Express Yourself

You know you wanna come! Join us at the A La Carte; Carrot Cake Edition! And have your cake and eat it too!
Monday, April 27, 2009
The Digital Youth Network
1050 E 47th Street
6:30-8:30 p.m.
$3 donation

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  1. First off I’d like to Thank Sydney for inviting me to one of the most intellectually and spiritually stimulating nights I’ve had in years. What a collection of soulful artists and brawny brainpower you put together, I plan on making every event you schedule from now on.

    The question “Should White Directors stage Black plays ?” is a provocative one with no easy and pat answer. The final answer is “Yes” but, as last night revealed, with caveats that belie the simplistic notion that we are indeed a post racial America.

    One sister last night spoke eloquently on the sense that Wilson’s plays are a Black artistic treasure, one that Black folks would like to keep for themselves for awhile before having “them” take him away. And there was a general consensus that Wilson’s plays were a ticket to the big time, one long denied Black Directors with respect to the canon.

    Derrick Sanders made a devastating point with respect to Mr. Sher directing “Joe Turner”, the fact that Mr. Sher saw fit to study for a year to master Shakespeare but was content to “listen” to his actors in approaching August Wilson, how the vice versa of that couldn’t be a possible reality for a Black Director doing Shakespeare for the first time.

    An equally salient point was made by Ron Parson in that good Directors want to tell all kinds of stories, the key is to approach the material with respect. So while White Directors want to stage Wilson and Parks and Taylor Directors of color want to stage Ibsen, Shaw and Pinter, men want to stage Hellman and Nottage, women want to stage Mamet and LaBute and on and on.

    There are plenty of excellent Black plays I have no desire to tackle, they don’t speak to me as a Director. And there are numerous plays written by non-Black playwrights that I would fly to the moon to direct.

    For years I’ve have lusted to stage Alice Childress’s “Trouble in Mind” particularly but anything Childress wrote is fair game as she is one of my favorite playwrights. I was born and raised in the streets of South Central Los Angeles and Ms. Childress was theater royalty. But what ultimately makes a playwright truly interesting to a Director goes beyond race, gender and sexual orientation, in the end, either the play stimulates your storytelling creativity or it doesn’t.

    Now I need to plug Chicago Scriptworks. Our website is here:

    and we have a show taking place this Wednesday night.

    Character Sheet by Harry Bauer(Chicago, Illinois)

    produced by Chicago ScriptWorks

    Wednesday April 29th @ 7 p.m., Pulaski Park Auditorium, 1419 W. Blackhawk St. Admission $5.

    Simon Lemish’s fantasy game world comes to life as he inadvertently takes control of a businessman, making him behave like a character in a game.

    Hope to see some of y’all there and at Tofu Chitlin events in the future.

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