Wednesday, August 24, 2011
For the Love of Freedom
For years Levy Lee Simon and I have talked about adapting Levy’s trilogy about the Haitian Revolution of 1793. The telling of the story of how enslaved Africans freed themselves from French colonial slavery is the stuff of myth based in fact and makes for epic theatre that is ultimately truth. The rise of the Haitian Triumphrate Toussaint L’Overture, Jean Jacques Dessalines, and Henri Christophe and there subsequent taking of the island, liberating the enslaved Africans, establishing a constitution, and ultimately defeating the French is a captivating story.
Robey’s production of the Trilogy over a 4 year period is a high point and we felt that the intial draft could be adapted to less than the original 11 hours running time. To that end Levy has been working on the adaptation and on July 24th a company of 36 actors many who had been in the original productions along with Musical Director Leon Mobley and percussionist Malik with the original Production Stage Manager John Freeland Jr. read Lee’s adaptation for an audience of 150 plus. There was a break where Haitian food was served to the actors and audience and with almost 3 decades of history to cover our audience rotated and new members came and joined in to hear the powerful tale of how Africans now Haitian took their country back.
Next reading New York City.
Producing Artistic Director
Based on the 1917 Court- martial and execution of 19 Black soldiers of the 24th Infantry the play Camp Logan by Celeste Bedford Walker was read on Sunday May 29th in Theatre 2 of LATC. Directed by Alex Morris with Kirk Bovill, Sammie Wayne IV, Dorian C. Baucum, Bill Lee Brown, Dwain Perry, Lee Stansberry, and Kaylon Hunt the audience of one hundred plus that attended the Camp Logan reading recieved a glimpse of what will be a Spring production in Robey’s LATC 2012 season. The reception that followed and open conversations prompted much excitement and anticipation about the up coming season and seeing a fully mounted production of Celeste Bedford Walker’s award winning play. Look for Camp Logan in April.