I’m a black woman writing musical theater. In case it’s not blatantly apparent from what is current on and off Broadway…..it’s not easy for people of color writers, and nearly impossible for women of color. My writing partner Troy Anthony and I have been offered the opportunity to share our new musical THE RIVER IS ME, at Feinstein’s/54 Below on Tuesday, August 15th at 930pm–ONE NIGHT ONLY!!
This is actually a HUGE deal because they do a show every single night and have for years and of that roster, I’m one of only a few black musical theater authors. If anyone has about $25 dollars and the desire to support a couple of black, up-and-coming-and-hungry-and-smart musical theater writers who are writing a musical about a black boy lynched for whistling at a white woman in 1955 Mississippi who comes back to life as the super hero he dreamed about when he was a living boy, PLEASE COME THROUGH! Let’s share the story of THE RIVER IS ME together and unseat fear and hate. Let’s show mainstream musical theater that people of color exist. Let’s see what an audience looks like when people of color are being honored by being considered by the writers and put in 3D character form on a stage. Come see THE RIVER IS ME now (i.e. August 🙂 ) and say you saw it “when!!”
So excited to be sharing work in a fancy Harlem-Renaissance-esque salon this evening! It’s called the Creo Emerging Writers Salon and will take place at SongSpace, located at 1841 Broadway. My partner and pal Troy Anthony and I will be sharing two new songs from our original musical, The River Is Me — a music theatre ghost memoir from the P.O.V. of Bo, a chubby funny, comic book-loving, 14 year old black kid murdered for whistling at a white woman in 1955, who, once murdered, is not destroyed, but rather returns to walk the earth to seek vengeance on his killer and check in with his Ma to make sure she’ll be alright as he becomes the hero he dreamed of when he was a living boy.
We’ll be sharing “You Dream” and “Bye Bye Baby.” In the former, we see Ma and Bo’s relationship as being a mixture of mother/child, brother/sister due to how close they are in age. In “You Dream,” coming at toward the top of the show, Ma has just allowed Bo to leave her in Chicago (with her less-than-kind-boyfriend) to spend the last week of his summer vacation with Uncle in Mississippi. Ma gets to missing her son, and calls him on the phone to try to get him to come home. Bo avoids the answer, distracting Ma with a game of make-believe. Ma doesn’t believe she can dream anymore, but Bo thinks otherwise.
In “Bye Bye Baby,” which falls midway after the act break, we have seen Baby Doll’s husband Roy torture and murder Bo, and then throw Bo into the river, then Bo transforms into a water-based super hero, then Ma mourns the loss of her son, nearly fainting at the casket. Then Baby Doll speaks. In this song, Baby Doll gives her “testimony,” stating, from her P.O.V. what happened the day the black kid whistled at her.
I will be in RED lipstick this evening, and SINGING the songs with my fabulous partner and homie Troy Anthony. Can’t wait! Also there was talk of delicious food so you know I’m pumped for that! 🙂
I WON THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
W.K. Rose Fellowship in the Creative Arts
This Fellowship is made possible by a bequest from the estate of W.K. Rose, a distinguished scholar and teacher, who was a member of the Vassar English Department from 1953 until his untimely death in the fall of 1968.
Mr. Rose wrote:
My object in creating this fellowship is to provide a worthy young artist with a chance to be free after college to get on with his work as an artist. It is also my hope that this fellowship will attract to Vassar in greater number the kind of student that it proposes to aid.
My life is forever changed.
I totally picked the right college!!! Thanks VASSAR! 🙂 Thanks W.K. Rose.
Tickets are now available for the Musical Theatre Factory’s residency workshop of Ain’t Far From Home!
Today I really had my life changed by some wonderful people! Thanks to all who were able to make it to the inaugural meeting of the Musical Theatre Factory endeavor in partnership with Playwrights Downtown — Person of Color Roundtable #1 was filled with talent, fun surprises and a surprising, at least for me, feeling that I literally have never had before. It only took 30 years and Shakina Nayfack but I can now say I have been in a musical theater writer’s room where I wasn’t the only person of color
Little Bird, a new short musical I wrote with Troy Anthony for Prospect Theater Company’s 2016 Musical Theater Lab, will be performed July 27-31 at the 14th Street Y Theatre! Directed by Dev Bondarin, it features Donell James Foreman, Latoya Edwards, Renée Albulario, and more! Visit Prospect’s website for more information.
On June 8, terraNOVA Groundbreakers presented a reading of LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!!!! at the Cherry Lane Theatre!
With Moritz von Stuelpnagel, Kyle Metzger, Derek Long, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Benja Kay Thomas, Stuart Luth, and Megan Lee.