“Everyone in this play is dead,” Harriet Tubman (Tiffany Byrd) announces minutes into the first act. Frederick Douglass (Marquis D. Gibson), John Brown (Nicklas Aliff), Henry Kagi (Josh Adams), Emperor (Dylan J. Fleming), John Brown Jr. (Robert Bowen Smith), and Mahala Doyle (Moira Todd), speak directly to the audience from seats among us, and introduce […]
Hey, put down your guns! I’m not talking about hand-carrying, capitalist-and-NRA-endorsed devices you can buy on DC streets. I’m talking about the weapons of words we use to hate on each other and heap hate on ourselves. I’m here to tell you Word Becomes Flesh, a play not just for blacks, has returned and though […]
Debbie Minter Jackson sends back this report from her visit to the Saturday, September 2, opening day of this year’s Page-to-Stage festival at the Kennedy Center and brings back some standouts that, hopefully will find their way from the page to local stages .
Anacostia’s Theater Alliance, which scored big earlier this past June with the debut Mollye Maxner’s devised play, Still Life With Rocket, will do itself one better this year, with two plays in redevelopment — and a third play, which Theater Alliance has already produced twice to acclaim.
No other play now on area stages has been more enhanced by its soundtrack than Theater Alliance’s Still Life with Rocket. Matthew Nielson’s underscored music, sound effects and songs of this collaborative production are so perfectly tuned to the performances, it is difficult to imagine the play without them.
Some plays are compelling because their dilemmas are so universal they provoke the shock of recognition in all of us. Disgraced is like that. Other plays are compelling because, though the characters are repulsive, they are repulsive in so entertaining a way that we cannot take our eyes away. August: Osage County is like that. […]
“It’s a really hard play to put into words. I think it’s an exploration and a dive into what we call home, where we come from, and how we connect with what that means both in a larger societal way and in a very individual, personal way.” That’s Theater Alliance Artistic Director Colin Hovde talking […]
So we know the what of history — Truman over Dewey, say, or U.S. and England over Germany, Italy and Japan in World War II — but do we know what history smells like? Knowing the past by facts is like knowing the Eroica Variations by musical notation. And so we struggle for more: to […]
Is there a roof left in Anacostia? Doubtful, now that Black Nativity is back in the community for a third time. A joyful noise is made—and then some—in Theater Alliance’s soulful, soul-stirring revival of Black Nativity, Langston Hughes’ 1961 “Gospel Song-Play” that, as one character says, “puts the Christ back in Christmas.”
In recent years, turning on the TV or radio, or even just logging in to Facebook, can often feel like a feat of the will. The barrage of stories of unspeakable violence, pain and anguish is staggering. Some days, it feels as if the human race is trying to tear itself apart. I am often […]