Springing Forward with Shakespeare and even more James Baldwin
I hope the arrival of spring is giving you fresh vigor and renewed passion. On this beautifully, incredibly warm San Francisco day I look back with gratitude on what has been a very busy year.
A few weeks ago I ended my run as "Another Black Man" and choreographer in Just Theater/Shotgun Player's production of Jackie Sibblies Drury's magnificent play with the longest title ever: "We Are Proud To Present A Presentation About the Herero of Namibia Formerly Known as South West Africa From the German Sudwestafrika Between the Years 1884-1915."
What an experience! Jackie's play is so innovative, hilarious, gut-wrenching and ALIVE in its exploration of race, the act of storytelling, and the limits of our current discourse about our gruesome past. And I got to journey through that play with a super-talented, super-loving creative team and with beautiful audience members, some of whom engaged me in the best conversations I've ever had after a show. It's not every day that I find myself doing work that makes me go "THIS is why I became an actor!" So I'm very thankful for "We Are Proud ..."
I'm also thankful to currently be in my first full production of a Shakespeare play in a loooong time. Starting tomorrow, Friday March 27, you can catch me playing the valiant Paris in Romeo and Juliet!
The production features many fabulous local actors and runs Fridays and Saturdays for the next three weekends at a gorgeous former dance-hall in Oakland called the Omni Commons. All performances are FREE to the public because we wanna make the Bard accessible to all. It's no-frills Shakespeare with a diverse and inclusively gendered cast (female actors play roles like Romeo, Mercutio, and Tybalt)!
You can get more info about the show here: http://www.thefreetheater.com
And you can donate to our Indiegogo campaign, which will help us recoup our costs and pay our creative team, here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/romeo-juliet-at-the-omni-commons-oakland.
Finally, I'm excited to announce that it seems James Baldwin isn't done with me this year! This coming Monday I begin rehearsing the role of David in Alter Theater's production of The Amen Corner, Baldwin's first play. Performances in San Rafael and San Francisco begin in late April.
And now I'm off to enjoy a bit of sunshine before dress rehearsal. I hope you are basking in all kinds of light and I look forward to hearing about your adventures this spring.