Monday, October 31, 2011
Sunday, October 30, 2011
So why can't I find a producer like that? Once Upon A Time In Harlem: A Jitterbug Romance is relevant, important and an extraordinary experience. For that matter, fellow playwrights, why can't you? Where are they, these producers who aren't in it for the money? How does one catch their eye?
I dunno. I can't even dig up a thousand bucks for my reading. If you approach the process like I do, a playwright who lives very far away from where people live who know how to produce expensive musicals, i.e, Broadway, and hardly knows anyone "in the biz," you throw everything at the wall and hope something sticks. Aside from lucking out having noted NYC director Petronia Paley wanting to do the "radio" reading of my play and Jaz Dorsey, founder of AAPEX, wanting to be the dramaturg, and landing the historical and pioneering National Black Theatre as the venue, nothing has stuck re funding. IndieGoGo reminds me as I type that I have less than 60 hours remaining on my $1,000 fundraising campaign with not a penny raised in 60-days. Without that money, we won't be able to give the actors a stipend or rent the space and pay for other items like a simple program.
So, the question is, what to do? Although I've been getting positive feedback from people who want to attend the reading, who find the storyline appealing and exciting, we're still left unfunded. Worth suggests that $25,000 should be the minimum investment for a Broadway show. Hey, I'm only looking for $1,000-- and a chance at getting in on the ground floor of the next big thing!
Anyway, here are three things the magazine suggests for potential investors looking to put their money in a Broadway show, good advice for any playwright who sees his or her work wowing audiences on the Great White Way:
First, your show should star an A-list celebrity. Yeah, good luck with that one at this point.
Secondly, it should have "pre-existing value, like Mamma Mia (popular songs) or Jersey Boys (ditto)." It does; it has songs from "The Great American Song Book."
Thirdly, get The New York Times' Ben Brantley to love it. "If you don't have a big star, you need The New York Times," says Erick Falkenstein, whose credits include Long Day's Journey into Night and The History Boys. "There's no other industry in the arts that I'm aware of where one critic has so much power."
Hey, Ben, have I told you how much I love your reviews? You're the best their is! So talented! So--
Okay, you get the idea. But I'm not really like that. I can't kiss up. It's not in my make-up. But if you can, more power to you because you gotta try whatever it takes to get your work seen-- even if it means embarrassing yourself and your family.
Finally, if any potential investors might be reading this, please note that Worth says, "Musicals tend to gross more than straight plays: $915.7 million versus $158.4 million in the 2010-2011 season, according to the industry group The Broadway League, due to higher ticket prices and greater popularity with tourists."
Although Once Upon A Time In Harlem: A Jitterbug Romance isn't a musical per se-- it doesn't use original songs to help tell the story-- it fits that requirement since its loaded with music and dance numbers that will have people talking for years to come. Even Ben Brantley, the world's greatest theatre critic, should love it.
Care to know more about the "radio" reading of my play, please click the post's title.
Friday, October 28, 2011
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
To visit the theatre website, please click the post's title.
Monday, October 24, 2011
eta continues its season of plays that look at themes of rebuilding of family and community with “Broke-Ology” by Nathan Louis Jackson. Opening on the Mainstage Thursday, November 3rd, performances are 8 pm Thurs – Sat; 3 pm Sundays. It runs through December 18, 2011. General admission is $30 with special student, senior and group rates. Thursdays at 8 pm are $20 throughout the year and the Opening Night Special is only $10. All performances take place at eta Square, 7558 S. South Chicago Avenue. For more information call 773.752.3955 or click the post's title.
Last week before the show, I met Nellie, a woman who said after all these years she is finally going to see this play that she had heard about for so long (11 years) and had been attempting to see. Anyway as the play was about to end, I turned to her to say my last line and saw she had a tear rolling down her face. Nellie is Thelonious Monk's widow.
Tonight is my final performance at the MOLDY FIG JAZZ CLUB where I get the opportunity to be Thelonious Sphere Monk once more in Laurence Holder's Audelco Award winning play, MONK, with music composed by Bill Lee. I hope you can be there so that we can share tears of joy together enjoying the life and times of an American Genius of JAZZ, THELONIOUS SPHERE MONK.....
For information: 718-288-8048 or romekyn@earthlink. net
Complimentary Banana Puddin' & Jam Sessions follows the play....
