And that’s all there really is to say… The New York City debut of this play begins on April 21st. The Wild Project is an intimate 88 seat black box playing space on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. It is the perfect space to perform this piece in, and I expect it to be oversold for all of it’s eleven dates.
The members of Phoenix Theatre Ensemble and I are all hugely excited about this endeavor. Our collaboration in presenting this work is the next logical step in the performance path of something that I’ve begun to believe has true contemporary relevance and import.
As per usual, I urge everyone to secure a seat soon, and to come be a part of this continuing discussion.
For those who’ve come late to the party, just to bring you up to speed…
American Moor is a passionate and uneasy study of a large African American actor auditioning for the role of Othello for a middle-aged white director who portends to have knowledge about how a large black man should act and respond in an unaccepting society.
The play asks uncomfortable and complex questions, moving to much larger issues than the audition/theatre process: Is there a patronizing racism that exists in our contemporary theatre? Is this a microcosm of progressive/liberal society that thinks it has knowledge of the black experience? Do directors want to work with actors who ask challenging questions in a 3-week rehearsal process?
And then, there is the whole issue of whether or not we can ever talk past our own personal perspective to address any of these questions and a multitude of others…
It’s a big chunk of theatre that will make you laugh… or maybe weep…
“In this remarkable evening a unique performer with an uncanny ear for the language of Shakespeare lures you into taking a startling double journey.
In the seeming act of demolishing The Bard’s OTHELLO and resurrecting him in his own image, Keith Hamilton Cobb takes you on a riveting journey through the love and rage in the turbulent interior of a modern black man.”
Ellen Holly, Actress/Writer, author of ONE LIFE: The Autobiography of an African American Actress.