American Negro Playwright Theatre and Tennessee State University Produces "The Blacks: A Clown Show" by Jean Genet — ANPT , The Blacks — AAPEX

Friday, June 1, 2007

American Negro Playwright Theatre and Tennessee State University Produces "The Blacks: A Clown Show" by Jean Genet

by Jean Genet · Translated from the French by Bernard Frechtman
Directed by ANPT's Artistic Director Barry Scott. Nashville, TN

The Tennessee State University Department of Communications Summer Stock Theatre Program will present Jean Genet's daring and provocative work THE BLACKS: A Clown Show (translated from French by Bernard Frechtman). This production stars TSU theatre students along with noteworthy performers from the Nashville acting community. The artistic team includes set and lighting designs by TSU Technical Director Mark Collino, choreography by Patrick Moore and makeup and costume design by JK Hunter.

THE BLACKS: A Clown Show will be performed at the Tennessee State University Performing Arts Center Cox / Lewis Theater, from July 19 through July 29, 2007.


The Blacks: A Clown Show was written in 1958 at the request of a black actor. But Jean Genet, a white, French novelist and playwright, wrote the drama focusing on a troupe of black actors, who come together to perform a ritual that requires the corpse of a white woman. Originally written for an all-black cast, The Blacks offered a new voice to black theatre that heralded the blunt and confrontational tone of the Black Arts Theatre movement.

An absurdist play, The Blacks breaks with regular conventions of theatre production. "Genet has more stage directions than dialogue in this play," explains Scott. "It is not so much about what is being said and done as it is how it is being said, and how it is being done."

Directions are included in Genet's original notes from 1958: "This play, written, I repeat, by a white man, is intended for white audiences, but if, which is highly unlikely, it is ever performed before a black audience, then a white person, male or female, should be invited every evening . . . But what if no white person is present? Then let white masks be distributed to the black spectators as they enter the theatre. And if the blacks refuse the masks, then let a dummy be used.'"- Jean Genet.

About The American Negro Playwright Theatre. ANPT is a 503-C Non-Profit Organization that has as it main mission, "Telling Stories That Must Be Told". ANPT is the Professional Theatre in residence at Tennessee State University with Barry Scott as its Artistic Director. We appreciate your interest in ANPT and look forward to having a lengthy relationship with you.

The American Negro Playwright Theatre. Barry Scott, Artistic Director. 615-963-5742
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