MOLDY FIG JAZZ CLUB
178 Stanton Street, Lower Eastside, NYC
Monday, October 24, 2011@7:30 pm
5299 W. WASHINGTON BLVD
LOS ANGELES CA
A staged reading, open to the public for your listening
GREG STAMPS - Jesse Raudales
GISELE BOLDER - Lyn Ross
MACHEN - Chazz Carter
KIANA - Elle Johnson
FREDNA - Kimberly Bailey
JO ANN - Vida Vasaitis
PAULETTE HARRIS - Rhonda Morman
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Durham, NC - On Saturday, October 22nd, Sharon Ewell Foster, acclaimed author of the new fact-based novel, The Resurrection of Nat Turner, Part One: The Witnesses (Howard/Simon & Schuster), takes her
Nat Turner Truth Tour to the Langston Hughes Community Library and Cultural Center of Queens Library in New York City.
Foster's recent trip to Los Angeles, which included book signings at bookstores and churches, created a tremendous buzz within the Hollywood film community about taking the real Nat Turner story to the big screen.
Next stop on the Nat Turner Truth Tour is East Coast media Mecca-NYC, Spike Lee and other movie, TV and theatre moguls' territory, in hopes of contacting important figures and extending the buzz from coast-to-coast.
Foster's novel challenges the accepted history of Nat Turner, one of America's most notorious historical figures. In 1831, he led what has been considered the most successful slave revolt in US history that left more than 50 whites dead.As the 180th anniversary of his hanging approaches (11-11-11), she feels the world is ready for a new perspective on Nat Turner. Part Two: The Testimony releases February 2, 2012.
"The image of Turner we have been bequeathed is one of a religious fanatic, a lunatic who attacked without cause," says Foster. "Perhaps, he was like Nathan Hale, a man seeking liberty, a man protecting his family and community. I think we are mature enough to look at our complete history, knowing the beauty of it is also in the terror of it."
Foster's five years of research included interviewing descendants of those killed, as well as Turner's family, review of Governor John Floyd's original diary, analysis of trial transcripts and related documents. She uncovered proof that discredits the primary historical document on Nat Turner, The Confessions of Nat Turner, written in 1831 by Thomas Gray, who purported to be Turner's attorney.
The original trial transcripts reveal: (1) Nat Turner did NOT confess; (2) Nat Turner pled "innocent;" and (3) Thomas Gray was NOT Nat Turner's lawyer.
"Langston Hughes, the most well-known of the Harlem Renaissance writers, now gets to hear the truth about Nat Turner from an African-American author. It's truly an American story-one man's fight for liberty, a community's fight for freedom." says Foster.
The Los Angeles leg of the Nat Turner Truth Tour was featured in an article on Indiewire.com, Another Possible Slave Revolt Film, This Time with Nat Turner. The article propelled the buzz in the Hollywood.
Additional press includes articles written by Ms. Foster published in TheRoot.com, The Truth About Nat Turner; and EbonyJet.com, Moonshine and Lies: The Truth About Nat Turner. Her book was also featured at this year's 41st Annual Congressional Black Caucus Conference in Washington, DC. Radio interviews included: NPR, Michael Eric Dyson Show, Bev Smith Show and Joe Madison Show. During the Michael Eric Dyson interview, he said to his listeners, "She's blowing our minds."
Publishers Weekly reviewed Part One as "fast-paced, " "riveting," and "expertly told." Foster describes it as "Roots meets The Da Vinci Code." The book is available wherever books, eBooks, and audio books are sold.
To visit the author's website, please click the post's title.
Friday, October 21, 2011
Elliot Robinson is currently onstage in the title role of WILLY WONKA with Circle Players (www.circleplayers.net)
People have been asking me, “So, is your Willy Wonka more like Gene Wilder or Johnny Depp?” I’ve never seen the movie with Johnny Depp, and though I remember Gene Wilder’s version, I would never try to do anything to imitate his Wonka. I make it a very strict point that when I’m working on a role, I NEVER watch anything that might influence my preparation for my character. It’s funny, too, how often I have to actively avoid a story on TV because I’m working on a role. I just don’t want to risk even the slightest temptation to copy what somebody else did. I want to become thecharacter; not another actor who has portrayed the character. So, instead of watching Gene Wilder, my research was reading Roald Dahl’s original novel, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The most special thing about the role is the fun I get to have experimenting with Wonka’s sudden mood swings, the almost schizophrenic nature of the character. I think the play contains a set of very strong, still relevant morals, brilliantly delivered by the Oompa-Loompas: don’t eat too much; don’t chew gum all the time; don’t watch to much TV; and, for parents, don’t spoil your children rotten. It’s a really fun show for young and old folks alike, but the poignancy of the messages it delivers transcends generations.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
DR. HENRY D. MILLER
Director / Playwright
12 Noon – 1:00 PM
Dr. Henry D. Miller’s book, Theorizing Black Theatre: Art Versus Protest in Critical Writings, 1898-1965, is his latest literary work. His collection of one-act plays, Songs of the One-Act Muse, and his full-length play, My Brother’s Keeper have been published by the Alexander Street Press and made available on CD Rom as part of the Black Drama Anthology. Miller is a veteran of the 1960s and 1970s black theatre movement. A director and playwright, he has written broadly about American theatre. The rich history of African-American theatre has often been overlooked, both in theoretical discourse and in practice. This volume seeks a critical engagement with black theatre artists and theorists of the twentieth century. It reveals a comprehensive view of the Art or Propaganda debate that dominated twentieth century African-American dramatic theory. Among others, this text addresses the writings of Langston Hughes, W.E.B. DuBois, Lorraine Hansberry, Amiri Baraka, Sidney Poitier, and August Wilson. Of particular note is the manner in which black theory collides or intersects with canonical theorists, including Aristotle, Keats, Ibsen, Nietzsche, Shaw, and O'Neill. All-day parking ($11) and short-term parking (payable at pay stations) are available in Lots 2, 3 and 4 (enter the campus at Hilgard and Westholme avenues). For more information, call 310-206-8267 or click the post's title for more information.
