this spring I got to workshop, and in one case, entirely rethink some plays for two public readings. yeah, it’s hard to get a play produced, and particularly hard if you’re a black woman, but am still working on bringing these stories to their full and complete life. stay tuned…
I’ve started performances for Preludes, the new musical fantasia brought to you by Dave Malloy and Rachel Chavkin. tickets are just $30 and the show runs through July 19 at LCT3. it’s an astonishingly talented team assembled both on and off stage–hope you can make it to see us! click for info.
here’s a great The New Yorker photo and article.
and at Jack in Brooklyn and Joe’s Pub, we played songs mainly from the newest iteration of my musical work Flowers Are Sleeping. in the studio on some of those songs now…stay posted on our next moves!
I love music. it saves us all. here’s a video from Joe’s Pub. made a whoopsie, but also sang what I felt…
so. just a few words about what happened in 2014: guested on The Blacklist and The Good Wife. workshopped beautiful plays by friends at the Vineyard Arts Project/Ars Nova, O’Neill, LCT3, and MTC. whether I’m in them or not, go see the productions of Small Mouth Sounds and Bright Half Life and Preludes!
check me in 2015 on an episode of Gotham and…drumroll please…as Cynthia Driscoll on House of Cards. I’m on episodes in the second half of Season 3. it’s been a dream to be a part of such a fine show. the binge begins Feb 27 on Netflix!
how you been? soon I’ll revamp the look of this whole site but wanted to post some overdue bits of news in the meantime.
The Mysteries was a hit in the spring. I wrote an episode about Jesus’ brother James. did you know Jesus had a brother?
Trade Practices was fun in the fall. I wrote a storyline about two college friends whose relationship and work in the finance sector shifts through the economic meltdown of 2008. you had to buy and trade stocks to see the storyline you wanted, and my mom wasn’t into the idea. but soon as we got there to see the show, she was haggling like the rest of us!
Thanks to a Doris Duke grant, I’m working to investigate youth and online engagement and gaming in the context of Cornerstone Theater’s 10 city bridge tour across California. We hung out with 8th graders and high schoolers in the agricultural community of Arvin, and learned who can’t live without the drama on Facebook and who hates all that and sticks to Instagram.
I wrote a 24 Hour Musical (starring Martha Wash and Lea DeLaria, directed by Kathy Najimy!) and two One-Minute Plays benefiting Primary Stages’ school of theatre.
Something came over me and I felt the need to return to the first full-length play I wrote which has never been produced. It’s about Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston writing a play together that destroyed their friendship. They fell out in part due to misunderstanding and jealousies around their stenographer, Louise Thompson Patterson, who was a family friend I grew up with. I began revisions up at the beautiful Orchard Project and hung with some sweet people in between writing sessions.
We workshopped Flowers Are Sleeping through the Public with funds from the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation. After absolutely thrilling gigs at Jack and Joe’s Pub, I’m in the studio now recording music from the piece. Very happy about making this music.
And Bulrusher was produced at Williams College in a beautiful production directed by Charlotte Brathwaite, then again in LA, directed by my high schoolmate Nataki Garrett and co-produced by Lower Depths Theater Ensemble and Skylight Theater Company. It truly seemed like the time for the play had come. I was heartened to have the play understood with a new clarity by audiences and even critics.
More to come in 2015.
it’s happening at Skylight Theatre, courtesy of Lower Depths Theatre Ensemble August 22-September 21…LA folks, come check it!
the winter storms have just made us all work harder, it seems! little hibernation, but a lot of church, in the wild. toward the end of 2013, performed in the first reading of Facing Our Truth, a set of stunning short plays conceived in response to the killing of Trayvon Martin. interrogated some agents on The Blacklist. and finished the year off playing Rachmaninoff’s hypnotist in a workshop of an exciting new musical by Dave Molloy and Rachel Chavkin. I show up somewhere in Jack Ryan, now in theatres, and am on an episode of The Good Wife coming your way in March. open to the surprises of each day…
what had happened was…we all got together in a room and started letting the voices in the floor come on out. we stamped our feet and swayed our heads and with equanimity and ease, the music arrived. got crazy singing with Stew and Rebecca Jones at the new BRIC studio in November, and there’s more coming to 54 Below on March 7 and 8, I hear. Daniel Alexander Jones convened many wild women (including Sharon Bridgforth, Helga Davis, and Imani Uzuri) at Jack in December to sing traditional spirituals and ones of our own making…the evening still radiates like everyone has to in front of a wall of aluminum foil.
out in UCross, Wyoming, population 25, for the Sundance playwrights and composers retreat. there’s nothing here except deer, cows, amazing food, and snow. very much my cup of tea–this quiet time away. we are all working sweetly here on our own visions. looking forward to sharing the fruits of our joyous labors!
what’s the season been? teaching up at Williams and learning a lot. did a workshop of RAMP during a residency at CalArts to complete my Alpert Award. the student actors all wrote songs about climate change. Mexico completely reset me, and it was a helpful linguistic lead up to the experiences I’ll have collecting stories from farmworkers in the mushroom capital of the world, Kennett, PA. (first, I went to visit the mushroom bed pictured below.) look out for Here Arts Center’s Trade Practices when we find a landlord who will rent us space. and TimeWarner’s storytellers’ summit addressing diversity made me feel posh, defeated, and fired up all in 24 hours.