STAGE TUBE: The Cast of THE LION KING's Powerful GYPSY OF THE YEAR Performance
At Gypsy of the Year 2016, cast members from The Lion King performed a moving spoken-word piece giving voice to those marginalized by the current political climate performed by cast members LaMar Baylor, Kimberly Marable, Matthew Morgan, Brenda O'Brien and L. Steven Taylor.
The piece, written by Taylor and choreographed by Ray Mercer, found four isolated actors and a dancer expressing their words through movement, finding common ground in each other's plight.
Read the full text below:STEVEN
Alone. When did my existence ever matter?
I've been standing alone on battered and tattered soles. My soul knows no ally
So I leave my tears on the inside.
They die before you will ever have the chance
To tell me to be strong.
A long history of this same story
Tells a story that does not end well for me. You have been privy to the same parables that I know and you still choose to leave me
Alone. Already felt unequal
Now the mandate of hate against my people escalates as evil is given a face now.
The crowds drown out my lonely
Plea of Peace to Allah
Peace is all I wish
But the spittle of racist rhetoric and violent etiquette
Leaves my peace no solace. Not even inside of me.
Fear causes me to slink back into the reality of The Shadows that I now know as home. Cause you saw my fear and still left me.
Alone. To figure out what it means to feel what I feel
The realness of what that means In a society that deems
My sexuality as a casualty
Of a poor upbringing
The ringing of my truth
in my minds eye
Struggles as it tries to drown out
The lies spat in my face.
I face the hate in solitude
Cause you witnessed my abuse And still chose to leave me
Alone. To navigate inequity
Based on my gender
To be judged according to my figure
To transfigure this cycle
To finally be considered
As good as or better than
A man with the same skill set
Yet I fight this fight with a bayonet
Composed only of my will
And still the ignorance of stereotype
Drills holes into my armor
This somber sense of weariness
Takes hold of me
As I recognize your silence as apathy. And once again you leave me. Alone ALL
But now for the first time
The lines that divided us
Towards each other's cause
Has caused us to fall into the same chasm of despair
But it doesn't end there.
Cause now for the first time
I recognize your struggle in mine
And I can no longer ignore
The doors that are closed to you
The doors that you hid behind
Confined to a space where you felt isolated
Cause now I see you for the first time and
I will never leave you
ALONE. Gypsy of the Year featured more than 150 Broadway and Off-Broadway singers and dancers from Avenue Q, Chicago, The Color Purple, Fiddler on the Roof, Hamilton, The Lion King, On Your Feet!, Paramour, School of Rock - The Musical, Waitress and Wicked. Gypsy of the Year (#GypsyOfTheYear), which celebrated six weeks of dedicated fundraising from 55 Broadway, Off-Broadway and national touring companies, raised $4,492,636 for Broadway Cares. Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is one of the nation's leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations. By drawing upon the talents, resources, and generosity of the American theatre community, since 1988 BC/EFA has raised more than $285 million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the United States. Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is the major supporter of the social service programs at The Actors Fund, including the HIV/AIDS Initiative, the Phyllis Newman Women's Health Initiative and the Al Hirschfeld Free Health Clinic. Broadway Cares also awards annual grants to more than 450 AIDS and family service organizations in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, DC. Get the best prices on tickets to The Lion King on TodayTix - click here.