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Need African American writers (Hollywood)
Date: 2011-10-15, 9:18PM PDT
Reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org [Errors when replying to ads?]
- Location: Hollywood
- it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
- Compensation: no pay
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Saturday, October 8, 2011
DC Copeland's ONCE UPON A TIME IN HARLEM: A JITTERBUG ROMANCE will premiere at the National Black Theatre
Friday, October 7, 2011
Come to Nashville & Go to the Theatre!
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Participating artists have been able to attend workshops from other artists successful in their fields at the festival. Artlightenment was started in 2009 as a visual Arts Festival featuring paintings and sculptures. The idea has always been to elevate the artist and make them more successful as artists through participation in this event.
Please click post's title to visit Artligtenment website.
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
The 486 Club- A New Theatre Initiative at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture (Pittsburgh)
Monday, October 3, 2011
I'm pleased to announce that playwright Dr. Mary E. Weems has won our first Very Short Halloween Play Contest. By "Very Short," I mean a one-pager or less. You can read it below. Thanks to all who entered.
Mary E.Weems, Ph.D.
Grim Reaper: Young Black male, 13 years old
Jamie: Young Black male, 13 years old
(Setting: Inner City Street. Halloween Night—Today)
(Young man walks out slowly wearing a long sheet w/holes cut out for eyes and mouth).
Jamie: Whoooooooo!!!!! Whooooooooo!!!!! Boooooooooo!!!!!!! (Notices audience).
This is my favorite time-a year, just before it gets cold, before report cards come out, before baby sister gets home from her daddy’s house.
(Grim Reaper runs across stage behind Jamie screaming. Jamie jumps, runs almost to edge of stage).
Jamie: What the—Oh Huh, bet you thought that scared me hunh? Hell naw—I just turned thirteen and mama said I’m a young man now. We did this ritual where she told me the story of my great-great grandfather—how he was a slave long time ago but didn’t last long cause the first time he was sent off the Plantation he was stopped by some stranger white folks lookin’ for a runaway slave. They tried to get him to tell on his friend Joe who was tryin’ to come what mama calls up North, but my great-great wouldn’t even give his own name. Joe heard everything cause they’d just been walkin’ together. He cried while he watched them beat my great-great grandfather senseless. Watched them drag him away. After that he run off but stopped long enough to tell another slave what happened. Mama said nobody saw her great-grandfather any more—It was Halloween that night too, mama said a full moon was out. Next morning great grandman swore until she died that she saw that old straw hat he used to wear layin’ on the ground in front of the big house door.
(Reaper walks across the stage carrying the hat in front of him while the boy turns)
Jamie: Hey! Wait a minute! Whose hat is that, wait!
Reaper; What do you want? It’s Halloween, I’m workin’ here—you know the scare business is big around here and it’s almost midnight—
Jamie: What you doin’ in this neighborhood?
Reaper: What you mean? Didn’t I just tell you I’m in the scare business? What are you doin’ dressed like a homeless ghost? Hmmmmm?
Jamie: Is that supposed to be funny?
Reaper: Nooooooooooooooooooooooo!!! (Shakes his shaft) It’s not, I’m not into comedy.
Jamie: And I’m not into costumes—Long time ago I went out on a night just like this. Mama thought I was going out with my friends Kenny, Johnny and Billy. They lived right down this street. When I went by their house they were already gone. It was raining hard that night, but I saw them a few blocks ahead on the other side of the street. I started to run. I hollered hey ya’ll wait up—and
Jamie: I slipped on the street, got ran over by a taxicab.
Reaper: What you mean?
(Stage goes to Black)
(Spotlight. Straw hat sits upstage center)