Suzan-Lori Parks Presents THE AMERICAN PLAY 3/27-4/4
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks strikes a resonant racial cord with The America Play, presented by Indiana University's Department of Theatre and Drama.
The play opens March 27 at 7:30 p.m. on the Wells-Metz stage at the Lee Norvelle Theatre and Drama Center, with additional performances March 28 and 31 through April 4.
Incorporating her trademark "Rep and Rev" (Repetition and Revision) writing style, Parks creates a dizzying, non-linear world that reflects the uncertainty of history, particularly in this country. Of her work, she says, "History -- the destruction and creation of it through theatre pieces, and how black people fit into all of this -- is my primary concern."
With a powerful cast that includes master of fine arts candidates Dawn Thomas and Shewan Howard, the play follows senior Jamaal R. McCray's character, the "Foundling Father," who gives up his day job as a gravedigger to play Abraham Lincoln and allow paying customers to "assassinate" him.
Director Edris Cooper-Anifowoshe, an assistant professor of acting and directing, says that the play's meaning "is held in the contradictions and our abilities to accept and honor without need for reconciliation those contradictions and allow them to inform our consciousness -- national, social, and historical. It is timely to do this play because of the national focus on the African American presence embodied by Barack Obama, the 'Foundling Father' being both his parallel and his opposite." Cooper-Anifowoshe founded IU's Black Play Lab and the 2008 "Mini-Conference on Black Theatre" to stimulate scholarship about theatre by and for people of African descent.
Joining Cooper-Anifowoshe on the creative team are scenic designer Nick Passafiume, scenic designer Lydia Dawson, lighting designer Liz Replogle and sound designer Gabe Gula, who together transform the Wells-Metz Theatre into a dynamic theatrical space not to be missed.
Special student ticket prices
Making a commitment to serving IU students, the Department of Theatre and Drama is now offering a special student flex pass. IU Bloomington students only are invited to purchase a new 4, PLUS 1 STUDENT Flex Pass for the four shows of the spring 2009 semester. The $48 Flex Pass book ($60 value) includes four flex pass vouchers -- plus a fifth voucher that can be assigned to a friend. For more information, see http://www.indiana.edu/~thtr/productions/ticket.html.