Over the last two decades, The Robey Theatre Company has acquired a reputation for itself as a producing entity of distinction, presenting stage works of quality reflecting the lives and experiences of African Americans and Blacks in the global African diaspora. Now celebrating its 20th anniversary, Robey presents a two-day festival bearing the title of its namesake and source of inspiration, Paul Robeson, the actor, activist, singer, athlete and star of stage and screen.
On Fri., July 18 at 7 p.m., there will be a staged reading of a new full-length play, “Paul Robeson in Berlin,” written by Robert Coles and Bartley McSwine and directed by Robey artistic director Ben Guillory. There will also be a reception.
On the morning of Sat., July 19, screenings of films starring Paul Robeson, including “The Emperor Jones” and one other title are planned, with screening times to be announced.
There will be a full afternoon of performances, beginning at 1 p.m., of short plays presented that are either about Robeson, or that employ his life and activities as an inspirational starting point. The works include:
“Miss Pauline” by Cornell Hubert Calhoun III and “Deep River” by La’Chris Jordan directed by Dwain A. Perry; “The Rhythm Keepers” by Kellie Dantzler, “Rules of the Debate” by Inda Craig-Galvan, and “ETHIOP-ICA” by Julie Taiwo Oni, all directed by Adleane Hunter; “We Wear the Mask” by Paula Neiman and “I Shot the Sheriff” by Levy Lee Simon, both directed by Ben Guillory; “H.U.A.C.” by Alicia Tyler and “The Agreement” by Kurt D. Maxey, both directed by Dylan Southard; “La Loteria” by Sophia Washam, directed by Josiah Davis; “Eslanda Unplugged” by Nui Brown and “Plantin’” by George Corbin, both directed by Robert Clements; “Out/Side,” written and directed by Ryan Anderson; “Greenwood 1964,” written and directed by Mohamed Ali Ojarigi; “Dark Comedy” by Hassan Jamal and “Say Something” by Dominique Miller, directed by Glen Gilbert Brown.
All performances are scheduled to be presented in the 499-seat Theatre 1 of Los Angeles Theatre Center. Exhibits pertaining to Robeson, as well as displays of memorabilia and a puppet show, are planned for the Grand Lobby.
Tickets are $25 for the Friday event and $35 for Saturday, or $50 for an all-inclusive Festival Pass for both days’ events.
At Los Angeles Theatre Center (LATC), 514 S. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90013 in Downtown L.A.’s Historic Core. Parking is available (fee charged) at outdoor and indoor lots immediately south of LATC on Spring St. and on Sixth St.
Tickets are available starting June 26, online at www.thelatc.org or by calling toll-free at 866-811-4111.
For more information about Robey, go to www.robeytheatrecompany.org