Reading the Black Intellectual: James Baldwin
Saturday, March 18 | 10 am - 1 pm
“Not every thing that is faced can be changed but nothing can be changed until it is faced…” James Baldwin
James Arthur Baldwin (1924-1987) was an essayist, playwright and novelist. In 1962 an article appeared in the New Yorker magazine entitled “Letter From a Region in My Mind.” This article would form the basis of his seminal work The Fire Next Time, published later that year. In1963 Sheldon Binn, reviewing the book in the New York Times, described it as a masterful attempt to translate what it means to be a Negro in white America.
Baldwin started writing Another Country (1962) in Greenwich Village in the 1940s. He completed the book in Istanbul as a result of a grant he received from the Ford Foundation.
Go Tell it on the Mountain is Baldwin’s earliest and most autobiographical work. It is defined by Baldwin’s painful relationship with his stepfather, David, a disciplinarian preacher from New Orleans who repeatedly told his stepson that he was ugly, marked by the devil. The novel addresses the issue of systemic racism.
Join us for coffee and conversation about this important work. Click here for questions to consider
All reads will take place in the Alumni Room and are free and open to the public.
August Wilson's Fences
April 21, 2017 | 8 pm
April 22| 8 pm
April 23 | 2pm
April 28 | 8 pm
April 29 | 8 pm
April 30 |2pm
Directed by Clinton Johnston
Fences is the 6th play in August Wilson’s ten-part Pittsburgh Cycle. Like all of the plays in the cycle, Wilson explores the evolving complexities of African American life. Set in 1950s Pittsburgh, the play’s focus is Troy, a 53-year-old head of household who struggles with providing for his family.Wilson plants all the major conflicts of the play in the first act. Ultimately, however, it seems that the main conflict of the play will involve Troy’s son Cory.The play comes to a climax when tensions explode between Troy and Cory and the two go at each other with a baseball bat.
Wilson won both a Tony Award for Best Play and Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1987 for the work.
Tickets on sale now!
Black Theater April 15, 11 am – 1pm: An overview of the history of black theater from the 19th century to the present. Featuring selections from representative works, including authors such as Lorraine Hansberry, Langston Hughes, Ntozake Shange and Charles Wright.
August Wilson’s Fences April 22, 11 am – 12 pm: An in-depth look into August Wilson’s Fences. Topics will include Wilson’s work in general, the historical context of the play, the play’s character and setting.
Play Analysis April 29, 11 am – 1 pm: What is a play? What makes plays unique? How do they work? How do you figure out what’s going on? Introduction on how to break a play into its prime theatrical components in order to understand it in your role of actor, designer or director.
Play Writing May 6, 11 am – 1pm: A quick and dirty introduction to playwrighting, looking at the core components; plot, character, dialogue, and monologue. Come prepared to write.