New York Fashion Week and on TV shows such as Project Runway. He’s in this for the experience and to learn the truth about the small towns he knows nothing about.
“Welcome to Waverly” is produced by Our House Media with Simon Lloyd, Matt Hanna, Joe Houlihan, Paul Storck and Jen Morton serving as Executive Producers.
About Bravo Media:
Bravo Media is the premier lifestyle and entertainment brand that drives cultural conversation around its high-quality, interactive original content across all platforms. The network has a diverse slate of original programming that includes scripted series “Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce” and the recently announced anthology series “Dirty John,” along with unscripted favorites such as Emmy Award-winning “Top Chef,” “Vanderpump Rules,” “Below Deck,” “Southern Charm,” and the popular “Million Dollar Listing” and “The Real Housewives” franchises. Bravo also boasts the only live late-night talk show on television with the critically acclaimed “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen,” which has become a nightly destination for A-list celebrities. Available in 87 million homes, Bravo is a program service of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, a division of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Watch Bravo anywhere: on demand, online, or across mobile and connected TVs. Bravo has been an NBCUniversal cable network since December 2002 and first launched in December 1980.