"And You Were Going to Tell Us When?"
America thrills to Black death, especially violent and young. But mainstream culture hardly notices the quiet passing of old Black people. Theater can. Theater can take its time to let human beings act out stories while other human beings sitting round them in the dark can feel--maybe not better, but more. Loving, curious, even merciless, attention is its own memorial. These old, complicated Black lives matter.
Adapted from my memoir of the same title, Ladysitting is my third telling of the story of my grandmother's end-of-life in our home after 99 years of fierce independence. Between those two forms is the short libretto I wrote
Three takes? Sheesh! But it's a Big Question: Is love as strong as death? No, f'rill, f'rill: Is it? Can we make it so, despite fear and the wounds we give each other and the armor we use to protect ourselves? The Bible's Song of Solomon says yes. It tells us to set this very phrase as a seal upon our arms. So I did. @distoart created the art, and daughter Zoë played Mahalia in my ear as @deathbynewyork inked it in. (It also said to set it as a seal upon your heart, but a titty-tatt at this stage? I'ma let that one go...)
Early this fall Theatrical Rights Worldwide (TRW), will take My General Tubman from the stage to the page. Paperback copies, digital—and licensing for theatrical production.
This photo of the gorgeous original Philadelphia cast, directed by Pulitzer-winner James Ijames, was taken on the night COVID shut us down in March 2020. For two years since, I’ve answered queries with raggedy-behind Google Docs. Nada más. Please follow me on social for the pub announcement and to share with friends in the biz and schools!
Or check out TRW Plays in mid-September.
Save the Date:
October 6th, 3pm CT/4pm ET.
Thanks to Fisk University, who will host a reading, featuring Fisk students, of my draft libretto for Jubilee! Damien Geter will compose this Portland Opera commission that connects today’s Fisk Jubilee Singers to the originals: teens and young adults who brought spirituals to the concert stage--and paid for Fisk’s land and Jubilee Hall. Sing Sankofa!
The Little Theater, Fisk U, Nashville, TN
Or follow me @LoreneEmilyCary for ways to view online.
FRIENDS AND FAMILY NEWS & PROJECTS
By Carole Hopson, United Airlines Captain, and my amazing sister! Carole brings to life aviatrix Bessie Coleman. When no one in the US would teach her, Bessie went to France and earned her license in 1921. Proceeds go to Carole's Jet Black Fdtn .
By Tyler James Russell, author, teacher, and former student. He's crafted a taut apocalyptic thriller. Husband and wife were going to break up; now, in alternating chapters, they take us on the road to Anchorage. Hang on!
By Elizabeth L. Silver, author, lawyer, founder of Onward Literary mentoring, and former student. I'm thrilled to be talking with Liz at Kelly Writers House on 10/16 about the new book. An 83-year-old Supreme Court justice does not trust historians, so she tells us her story. Oyez!
By Simone Stolzoff, author, designer, former student, and workplace expert, who once, when I gave a writing prompt and left the classroom, organized a calming sound environment to help his peers focus. Now, he calls out our culture's "fetishization of work"--and asks us to choose life.