Towne Street Theatre, L.A.'s premiere African American theatre company, presents their Repertory Theatre Series for Black History Month 2007. The two evenings have something for everyone - Comedy, Drama, and Mystery. "Retrospective" (Evening A) includes the world premiere of Very Strange Fruit, in addition to the short play CB, Biscuit & What's-His-Face, both by Mark V. Jones. "Encounters" (Evening B) includes the revival of The Meeting by Jeff Stetson, and the short plays Rich Bitch by Veronica Thompson, Digital Natives by Barbara White Morgan, and The Launching of Katie Garrison by Christopher Wood.
Very Strange Fruit
In the summer of 1963, over 200,000 people stood at the base of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. and heard Martin Luther King, Jr. utter those famous words: "I Have a Dream." By the next summer, President Lyndon B. Johnson had signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the most extensive civil rights legislation since Reconstruction. For some, those speeches and laws were meaningless, and they wanted nothing more than to see those "dreams" permanently deferred. This is where Very Strange Fruit begins. Tony Robinson directs this "serio-comic look at a nothing-to-laugh-at struggle."
Two voices, with words that still reverberate today, were at the forefront of the civil rights struggles of the 1960's - Martin Luther King, Jr.: "Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time... We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline," and Malcolm X: "We want freedom by any means necessary. We want justice by any means necessary. We want equality by any means necessary." Publicly they were on opposite sides of the political fence, but what will these two great minds say to each other in private? This fictitious meeting of two great men, with two very different ideologies, offers a glimpse of what could have been. Niva Dorell directs.
The Underground Railroad derails in the comedy CB, Biscuit & What's-His-Face, directed by Mark V. Jones. Tony Robinson directs Rich Bitch; if that's what they call her to her face, imagine what they say behind her back. Digital Natives, directed by Nancy Cheryll Davis-Bellamy, attempts to answer the question "What would happen if we had to turn off our cell phones and laptops, and actually talk to each other face to face?" And, lastly, how can you help a young girl find her first job when her only qualifications are that she's "good with livestock"... find out in The Launching of Katie Garrison, directed by Kila Kitu. These four short plays were first presented at Towne Street's Ten-Minute Play Festival.
Retropspective (Evening A):
Saturday, February 17 at 8:00pm (preview)
Sunday, February 18 at 3:00pm (preview)
Friday, February 23 at 8:00pm
Saturday, February 24 at 8:00pm
Saturday, March 3 at 3:00pm
Saturday, March 3 at 8:00pm
Saturday, March 10 at 8:00pm
Sunday, March 11 at 3:00pm
Encounters (Evening B):
Friday, February 16 at 8:00pm (preview)
Sunday, February 18 at 7:00pm (preview)
Thursday, February 22 at 8:00pm
Saturday, February 24 at 3:00pm
Friday, March 2 at 8:00pm
Sunday, March 4 at 7:00pm
Friday, March 9 at 8:00pm
Sunday, March 11 at 7:00pm
There are no performances scheduled for Sunday, February 25 and there is no matinee on Sunday, March 4.