Week of 10/19: Black Arts Movement Theater

Photo: The late Barbara Ann Teer in front of an early iteration of the (still existing) National Black Theater in Harlem

Announcement: I handed out the assignment sheet for the final paper on Wednesday. Download a copy from the Assignments page if you were absent/lost your copy.

Next week we continue with plays from the Black Arts Movement.

For Monday, October 19, Read Marvin X’s Flowers for the Trashman in the SOS reader, and Jimmy Garrett’s We Own the Night (PDF on the Readings page).

Think about the following as you read:

  • What kind of audiences might these plays appeal to? Why?
  • What themes of Black Arts and Black Power do you see? Mark/underline specific examples in the text.
  • How might you imagine these plays being presented?
  • Sonia Sanchez at Miami Book Fair International, 1990. / Wikicommons user MDCarchives

    Sonia Sanchez at Miami Book Fair International, 1990. / Wikicommons user MDCarchives

    For Wednesday, October 21, Read Sonia Sanchez’s, The Bronx is Next, Sister Son/ji, and essay. (All online). Watch: Director SC 2 talk about his 2009 production of Sonia Sanchez’s “The Bronx is Next” and “Sister Son/Ji”.

    … and this preview of The Bronx is Next and Sister Son/Ji

    While you read, think about the performance of Dutchman we saw. Think about how you might stage the Sonia Sanchez plays. How might the characters interact? How would the lines sound? How do you think non-traditional theater audiences would respond? How do they address issues of the time?

    Event: The Sun Ra Arkestra (directed by Marshall Allen) will be at Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg on the 22nd. The Arkestra was founded by the eclectic musical visionary Sun Ra and has been kept going since his death by Marshall Allen.