October 28, 2016

The last performance of the Classical Theatre of Harlem’s production of Fit for a Queen will be Sunday.

Fit for a Queen is the earliest play of mine I still list on my website.  In some ways, it’s my first real play. 

I wrote it at a point when I was profoundly disillusioned with politics in general and the activists I knew in particular, most especially myself. 

I had begun to see everything anyone did as a ploy for power and attention.  The professors and student speakers at rallies for causes I cared about seemed like wanna-demagogues, preaching to the converted for their own aggrandizement.  When I was asked to speak, I too felt like a wannabe-demagogue who cared more about how I came off than what I actually accomplished. 

It seemed myopically cruel to organize conferences about refugees at Ivy League colleges and end them by blowing a ton of our university’s money on fancy meals for  our invited speakers and ourselves.  Yet, how I enjoyed those meals!

I questioned...

October 3, 2016

Entry #4 of Countdown to the Classical Theatre of Harlem production of FIT FOR A QUEEN

So, here it is! 

The fantastic list of actors who are going to make our comedy come to life next week.

April Yvette Thompson*.............Hatshepshut

Sheria Irving*...........................Senenmut

John Clarence Stewart*.............Wanre

Gilbert Cruz*.............................Thutmose II

Shereen Macklin*......................Neferure

Eshan Bay*..............................Tutu

Sujotta Pace*...........................Meritre

Portland Thomas.......................Ensemble

Nedra Snipes............................Ensemble

Tiffany Nicole Webb..................Ensemble

Kalon Hayward..........................Ensemble

Not every day for a playwright is a good day.  In fact, let’s face it.  Many days are not.  Most of us are broke or bitter about our day jobs.  Our lives are riddled with rejection.  The clearest sign that you have “made it” in your chosen field is that someone wants to pay you a lot of money to leave...

August 26, 2016

Entry Number #1 of Countdown to the Classical Theatre of Harlem Production of FIT FOR A QUEEN

There is something terrifying about workshopping a play with a great cast act right before you are slated to go into production. 

You’re not in production with a preview audience who have already bought tickets  to see the show your team hasn’t made yet. 

The adrenaline hasn’t kicked in.  

Hysteria must be kept in check (or at least somewhat properly disguised). 

You’re not allowed to let everything else in your life fall away (all the people who need you still have the right to act like they do). 

You’re not yet worried about how incoherent or pompous you might come off in preview press pieces and interviews (or bemoaning the fact that you are not – in fact – getting enough preview press pieces and interviews).

You’re just working.

With a group of truthtellers (also known as actors)

who are trained to make your text work and can,

until the moment they can’t,

because the text you have given the...

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