Posts tagged Baltimore
Rising Up! Planning Sessions
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by: Marvin Roxas

WombWork Productions, Inc. has been diligently planning their work on an 8-week curriculum in partnership with The Modell Lyric Performing Arts Center that will take place in two Baltimore City schools. The aim is to incorporate the WombWork Productions, Inc. virtues training and theatrical skills methodology into a personalized script-writing program where middle school students will have the opportunity to perform scripts that showcase and share their own personalized stories. The end products will include a published book of the students' stories, a video about the curriculum and script-making process, and a whole-day performance of the students' work at The Modell Lyric Performing Arts Center.

Mama Rashida in Coppin State University's Tell Pharaoh
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By: Mama Kay

Tell Pharaoh is a play written by Loften Mitchell in 1963. The play was edgy for it’s time period, and progressive for the time that it was in. But for now a few things had to be tweaked because it was written about the black experience in New York City. The professor/director Willie O. Jordan, tweaked the play so that the focus didn’t revolve around New York. It was brilliantly executed by the cast and the singing was excellent. You know, Mama Rashida always complains that she was gonna forget her lines, and seeing her in a play that I did not participate in, I could tell that her hand was deeply involved. I know her rhythm, I know how she thinks, and I know how she embellishes the show with her experiences.\

You know Mama Rashida is a lover of black history. And when she played Rosa Parks, it was amazing. Christian Harris was phenomenal in the show. She played one of the main characters and she is a Nu World actress and singer. Her singing was exquisite and her trained voice was utilized in ways that I hadn’t heard before. Her levels that she used was amazing. My mother, Geraldine Waters, almost fainted when Christian sang, “Everything must change.” The Coppin Repertory Theatre should be proud of a show that was well-executed and brought back to life with their modern touches.

Wedding of David and Doralee
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By: Dr. David Fakunle

I’ll start with the beginning. I first laid eyes on Doralee in 2001, because there was a show that WombWork did at Theatre Project. I remember the exact scene where Doralee and Ola dressed as prostitutes, and I was in the audience and I laid eyes on Doralee and I said, “Oh I like her!” Ola wrote that part of the performance. That’s when I first saw Doralee on the first time. It wasn’t long after that that my sister and I joined Nu World. So you know, I’m in the company and once in a while Doralee would show up. It was a classic example of her being out of my league. And I always thought that she was so much older than me. Other than just the way she held herself, I always saw herself as much older and more mature; a woman. And it was always just hi or hello and nothing deeper.

Doralee and Ola Performing

Doralee and Ola Performing

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Fast forward to 2010, and I was starting back up with Nu World, because I was working in Virginia and I got a job with social security. On Facebook, there was this game where people would post numbers and anyone among their friends would take this number and you can find someone out about me. And trying to be cool, I put it out there that anyone who wants to say something for me can just message and send me. I was in the back of social security training and on Facebook. Then I received a message on December 7th 11:35pm from Doralee; I read it the next morning in class. It read, “I feel like there’s always something you wanted to tell me, but then again it might be wrong.”

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At that point, I broke down and cried. And I’m in the back of the room so no one saw it. I don’t know what gave it away, but she saw right through me. And it was a Wednesday, and I had rehearsal that night. I snuck out of the rehearsal room, and I called her and told her everything. That Friday night, we went on our first date, and we’ve been together ever since. I had to cut out a few women out of my life ever since haha. After the honeymoon period, we continued and I didn’t realize just how emotionally damaged I was. She allowed me to tap into emotions that I didn’t know I had. She was relentless with me and stuck with me even though I’ve pushed her away many times. And we’ve been a team, raising this kid and doing our best with this. So that is why we chose this date on the 8th, initially we were just gonna go to the courthouse. We realized that we couldn’t do this without our friends and family. We were gonna do it originally at our friend’s house, and then at a community center but that cost too much money, but then we realized that we could just do it at WombWork. It was the universe working the way it had to. And it was awesome seeing the people who came out to show their support in it coming together. That’s our style, we put things together to get everything together. It worked out perfectly and it describes our relationship in a nutshell. She balances me in a lot of ways.

