Wednesday, September 20, 2017

On Performance and Black Theatre: An Interview with Playwright Nina Angela Mercer, a repost of JT Roane's interview in PERSPECTIVES, published by AAIHS

Talking to my brother, scholar J.T. Roane, is always rich with gems, especially over fries at my favorite diner in the Bronx. Check it out.

http://www.aaihs.org/on-performance-and-black-theatre-an-interview-with-playwright-nina-angela-mercer/

Taking the Road with Ebony Noelle Golden's 125th and Freedom - A Recap and Call to Join the Tribe

Check out my experience witnessing, walking, and strategizing with the 125th and Freedom Tribe at the link ...

https://medium.com/@ninaangelamercer/taking-the-road-with-ebony-noelle-goldens-125th-and-freedom-ef4da537f3d2


That Artist, Scholar, Witness Life ... Recent Publications with Links!

Check out a few of my most recent on-line publications. There's variety here - my own chorepoem, a scholarly essay in a peer review journal, and a recap of a dope street performance that's happening one more time in Harlem at the end of this week.

http://www.wocninc.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/VOICESCall.jpg
*My choreopoem ITAGUA MEJI: A Road and A Prayer is published in this issue of Voices online magazine, #SayHerName Edition.

http://continuumjournal.org/index.php/108-volumes/issues/vol-4-no-1/4-1-articles/156-performance-as-participatory-policy-making-taja-lindley-s-trinity-black-life-as-burlesque
*My essay Taja Lindley's TRINITY, Black Life as Burlesque is published in the current issue of Continuum: The Journal of African Diaspora Drama, Theatre and Performance

https://medium.com/@ninaangelamercer/taking-the-road-with-ebony-noelle-goldens-125th-and-freedom-ef4da537f3d2
*My recap of what it was like to witness Ebony Noelle Golden's 125th and Freedom in Harlem.

Back to the grind, y'all. One love. You can also find excerpts of my play GYPSY & THE BULLY DOOR in back issues of Black Renaissance Noire and The Killens Review of Arts and Letters. More print and on-line goodies coming soon!


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Changing Perceptions Theatre Company Celebrated the birthdays of Lorraine Hansberry & Malcolm X at The Langston Hughes House in Harlem on May 19th, 2017!

It was definitely an honor to get a call from Shaun Neblett, founder and director of Changing Perceptions Theatre Company, asking if I'd write a monologue for the annual birthday party for Lorraine Hansberry and Malcolm X at the Langston Hughes House in Harlem. Both Lorraine and Malcolm have been inspiration, influencing my walk on this road. I keep a portrait of Malcolm in my foyer; my father painted it in 1969. And I have this dope memory of reading his speeches from the By Any Means Necessary collection purchased at DC's Pyramid Book Store when I was 17 years old, staying up late at night before school just to gain deeper understanding of my place in the world through Malcolm's vision. But I selected Lorraine's words for my writing inspiration this time around, because I have often wondered what she would have written, what she would have had to say, what she would advise in these chaotic times. I did not get a speech or letter to work from. Instead, I had her musings from private notes, a list of "likes" and "regrets." I was moved by the intense loneliness, passion, and commitment in her personal thoughts, a woman holding intense love for her craft, community, and self, even through the contradictions. I found a beautiful woman in the midst of becoming ... And, to get to share work at the Langston Hughes House - me, a woman who grew up reading Langston's Jesse B. Simple stories with my dad on Sunday drives through the city? Well, that is just all the goodness. Right on time.
 Celebrating the birthdays of Lorraine Hansberry and Malcolm X at the Langston Hughes House!
 Kymbali Craig performs SPARROW by Nina Angela Mercer, a monologue inspired by Lorraine Hansberry's notes archived at The Schomburg Center.
 Kymbali Craig in SPARROW, a monologue by Nina Angela Mercer
 Packed house!


Thursday, March 16, 2017

#SACREDRESISTANCE

I got a text message from my dear sister in January, asking me to join a very important call to think about how to sustain our movement against the culture of violence and inhumanity that the current administration wears as its emblem and boots. She felt an urgent need for us to dig deep into our ancestral traditions to harness a force transcending divisions, especially because the current administration is determined to use religion as an incendiary threat, sparking fear, and informing travel, immigration, policing, and foreign policy. We must fight this.


That call became a national #blacklivesmatter interfaith action for #sacredresistance. We've been in deep conversation to hold space and welcome people of all faiths, religions, and spiritual practices, as well as those who do not claim a particular faith but are still deeply rooted in the practice of social justice and human rights rooted in love. Join us on April 1st for #sacredresistance at Malcom X Park/Meridian Hill Park at 11am for drumming, song, meditation, poetry, prayer, dance, and resistance. Satellite actions in your city. And, for those able to begin our vigil through fasting and/or meditation, we will start as early as midnight that day. Location for midnight gathering TBA. More details at www.sacredresist.org See you on the 1st! #chantdownbabylon #sacredresist #blacklivesmatter

Sunday, October 2, 2016

An August Occasion at Howard University

I am looking forward to presenting a paper for the August Wilson Conference at Howard University this month. I have been deeply inspired by Wilson's work since seeing Joe Turner's Come and Gone at Arena Stage when I was in junior high school in DC. I did not know that I would be moved to write plays years later then. But Wilson's rare gift for blues poetics and story-telling struck me in an unforgettable way in the dark house of the theater. I actually went into labor with my first daughter while listening to August Wilson speak about Seven Guitars at Howard University back in 1995. I didn't know I was in labor at the time, but it became very apparent later, after hanging out at a music studio into the wee morning hours. It's all intertwined. It has been a precarious alignment at times, but it has always made sense, if you know how funk makes sense, and if you know how blues makes all the sense, and the way life does if you choose that dance. And, of course, it's always special to return to HU - my alma mater, my former place of employment, the ground that knows every aspect of how my feet fall while walking. If you're in the area, come through ...