Penumbra Exceeds Fundraising Goal; Resumes Programming

§ Let's Talk Theatre is an intimate social gathering paired with thought-provoking topics about theatre and the making of culturally specific art, hosted by Sarah Bellamy, Associate Artistic Director - Education. On Monday, February 18, from 5:30pm to 7:30pm, we will explore the Harlem Renaissance and the Little Theatre Movement, and celebrate the generative spirit and cultural wellspring of Black Thought and art in America during the 1920s and 1930s - the era in which SPUNK is set. Tickets are $15.

§ Bookends are an informal, content rich way to prepare for and reflect upon SPUNK. At the first Bookend on Monday, March 18, you will explore the script and study guide together, as well as hear insights about the production. After you see the play, the second Bookend on Monday, April 1, is a lively discussion about your experience and the themes in the play. These facilitated discussions are hosted by members of the Penumbra Education team. Tickets are $20 for both sessions.

REEL Talk
These specially selected films will definitely stimulate a lively discussion. Share your reactions and thoughts at this biannual event, hosted by Sarah Bellamy, Associate Artistic Director - Education. Tickets are FREE however, reservations are required. Reserve online at www.penumbratheatre.org or call the box office at 651.224.3180.
· Monday, January 21, 7pm to 10pm: The Language You Cry In

1998. Producer/Directors: Alvaro Toepke and Angel Serrano
An amazing detective story reaching across hundreds of years and thousands of miles from 18th century Sierra Leone to 20th century United States - this film is the story of a song with legendary powers to connect those who sang it with their roots. Recounting how African Americans retained links with their African past, the film dramatically demonstrates the contribution of contemporary scholarship to combat the "non-history" imposed on African Americans.

· Monday, May 20, 7pm to 10pm: Killer of Sheep

1977. Producer/Directors: Charles Burnett.
Starring: Henry Gayle Sanders and Kaycee Moore.
This film was declared a National Treasure by the Library of Congress and deemed one of the "100 Essential Films" of all time by the National Society of Film Critics. Killer of Sheep examines Watts in the 1970s - a black ghetto of Los Angeles - through the eyes of Stan, a sensitive dreamer who is growing detached and numb from the psychic toll of working at a slaughterhouse. Frustrated by money problems, he finds solace in moments of simple beauty: the warmth of a teacup against his cheek, slow dancing with his wife, and holding his daughter.

Around the Country

Lou Bellamy will direct Two Trains Running by August Wilson at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. The play runs in repertory from February 23-July 7.

Penumbra Theatre was founded by Lou Bellamy in 1976 as an artistic response to the fight for civil rights and equality. However, to set a theater down inside a black community was an especially courageous act. The theater had to run the risk of its own humanity to find itself. It had to convince itself of its right to exist, and, that art created from the content of black American life could offer sustenance in spite of society's profound denial. For 36 years, Penumbra has undertaken that investigation, thus opening avenues to reconstruct the American narrative to include and celebrate the black experience. The invitation to participate and explore the themes of racism and social justice raised by the art is the core of Penumbra's mission to create lasting social change. This mission is accomplished through stories that are told by, for, and about African Americans-through art that is unapologetic and authentic. Penumbra uses the main stage as the starting place for this important dialogue about race, difference, and acceptance. This authenticity and veracity define the standards of the art it develops and produces, and drives the education programs to support the art with rigorous, cultural and historical scholarship, as well as to create a point of entry for everyone.

The arts culture is an ecosystem whose vibrancy depends on a balance among a diverse range of organizations, artists and disciplines. As the state's only professional African American theater, Penumbra is vital to this mix.

Pictured: Lou Bellamy

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