Summer Stages: BWW's Amazing Theatre Picks - Brooklyn, NY
SUMMER STAGES: BWW's Amazing Theatre Picks - Brooklyn
Beverlix Jean-Baptiste's Three Picks
This time comes around every year and it becomes more and more difficult to chose from the plethora of theatre. Here is some of the best Brooklyn has to offer.
New Brooklyn Theatre (NBT)
Since it's first production in 2013 this young theatre is gaining new ground with each passing season. It's staging of "The Death of Bessie Brown" a seldom seen play about the death of a black in a whites only hospital, was landmark. The performance set at a financially struggling hospital, Interfaith Medical Center brought realism to the work.
The theatre states it mission as 'aiming to democratize the American theatre, to broaden the space for unheard voices and repressed histories, to bring into the theatre those sometimes left out, and to use theatre to provoke much-needed public conversations.' What does that mean to us? Theatre goers get a say! By having staged readings, they gauge the audience reaction and from there decide much of what will be produced. The are producing two new shows: Rachel and Las Meninas about repressed histories and the difficulties facing women bringing a black child into this world. Rachel was chosen by the audience from a reading series produced last summer. As it is the first play written by an African American woman in this country, they have expanded their season to celebrate the past, present, and future of local black female writers.
Of it many endeavors, NBT is attempting to purchase the historic Slave Theatre in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn. Through different techniques including crowd funding the theatre is attempting to raise the $200,000 for the down payment for the1215 Fulton Street building. Of all the young theaters this year NBT is definitely one you should have your eye on.
Many shows are free to the public with generous subsidies from other institutions. The shows will run begining August 3 to the 30th. Further announcements of specific dates and will be made soon with free tickets available to the general public July 6th. Further information, membership, and ways to donate can be found at www.newbrooklyntheatre.com.
The Billie Holiday Theatre
Since it's fruition in 1972 this off-broadway theatre has endeavored to bring to the stage dynamic story telling with a strong connection to the community. This unsung theatre is singular in that is is the only professional resident theatre in Brooklyn. Furthermore, it has a history of bringing productions with strong ties to the Black community to Broadway.
It's prime location on 1368 Fulton St at Restoration Plaza provides easy access to any commuter. Details and updates are located on the website at www.thebillieholiday.org. If you prefer you can also contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 718.636.0918; 718.636.0919.
The Kings Theatre
The crown jewel of Brooklyn theatre this year would be King's Theatre. It initially opened to the public in the late 1920s as a dazzling theatre for the multitude. However, with the Great Depression in the 1930s, came the beginning of the deterioration and closing of this wonder. By 2006 New York City Economic Development Corporation in cooperation with the Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz teamed together to initiate the restoration of the theatre. After $95 million dollars, hard-work, collaboration, and preparation the theatre was ready to open it's doors donning it's original design.
Part of the ACE Theatrical Group, this gorgeous theatre had it's grand opening in February of this year with the luminous Diana Ross performing at the inaugural. It has followed with a stellar lineup of live performances that will surely bring economic stimulus to its home of Flatbush. Upcoming performances and shows include Gladys Knight, Ringo Starr and Annie. You cannot let the summer go by without a trip to this theatre.
Brooklyn from it's infancy has continued to blossom into the borough we now know today, offering theatre that rivals its' contemporaries.
Brooklyn, We Go Hard.
Photo Courtesy: Dreamstime