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!


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