Xoregos Performing Company' is reviving HARLEM ON MY MIND, a 70-minute celebration of the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and 1930s, when so much of black music and literature began to enrich American culture. The company commissioned four works that epitomize the literary dynamism of the Harlem Renaissance. These will be interspersed with early songs by Duke Ellington and Fats Waller and Irving Berlin’s HARLEM ON MY MIND, which was written for Ethel Waters. Poems by Langston Hughes and other poets of the era will also be featured..
LENA’S QUILT is by Grace Cavalieri, host of NPR’s radio show THE POET AND THE POEM FROM THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, a published poet who has had 30 of her plays produced. The play features ten-year-old Emani Spence as a runaway who hides in a Southern quilt-maker’s house and finds an unexpected ally when an official searches for her. TELL ME AGAIN by Dave DeChristopher, winner of many writing awards including the Marilyn Hall Award for Plays for Young Audiences, is based on some of the Southern black folk tales that were collected in the Harlem Renaissance era by Zora Neale Hurston and others.
SILENCE OF THE LAND by Adé Adémola is a conversation between two never-weres and won’t-dos that amuses as it pains. Others of his plays have been performed by Africa Arts Theater and XPC. In Kimberly Shelby-Szyszko's GRIMKE'S SHADOW, a seemingly light flirtation in a Harlem speakeasy descends into dark revelations which shock. Ms. Shelby-Szyszko is an innovative voice in the theatre whose plays have been performed at LaMaMa, Manhattan Rep, Bluestocking and others.
WITH : PAULE ABOITE, ANDREW R. COOKSEY, KELDRICK CROWDER, Z. LOUIS FINNEY, SYDNEY ALLYSON FRANCIS, & EMANI SPENCE
Stage Manager: DARRELL CHAMBERS
Music Director: EUGENE ABRAMS
Director: SHELA XOREGOS
Assistant Stage Manager: TZENA NICOLE