This weekend I made my way downtown to check out the new play at The Public Theater that everyone is buzzing about, Barbecue by Robert O’ Hara. I am happy to give this unique evening of theatre the Arts in Color seal of approval.
Theatre scholar Lisa Silberman Brenner began the Public Theater’s June 8th panel discussion Playing Jewish at the National Asian American Theatre Company with the following provocations:
- According to an Asian American Performers Action Coalition analysis, from 2006 onwards the percentage of Asian American actors performing in Broadway or major non-profit off-Broadway productions has ranged from 1% to 4% (an all time high, never repeated).
- Of all ethnic minorities, actors of Asian descent are least likely to play roles not defined by race
- Twenty percent of approximately 6 million Jewish Americans are non-Caucasian.
These statistics informed a lively discussion about issues of ethnicity and representation in the theatre as they intersect with and inform the National Asian American Theatre Company’s upcoming all Asian-American production of Clifford Odets’ Awake and Sing!, a play about a three-generation Jewish American family set during the Great Depression. Continue reading
Playwright Tracey Scott Wilson (The Good Negro, The Story) returns to The Public with BUZZER, a three character drama.
Jackson (Grantham Coleman), an upwardly mobile black attorney, has just bought an apartment in a transitioning neighborhood in Brooklyn. He sees the potential of his old neighborhood, as does his white girlfriend Suzy (Tessa Ferrer), at first. When Jackson’s childhood friend Don (Michael Stahl-David) leaves rehab to crash with them, the trio quickly becomes trapped between the tensions inside their own home and the dangers that may lurk outside.
After several weeks of seeing shows, I think I’ve finally found my new favorite this season (and I hope it’ll be yours, too). Making good theater is a tough game, but I’m pretty confident that Suzan-Lori Parks, Jo Bonney, and The Public Theater (in tandem with A.R.T) have figured out how to win it this season with Parks’ latest play Father Comes Home From the Wars (Part 1, 2 & 3). In this epic, which is reminiscent of Homer’s The Odyssey, Parks takes us back to the Civil War when the hunger for freedom was at it’s pinnacle and black slaves were forced to fight for the Confederacy. Our hero of these plays, Hero (played by Sterling K. Brown) wants to achieve freedom like the next slave, only he wants to earn it in what he considers the right way (i.e. not running away). Continue reading
Jacob Ming-Trent is a household name across Broadway stages, regional theaters and even in London! State side you might have seen him compete to win a new truck in Hands on a Hardbody or perhaps you recognize him from the fairytale world of Shrek the Musical. This month Jacob can be found on stage in the new play by Pulitzer Prize & Tony Award winner Suzan-Lori Parks, Father Comes Home From the Wars (Part 1, 2 & 3) at The Public Theater. Check out the Q&A below to find out more about the show, Jacob’s experience in the play, working with Suzan-Lori Parks and more! Continue reading
Looking for something to do this week? Well you’re in luck! Arts in Color has teamed up with The Public Theater to giveaway two (2) tickets to any performance* of ‘Father Comes Home from the Wars Parts (1,2 &3) written by Pulitzer prize winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks! Keep reading to figure out how to enter!
* Any performance from Oct 25th-Nov 16th
Here at AIC we normally don’t include announcements about a theater’s new season (unless you get the news updates on our Facebook page, but we had to make an exception for The Public’s upcoming season. Why you ask? Because The Public’s 2014-2015 season includes new work from a truly diverse group of artists. From Suzan Lori, to Lin Manuel, to Young Jean Lee and more. This is what I hope part of the future of theater looks like.
This season has been a big year for Shakespeare on and off-Broadway. We’ve had R & J twice, Mark Rylance and co. came across the pond for Twelfe Night and Richard III, the ladies at the Donmar Warehouse brought Julius Caesar to Brooklyn, Love’s Labour’s Lost and Comedy of Errors were in the park last summer, so many Macbeth’s I’ve lost count, Lear is in Brooklyn, and there are probably quite a few more that I’ve missed. Starting next week, you will have the chance to delve into the world of another great play by the Bard. After playing in London and Miami, this international collaboration (The Public Theater, Royal Shakespeare Company, and GableStage) of Antony and Cleopatra is coming to NYC! Keep reading for my phone interview with one of the shows stars, Joaquina Kalukango.
Today marks Arts in Color’s first video interview! Disclaimer-the main focus of these interviews are the content (heads up-it’s not fancy just yet)! The main goal is to really create a comfortable conversation with each guest. For you as the reader to feel like you’re just hanging out with someone you’d like to know more about. To inform people not only of their work, but their journey, and who they are as a person. We hope any aspiring or current artists will be both informed and inspired by seeing themselves reflected in each guest and listening to what they have to say!
For our first guest we are beyond excited to have the privilege of talking to one of The Public’s Emerging Playwright’s-Harrison Rivers. You may remember our earlier article on the 2013 Emerging Writers Group Spotlight Series in February. It’s not too late to see some wonderful new work by a diverse group of artists (for free)!
SWEET debuts today. Shows are at 3pm and 7pm. Call the Public Theater Box Office at 212.967.7555 to reserve your ticket!
Harrison David Rivers is a Kansas born New York based playwright. Some of his full-length plays include, When Last We Flew (2011 GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Off-Off Broadway Play, 2010 FringeNYC Overall Excellence Award Winner, The Advocate’s Top 10 LGBTQ Fringe 2010), “lydie, or (s)he who looks inside, awakes”, the bandaged place, And She Said, He Said, I Said Yes, “we are misquoted texts, made right when you say us,” FELL, Prophet’s Wife, and Look Upon Our Lowliness. His work has been developed and produced at The American Airlines Theater on Broadway, Lincoln Center, Atlantic Theater, the Lucille Lortel Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, Second Stage, Joe’s Pub, Ars Nova, HERE Arts Center, and the Sundance Theater Lab on Governor’s Island amongst others. Harrison has received a Van Lier fellowship (New Dramtists), an Emerging Artist of Color Fellowship (NYTW) and residencies with Freedom Train, NYTW/Dartmouth and Urban Arts Partnership. He is a member of at play, The Movement Theater Company, the Lincoln Center Directors’ Lab, The Old Vic New Voices Network and a NYTW Usual Suspect. MFA, Charles Mee’s playwriting program at Columbia University.
Leave a comment and let us know what you think of the interview! Have more questions for Harrison? Visit our Contact Page or email info at artsincolor dot com and we’ll try our best to get them answered!