As you know, I received the 2019-2020 Institute for African American Research Faculty Fellowship to support the research, writing, development, and presentation of a new play, So Goes We. This is the play that examines examines what happens in the immigrant rights movement when black immigrants seek asylum. It follows the fraught and intersecting journeys of black asylum seekers and their legal advocates in the U.S. post-2016.
The new play development workshop took place over two days in December. The most exciting part of our time together was when our director, JaMeeka Holloway-Burrell, got the actors up on their feet. We were able to figure out the opening text and the rhythm and flow of the choral work. I also got a clearer understanding of how the characters function when they are onstage, but are outside of the scenes. There's still a ways to go with the script, but it was just so inspiring to be in the room with everyone and hear the play.
Then, on Tuesday, March 3rd, I had the opportunity to speak about the play and other work that I had completed since moving to Chapel Hill. I was joined in this conversation by Kathy Perkins, who is a lighting designer and editor. The extraordinary work that Kathy has done to honor and preserve black women playwrights and black theatre history is remarkable. We had a small, but attentive and enthusiastic audience. It was wonderful to share a bit about my creative process with folx who enjoy theatre, but who are familiar with the ins and out of how it all comes together.
Now, I was hoping to have a second workshop and public reading in May, but that's not going to happen for a number of reasons, including the quarantine. I've been toying with the idea of doing something online, but the choral nature of the play may make that difficult. We'll see. In the meantime, I wanted to take a moment to share the photos of our time together.
As a reminder, the workshop was directed by JaMeeka Holloway-Burrell with dramaturgy by Jules Odendahl-James. The cast included Thaddeus Edwards, Rasool Jahan, Tia James, Monet Marshall, and Sarita Ocón. Our stage manager was Erin Bell, who was also our photographer and stage directions were read by Takhona Hlatshwako, who was working with me as a research assistant through UNC's Institute for the Arts and Humanities Honors Collaboration. I hope you enjoy these photos!
So Goes We Workshop Day One
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!