Bringing the Art to the Audience is our popular staged reading series, which last season featured readings at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD), the African American Art and Culture Complex,The Eastbay Center for the Performing Arts in Richmond, The Oakland School for the Arts, and Joyce Gordon Gallery.
This year we will expand our partnerships, to include San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and Oakland's Eastside Arts Alliance.
Admission to most Bringing the Art to the Audience events is free. All LHT season subscribers will enjoy free access to all Bringing The Art To The Audience events! (Non-LHT-subscribers and non-MoAD-members must pay regular MoAD admission to attend readings at MoAD.)
Watch this page for dates and times. (Click on poster images to enlarge.)
Saturday, April 26 — 2pm
Les Blancs (The Whites)
by Lorraine Hansberry
directed by & featuring Aldo Billingslea
Best American play of 1970, Les Blancs prophetically confronts the hope and tragedy of Africa in revolution. The setting is a white Christian mission in a colony about to explode. The time is that hour of reckoning when no one, the guilty nor the innocent, can evade the consequences of white colonialism and imperatives of black liberation. Tshembe Matoseh, the English educated son of a chief, has come home to bury his father. He finds his teenage brother a near alcoholic and his older brother a priest and traitor to his people. Forswearing politics and wanting only to return to his wife and child in England, Tshembe is drawn into the conflict symbolized by a woman dancer, the powerful Spirit of Africa who pursues him.
Admission: FREE to LHT Subscribers and MoAD Members.*
Museum of the African Diaspora
685 Mission Street (at Third), San Francisco, CA 94105
*All others must pay regular MoAD admission ($10 adults, $5 Students & Seniors). LHT Subscribers must RSVP if they wish to avoid paying MoAD admission; MoAD ahs asked that all attendees RSVP for this event. RSVP by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling MoAD at 415 318-7140.
Saturday, June 7— 2pm
by Micheal Gene Sullivan
directed by the playwright
While the Museum of the African Diaspora is closed for renovation,
we will present our fnal MoAD reading of the season at the
Contemporary Jewish Museum
736 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Contemporary Jewish Museum
736 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94105
Monday, June 16 — 7pm
Our 4th Annual Juneteenth Fundraiser
for colored girls who have considered suicide/ when the rainbow is enuf
by Ntozake Shange
In 1974, Ntozake Shange's Choreopoem, for colored girls who have considered suicide/ when the rainbow is enuf made its stage debut. Combining poetry, dance, and music — exciting, inspiring and transforming audiences, within two years, the play became a Broadway sensation, won an Obie and Tony Award. It has been produced in regional theatres throughout the country. Now, 40 years later, PROJECT1VOICE brings this empowering American theatre classic to a new generation with staged readings all across the country.
Venue TBA — San Francisco
by Barry "Shabaka" Henley
Mingus Remixed is musical exploration of the life and myth of composer and jazz bassist, Charles Mingus, examining the final moments of his life. According to conductor Gunter Schuler, — Along with Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, was the greatest Jazz composer of the 20th century. Mingus's intricate, complex, compositions in the genres of jazz and classical music illustrate his ability to be dynamic in both the strings and the swing.
Mingus truly was a product of America in all its historic complexities. His mother, Harriet, was half black and half Chinese, and his father, Charles Sr., was half black and half Swedish, making Mingus a true reflection of the hybrid nature of our divided nation.
Mingus Remixed is a tribute presented in cabaret style, telling the unknown story of one of America's greatest composers. The setting is Mingus's deathbed, January 4, 1979, which exists in the parallel universe of the Cosmic Note Jazz Club. We find Charles in a wheelchair, age 56, taking his last 10 breaths before dying of ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease). In his crossing over he must come to terms with life, death, art, and the blessing and burden of blackness, in a world of white supremecy.
We celebrate Mingus with his music and original compositions, and the fiercely beautiful dancing of Robert Henry Johnson. The musical quartet on stage, is led by Piano man and composer Muziki Roberson and sound designer and composer David Allen Jr., while our protagonist, Mingus, is being portrayed by yours truly, Barry Shabaka Henley.
Mingus says, "It is last call; I call the last tune, my last ten breaths. We begin at the ending and move forward. I am dying, Papa Elegua, here I come." We look forward to sharing the last ten breaths of the life of an American musical treasure.
— Barry "Shabaka" Henley
Bringing the Art to the Audience is made possible in part by grants from the California Arts Council and the Sam Mazza Foundation