It’s Thursday, and we are much later than usual in sharing with you about Monday’s reading. This week has been full of frozen emotion as two more murders took place.
As Black storytellers, the playwrights that we feature at the cell every month are passing on legacies and ensuring that parts of our history as Africans throughout the Diaspora are told.
Monday’s reading is no different.
About the play
It’s 1932 in Birmingham, Alabama at the Pratt Coal mining prison, Slope No. 12. Cheeks and Odin Dean are prisoners and Ezekiel finds bones. Maybell and Vivie Eillien are prostitutes, and Green Cottenham’s spirit comes calling. In the American South, there had to be a system created to control the newly freed black population and convict labor became that solution. This here be the Pratt Coal mines, where black men are picked up for any minimum charge like spitting, talking loud in the presence of a white woman, gambling, or just “being”. In 1932, black prison labor is free, hard, and easy. They are simply slaves given a different name.
About the playwright
Lekethia Dalcoe is a Houston native, residing in New York City. She holds a MA in Theatre from Texas A&M University’s Commerce campus and a MFA in Acting from the New school for Drama in NYC. Her recent playwrighting history includes, “A Small Oak Tree Runs Red” (Full-length) which has been commissioned by the Congo Square Theatre in Chicago for its 2015-2016 Power of Her season; directed by Tony nominated actor/director Harry Lennix, produced at the Venus/Adonis festival (2015) in New York, and as a staged reading for “The Keep Soul Alive” playwrighting series at The National Black (NBT) in New York. Other plays include: “Black Bars” (2014) (Full-length),“Charmed Love” (2013) (One-Act), “Prophecy of the Sands” (2007) (Full-length) that has been produced and staged at PraireView A&M University’s Black Box Theatre and produced at the 2007 TETA Playfest Festival in Houston, TX and “Gardenias” which is currently in the works. Some of Ms. Dalcoe’s acting credits include, RSC “Julius Caesar”(Company), “In the Blood” (Hester),”Woyzeck” (Marie), “Shakespeare’s Henry” (Warwick), “Tempest”(Ariel), “The Blacks” (Bobo) and “No Exit” (Estelle).
Wine and Refreshments served