This past Thursday, I early voted, which took me all of 20 minutes, and then transferred my Texas Driver's License to a D.C. Driver's License, which took an hour an half. The half hour was spent standing outside in the cold owing to a fire drill ... but I digress. Ignoring the fact that I've actually lived and worked in D.C. for six going on seven years, let's celebrate the fact that I am officially a D.C. resident! WooHoo!!
Many things excite me about living in D.C., but none more than the brilliant, vibrant, diverse and enthusiastic theatre community. In addition to Theater J's Locally Grown Festival to which I owe the upcoming world premiere production of The Hampton Years, the award winning, critically acclaimed Arena Stage has launched two major programs--The Cradle Series and Playwrights' Arena--geared towards supporting the works of local artists and organizations. As a playwright and avid theatre devotee, this excites me to no end!
This coming weekend, from November 8 – November 11, 2012, Arena Stage's Cradle Series will feature performances from banished? Productions and dog & pony dc. Both productions will be presented together in one evening of creative development. Additionally, on Saturday, November 10, 2012, African Continuum Theatre will present readings of two exciting new works as part of their Fresh Flavas Festival: Without Trace by Eric Lockley at 2:00pm and Kind of Blue by Ozzie Jones at 4:00pm. Click here to learn more and purchase tickets.
I'll be attending the performances on Friday with a few friends and can hardly wait! Over the few days, I'm going to feature each company and share their recent interviews. For now, here's a bit of info about the work being presented.
Into the Dollhouse is an original hybrid performance that uses devised dance and collaged text to tell a story about looking back in order to walk forward. The piece takes inspiration by Meredith Monk's Education of the Girl Child, Anna Halprin's Parades & Changes and fuses song lyrics to snippets of Charles Mee's Salome, and Judy Blume's Forever. Into the Dollhouse is an exploration of nostalgia as a means of time travel as much as it is about navigating a society that dictates what constitutes femininity, asking along the way: Who did we think we would become? Will we ever get there? What rituals have left an imprint on our journey?
In a not-so-distant time, in a city strikingly similar to this one, a deadly plague begins killing the citizenry—inexplicably, indiscriminately, and fast! What’s going on? Who will die next? Can the disease be contained? Where can you turn? Only you—your cunning and skills—can keep you alive ‘til the end of the show. Do you have what it takes to survive? We can't all die, can we?
Without Trace: The country finds itself in a race-war and the future seems bleak. A lost son's return may signal a new beginning...or the beginning of the end. Without Trace uses one family's chilling experience to explore the black male psyche and the American Dream. Eric Lockley is a performer, playwright, and producer with The Movement Theatre Company and the producing collective, Harlem 9. He is a graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.
Kind of Blue: An allegory about the relationship between a man and woman, inspired by the music of Miles Davis. Ozzie Jones is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Rhythm One Company, whose focus is training and artistic development of new artists. He is also the Artistic Director and Co-founder of The Well Productions and has directed or performed with Patti Labelle, Ruby Dee, Jill Scott, Guy Davis, The Roots, Wu Tang Clan, Schoolly D, and Poor Righteous Teachers.
About the Cradle Series
The Cradle Series supports the exploration and development of new and emerging work in the Kogod Cradle with visiting companies, artists and ensembles. Focusing on the development of new plays and devised work by artists from throughout Greater Washington and around the country, this series of readings and workshops invites artists and audiences to explore the development process and allows artists and audiences to participate who otherwise might not be able to easily access Arena Stage. This series also supports the development of local artists and seeks to further develop our local talent pool of playwrights, actors and directors here in Greater Washington.
I'm a playwright, dramaturg, and teaching artist. It is here where you'll find my queries and musings on life, theater and the world. My posts advocate for diversity, inclusion, and equity in the American Theatre and updates on my own work. Please enjoy!