BAM to Present Daniel Beaty's THE TALLEST TREE IN THE FOREST Next Weekend
Daniel Beaty gives a tour-de-force performance, playing up to 40 characters in The Tallest Tree in the Forest, a solo play, which he also wrote. It tells the life story of Paul Robeson, a towering figure among our nation's prominent African-Americans. Renowned director Moisés Kaufman returns to BAM (The Laramie Project, 2013 Winter/Spring) to direct this show which has delighted and enlightened audiences from Kansas City, to LA, La Jolla, and Washington, DC. The show runs Mar 22-29, 2015.
Born in New Jersey to a father who was a freed slave, Robeson (1898-1976) rose from humble beginnings to become a Broadway star and international celebrity. Best known for playing "Joe" in the ground-breaking musical Show Boat (making "Ol' Man River" one of the most celebrated show-tunes), he was also a scholar, athlete, activist, attorney, and an icon of the civil rights movement, whose career crumbled during the McCarthy era as questions arose about his Communist associations.
Employing Beaty's swift vocal and character transformations, monologues, narrative scenes, music, poetry, and video, the production explores the evolution of Robeson's career. It shows his humanity and courage, but does not shy away from his complicated character, including his marital infidelity and the controversy surrounding Show Boat.
Daniel Beaty is an award-winning actor, singer, writer, and motivational speaker. He has performed at venues ranging from Lincoln Center to the White House, and garnered numerous awards including an Obie for writing and performance and two NAACP Theater Awards. A highly requested keynote speaker, Beaty has worked throughout the US, Europe, and Africa, speaking and performing on programs with luminaries such as Deepak Chopra, Hill Harper, Jill Scott, Donnie McClurkin, and Ruby Dee. An adjunct professor at Columbia University, diversity trainer, and youth development specialist, Beaty has spoken at retreats and led leadership training for myriad non-profits and corporations. In fall 2013, Beaty launched a nationwide initiative using storytelling to help individuals and communities heal trauma, with funding from the W.K. Kellogg and Ford Foundations, among others. He holds a BA with honors in English and music from Yale University and an MFA in acting from the American Conservatory Theatre. His poem Knock Knock became an Internet sensation (receiving millions of views) and was transformed into an eponymous children's book. Penguin-Random House published his empowerment book Transforming Pain to Power in February 2014.
Moisés Kaufman is a playwright, a Tony- and Emmy-nominated director, and a founder of Tectonic Theater Project. He directed the Broadway revival of The Heiress, with Jessica Chastain, and wrote and directed 33 Variations starring Jane Fonda, which received five Tony nominations. He also directed Rajiv Joseph's Pulitzer Prize finalist Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo with Robin Williams on Broadway in 2011. Prior to that, Kaufman directed the Pulitzer- and Tony Award-winning play I Am My Own Wife. His plays Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde and The Laramie Project have been among the most performed plays in America over the last decade. Other credits include: The Nightingale (La Jolla Playhouse), A Common Pursuit (Roundabout), Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo (Mark Taper Forum); Macbeth with Liev Schreiber (Public Theater), This Is How It Goes (Donmar Warehouse), One Arm by Tennessee Williams (New Group and Steppenwolf Theater Company), Master Class with Rita Moreno (Berkeley Repertory Theater), and Lady Windermere's Fan (Williamstown Theater Festival). The film adaptation of The Laramie Project -which he co-wrote and directed for HBO-received Emmy nominations for Best Director and Best Writer.
BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, BAM Rose Cinemas, and BAMcafé are located in the Peter Jay Sharp building at 30 Lafayette Avenue (between St Felix Street and Ashland Place) in the Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn. BAM Harvey Theater is located two blocks from the main building at 651 Fulton Street (between Ashland and Rockwell Places). Both locations house Greenlight Bookstore at BAM kiosks. BAM Fisher, located at 321 Ashland Place, is the newest addition to the BAM campus and houses the Judith and Alan Fishman Space and Rita K. Hillman Studio. BAM Rose Cinemas is Brooklyn's only movie house dedicated to first-run independent and foreign film and repertory programming. BAMcafé, operated by Great Performances, offers a dinner menu prior to BAM Howard Gilman Opera House evening performances. BAMcafé also features an eclectic mix of live music for BAMcafé Live on Friday and Saturday nights with a bar menu available starting at 6pm.
For ticket information, call BAM Ticket Services at 718.636.4100, or visit BAM.org.