Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Things To Do For Black History Month Day 22

Things To Do For Black History Month Day 22: Attend/Read An African-American Play

This is something that has sort of a personal connection to me. My aunt graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in Theatre (the technical end) and once served as a costume designer for a community theatre group. I wrote for a sketch comedy revue called "Out Da Box" for two years in a row in college and wrote some skits that were performed in a some other shows.

There are a ton of great African-American plays out there. When it comes to black theater, though, it seems to be divided into two factions. There is the more artistic faction. This is the one where you would likely see productions of plays like Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun or a more recent work like Fences by August Wilson. Then there is the more commercial faction. This is the one that consists of traveling productions of shows like the works of Tyler Perry (whose play Diary Of A Mad Black Woman is now a movie that opens on Friday) or a musical gospel play.

I don't think that you should limit yourself to the artistic or the commercial. Plays like those by Tyler Perry offer a fun theatregoing experience and more serious artistic plays like Topdog/Underdog are rich and full of depth. I encourage you to check your local paper or the internet for any current or upcoming African-American productions or go by your local library or bookstore and at least read one or two.

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