Savion Glover and Reg E. Gaines join forces to take us back to 1996 when Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk was winning Tony Awards and taking audiences on a ride that only an all Black creative team and producer could deliver.
Noise/Funk maps the story of African Americans, from slavery to liberation through dance, more specifically tap, informing a rhythm that is our own. The poems. The tap. The beat. The groove is shaped by the decade. Wading through the water. Shuffling north. And stomping in solidarity with the Black Power Movement of the ‘60s.
When it opened in 1995, it became an expression of a culture— our culture. Conceived and directed by George C. Wolfe, Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk started at The Public Theater before moving to The Ambassador Theatre. Savion Glover choreographed and starred in the show alongside Baakari Wilder, Jimmy Tate, Vincent Bingham, and Dule Hill. The show was narrated by Ann Duquesnay and Jeffrey Wright, and the book was written by Reg E. Gaines.
As two of the show’s collaborators, Glover and Gaines let us in on Noise/Funk and talk us through their careers up to date.
“Noise/Funk- 20 Years Later” is sponsored by MAM’s African American Cultural Committee (AACC). This event takes place at Montclair Art Museum (Leir Hall) in Montclair, New Jersey on Thursday October 20, 7-8:30p. For more information on joining the AACC please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Erika Dickerson-Despenza Addresses Flint Water Crisis with Cullud Wattah
There is limited seating left for Erika Dickerson-Despenza’s new play CULLUD WATTAH at The Public Theater. Opening today, Thursday, March 7th and running until Sunday, March 10th in the Public Studio is about three generations of Black women living through the current water crisis in Flint, Michigan.
“It’s been 936 days since Marion’s family has had clean water. When local activists file a class action lawsuit against the city, Marion—a third-generation employee at General Motors—must decide how best to support her two daughters, sister, and mother while lead seeps into the community, their home, and their bodies. As corrosive memories and secrets rise among them, the family wonders if they’ll ever be able to filter out the truth.”
2018 Relentless Award Semifinalist and poet-playwright makes her Public Theater debut with CULLUD WATTAH directed by Lilly Award winner Candis C. Jones; the cast includes Deonna Bouye (Marion), Alana Raquel Bowers (Reesee), Caroline Stefanie Clay (Big Ma), Nikiya Mathis (Ainee), and Kara Young (Plum).
The creative team includes Production Stage Manager Gregory Fletcher, Stage Manager Priscilla Villanueva, and Movement Director Adesola Osakalumi. Along with scenic design by Arnulfo Maldonado, Costume Design by Ntokozo Fuzunina Kunene, lighting Design by Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew, and sound design by Megan Culley
We believe in this work so much we’re giving away 4 tickets to the performances on March 10th. 2 tickets to the matinee and two the evening performance thanks to our founder Drew Shade and actress/playwright Jocelyn Bioh. Go to our Instagram to find out how!
Also, find out more about how you can help the Flint Water Crisis and support this show HERE.
Listen to Erika talk about her work on an episode of Off Book Podcast below
Surely Goodness and Mercy by Chisa Hutchinson Begins Off-Broadway
Performances begin today, Tuesday February 26th, for the New York premiere of Surely Goodness and Mercy, presented by Keen Company. A story about an exceptional boy living a troubled life in Newark, NJ who does a good deed for an often unnoticed person. Sarita Covington, Jay Mazyck, Brenda Pressley, Courtney Thomas, and Cezar Williams star under Jessi D. Hill’s direction.
Set in an under-funded public school in Newark, Surely Goodness and Mercy by rising playwright Chisa Hutchinson, tells the story of a bible-toting boy with a photographic memory who befriends the cantankerous old lunch lady. Against all odds, Tino and Bernadette help each other through the mess of growing up and growing old.
Surely Goodness and Mercy has spent the last year charming audiences across the country: “Notably absent from Hutchinson’s frank and sobering story: cynicism” – Chicago Reader; “(Surely Goodness and Mercy has) a soul-stirring quality, touching audiences with its sincerity” – Daily Utah Chronicle; “it’s impossible not to like it” – The Salt Lake Tribune. Now, Keen is honored to bring this big-hearted new play to New York for the first time.
Performances for this limited Off-Broadway engagement of Surely Goodness and Mercy will continue through Saturday, April 13th only, with opening night set for Wednesday, March 13th.
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