AAPEX Interview: Calvin Ramsey and THE GREEN BOOK — AAPEX Interview , Calvin Ramsey — AAPEX

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

AAPEX Interview: Calvin Ramsey and THE GREEN BOOK

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For me, AAPEX (The African American Playwrights Exchange) has been a history lesson rooted deep in what historical philosophers call "revisionism." Since founding this network on January 1, 2007, I have been completely reeducated in American history by playwrights and the research they have done to bring the world a greater knowledge of the African American contribution to literature, journalism, business and the arts. From Phillis Wheatley to Hannah Elias to Madam C J Walker & Ida B. Wells to Amelita Boynton Robinson to Paul Robeson and Billie Holiday, I have found a new country.

The newest discovery to come on my radar - thanks to Atlanta Playwright
CALVIN RAMSEY - is an amazing publication that dates from 1936- 1964 - The Negro Motorists Green Book - a guidebook for safe and comfortable traveling during the era of segregation.

If you google
The Green Book, the first entry you will find is a facsimile of the 1949 edition.

If you keep on checking out entries, you will find again and again references to Ramsey and his play - THE GREEN BOOK - including a NY Times article about the staged reading of the play at Washington, D. C.'s Lincoln Theatre a couple of years back.

And if you can make it to
Atlanta on August 17th, you can join the gala audience when THE GREEN BOOK  opens at Atlanta's Theatrical Outfit.

I asked Mr. Ramsey to tell us something about himself and the journey to his play. This is what he had to say:

"My oldest brother was very involved in musical theatre and exposed me at an early age about the magic of theatre and the arts.

I always wanted to write from the age of six.   I knew that one day that I would write.

I have lived in California, Martha's Vineyard,  NYC, St. Croix and St.John of the Virgin Islands and now Atlanta. I was born in Baltimore Maryland and reared in Roxboro North Carolina. I had a rural and and urban upbringing spending nine years in both places. As I traveled, I observed and read a lot  - as Langston Hughes wrote, I wondered and wandered. My travels and different jobs helped season me as a writer. I drove cabs, bartended, bell hopped, farmed, sold advertising and insurance and painted houses.
The Green Book came into my life through little Tony,  a son of two of my friends who died in a traffic accident.  Little Tony's grandfather came down from NYC to attend the funeral and this was his first time in the deep south. He mentioned that he was looking for a Green Book.  I ASKED HIM WHAT WAS A GREEN BOOK AND FROM THERE I WAS ON MY WAY WITH MY RESEARCH. I dedicated my children's book "Ruth and the Green Book" to Little Tony and his family.
Atlanta as a theatre town has been very good to me; everyone's experience is different. I think its a good town for developing new work but a bit of a challenge of getting new work mounted."

Don't miss Calvin Ramsey's THE GREEN BOOK 

The Theatrical Outfit.
Please click the post's title to visit the website.

Come to Atlanta and Go to the Theatre!

Jaz Dorsey
The African American Playwrights Exchange


1 comment:

  1. Tickets for the Green Book are now on sale. Order online https://www.choicesecure03.net/mainapp/eventschedule.aspx?Clientid=TheatricalOutfit

    OR over the phone 678.528.1500. Shows are already selling out.