Saturday, March 28, 2009

Residency with FreedomTrain...




Hey guess what!

I am a 2009 resident playwright with Freedomtrain Productions. In a nutshell Freedomtrain seeks the development of politically progressive Theater from a queer black perspective. I’m a big supporter of the Train. They’re a relatively young organization and are already making waves! This residency is a great opportunity.

There are a couple duties that come with the residency, so I’ll be sharing more in the coming months.

On the immediate horizon is the Spring Fire! event April 19. There will be a performance event showcasing the work of the entire 2009 resident playwright cohort, Ayanna Maia, Patricia Ione Lloyd and yours truly.

The evening concludes with a Benefit dance party. It should be a lot of fun.
Later
Derek

Thursday, March 12, 2009

How did we already get to the Ides of March



Julius Caesar + Malcolm X =
Blood, Politics, Heartbreak, etc. - the stuff of DRAMA.

Well I'm past due for an update, and there's a lot to share. So I'll be hammering out some posts over the next few days.

First off, in the world of shows, the last 45 days or so have kept me busy. I've been especially caught up at work, with the 75th Anniversary of the Apollo Theater.

But I've found some time to support some other shows going on.

The Classical Theatre of Harlem supports new works in its Future Classics Series, and the series presented a reading of Julius X, by Al Leston, Jr., and directed by Tracey Jack. The reading was presented at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

Julius X draws inspiration from two assassinations: Julius Caesar (as retold by Shakespeare) and Malcolm X. It's an interesting combination of source material, with a great pay off.

Leston's text evoked a blended world, mid-twentieth century Harlem inflected with the Shakespearean versions of Rome and Romans.

It's precisely the kind of work I would expect from the Classical Theatre of Harlem, and I'd really like to see a full production of it.

Julius X wasn't a musical, but music was a heavy element. There were sing-song moments of dialogue, full out song, and a musical narrator/side character. But the music, far from lightening the mood, added an element of gravitas. Rallying cries, political soliloquies, moments of resolution and uncertainty. Those were the moments when the music showed up, drums and vocals, and to great effect.

You can get more on the show's blog here.

Yep. I'd like to see this work on the stage. Congrats playwright, cast, director and the team at Classical Theatre of Harlem.

That's all I've got right now. Stay tuned for more though.