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UMBC Student Leaders and Community Leaders at BlackBox Theatre
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by: Marvin Roxas

"You get to know people by listening to them."
~Mama Deborah

"I usually don't get listened to..."
~UMBC Student

On Wednesday November 29th, 20 student leaders and community leaders from UMBC's Choice Program came to the WombWork Black Box Theatre to participate in a virtues training and discussion about talking about race. Facilitated by Mama Kay and Mama Rashida, the event opened up with participants introducing themselves and the virtue that most resonated with them at that moment in their lives. The group then paired off and spent five minutes actively listening to each other share both their darkest moment in their lives and their most shining moment in their lives. Other activities involved sharing personal viewpoints, perceptions, and opinions about race within small groups.

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The power of this workshop came from student leaders finding common ground to connect with one another's stories and recognize that they are not alone despite their differences. At the end of the event, students and community leaders shared in a meal catered by the local Agape House Catering.

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The Village that Vanished
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By: Cheryl Hinton

The Village that Vanished: Remember, Rekindle, Reclaim, Restore...

The Baltimore Cease Fire 365 is a citywide movement calling for all citizens to refrain from the act of homicide. November 3rd to November 5th was the second Cease Fire weekend this year filled with life affirming events asking Baltimore residents to celebrate life. The movement offered resources to families, make commitments to be non-violent in thought, word and deed and ultimately, honor the sacredness of life every day.

On November 5, 2017, The National Great Blacks In Wax held a Cease Fire event entitled The Village That Vanished- Remember, Rekindle, Reclaim, Restore.  The museum applauded the work of Rashida Forman-Bey and Kay L. Muhammad, Directors of WombWork Productions, Inc. along with thirteen others. The Honorees were applauded as Unsung Sheroes and Heroes who have worked tirelessly in the Baltimore community with our children, youth and adults who face the atrocities of inequities, marginalization, health disparities and more. For over twenty years, WombWork Productions, Inc. has saved lives through the arts and as a result, a standing ovation of acknowledgement was given. Others like Sallah Jenkins, Sheila Gaskins, Leon Purnell, Umar Marvin McDowell, Menes Yahudah, Navasha Daya, Stephanie Sayfiatou Edwards, Phyllis Smith, Eric March, Samuel Brice, Janet Jones and Barbara Redmond had their unique work and validating stories to share.

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Our own Dr. David Fakunle was the keynote speaker. Dr. Fakunle referenced the African folktale, The Village That Vanished which stressed the virtues of courage, faith, wisdom and leadership.  He shared the importance of each honoree’s life work and impact on our Baltimore community.

The National Great Blacks In Wax also provided a 365 Legacy Time Capsule adorned by Visual Artist Sallah Jenkins. The Capsule, intended for the legacy we will leave our children, highlights the value of life and identify virtues, morals and behaviors needed to survive in a world where many people have no beliefs greater than themselves.   Guests and Honorees were offered the opportunity to place items in the Capsule i.e. virtue cards, Bible, Koran, 42 Principles of Maat and “365” Commitment Certificates indicating the “work” they will personally do in restoring the Village That Vanished.  The Legacy Time Capsule will be housed in the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum.  

What work will you commit to do to rekindle, reclaim and restore the village? Join WombWork Productions, Inc. today, to commit to this life affirming mission to save our youth, our city, your city, our future. Congratulations, Mama Kay and Mama Rashida!

...Restoring the Village of Baltimore
International Black Film Festival Performance

by: Marvin Roxas

Next Generation Art Ensemble performed a 15-minute piece of their Judged by 12 Carried by 6! Plantation Psychosis after being welcomed by Mayor Catherine Pugh and watching several black youth films regarding bullying and police brutality during the opening night of the International Black Film Festival at the Charles Theater (1711 N. Charles St.) 

Mayor Catherine Pugh introduced the movies by mentioning her vision about having a school night next year so that more students would be able to attend the Festival. She also referred to the performers, filmmakers, and actors as some of the "most creative people in the universe."

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