Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
Stream Now
Click Here for More Articles on Stream Now

Pauletta Washington & LaTanya Richardson Jackson Collaborate in New Federal Theatre's STORIES ABOUT THE OLD DAYS

Stories About the Old Days runs October 30 - November 1.

Pauletta Washington & LaTanya Richardson Jackson Collaborate in New Federal Theatre's STORIES ABOUT THE OLD DAYS

On October 30 - November 1, Woodie King Jr's New Federal Theatre's Octoberfest virtual revival play reading series will present "Stories About the Old Days," the acclaimed 1986 drama about hidden secrets, featuring co-stars Pauletta Washington and Michael Potts, associate producer Linda Herring and its original director LaTanya Richardson Jackson at the helm.

The Octoberfest virtual play readings of "Stories About the Old Days" runs from Friday, October 30 at 7:00pm through Sunday, November 1 until 11:59pm. The readings take place at https://www.newfederaltheatre.com. It's FREE. Donations are welcomed.

For Pauletta Washington and LaTanya Richardson Jackson, New Federal Theatre (NFT) is a family affair that dates back to the 1970s and 1980s. Washington and her husband Denzel Washington (NFT "When the Chickens Came Home to Roost") and Jackson and husband Samuel L. Jackson (NFT "Do Lord Remember Me") all honed their drama crafts at New Federal Theatre and continue to remained involved.

"Pauletta and LaTanya were early artists at the New Federal Theatre and they are coming back to close out the retrospective series," said Woodie King,Jr., founder and director of NFT. "Denzel Washington and Samuel L. Jackson were also part of the beginning of New Federal Theatre. In those days there was no place else for them to perform. Once they were seen, they became famous."

"Stories About the Old Days," written by Bill Harris, is about a former blues singer (Potts) living in a decaying church in Detroit, who never ventures out into the world that rejected him. While playing checkers he and Ivy (Washington), one the last members of the congregation, move from animosity to friendship. Both have secrets from the old days: he conceals his struggle of faith and despair and she withholds a searing loss as they rescue each other from emotional numbness and terminal loneliness.

When LaTanya Richardson Jackson directed the play for NFT in 1986, her female star was legendary singer-actress. Abbey Lincoln. In his 1986 review of "Stories About the Old Days," New York Times theatre critic, D.J.R. Bruckner pointed out the play's strong character performances. "Bill Harris has given his story some mythic overtones: There is no self-pity in the characters, nor do they blame others for the suffering they slowly acknowledge to one another; the man is angrily defying God and the woman is trying to overcome a grief she can admit is there only by tricking the man into forcing her to tell him about it," he wrote. "They nudge open the door ever so slightly into a place where the unspeakable is whispered."

Jackson, a Tony nominated actress for "A Raisin in the Sun," has a career that spans Broadway ("To Kill A Mockingbird," and "Joe Turner's Come and Gone"), television ("Blue Bloods and "100 Centre Street") and film ("Raising Isaiah"). Richardson has worked with Woodie King since the 1977 the touring production of Ntozake Shange's "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf." She's starred in New Federal Theatre's productions of "The Trial of Dr. Beck," "Nonsectarian Conversations with the Dead" and in "Boogie Woogie and Booker T" where she portrayed Ida B. Wells.

Both Jackson and Washington were in the Civil Rights television drama "The Watsons Go to Birmingham." Washington, a singer-actress, has Broadway credits like "Jesus Christ Superstar," "Sophisticated Ladies," and "Jerry's Girls" and on television she was recently a regular in "She's Gotta Have It"." In 2014, she was part of Woodie King's production of Ossie Davis' "The People of Clarendon County."

Octoberfest is dedicated to the late Chadwick Boseman, whose acting career was launched at NFT. Boseman had been mentored by NFT founder Woodie King since he was a Howard University student. A lifelong supporter of NFT, Boseman served on the theatre's Board of Directors.

Octoberfest is a virtual reading series from October 2 - 30 of five noteworthy NFT plays exploring social justice premiering each Friday that are recreated by noted alumni like Glynn Turman, Barbara Montgomery, Pauletta Washington, Ebony Jo Ann and La Tanya Richardson Jackson.

The plays presented during the Octoberfest play revival were: 1983 play "Do Lord Remember Me," 1994 play "Dr. DuBois and Miss Ovington," 1976 play "Medal of Honor Rag" and the 1987 play "From the Mississippi Delta."

The FREE readings are accessible from NFT's website. Please check out https://www.newfederaltheatre.com. Donations are welcomed.



Related Articles

More Hot Stories For You