Posts tagged Theatre
Celebrating Mary Carter Smith's Life and Legacy

by: Olayinka Lawal

Next Generation joined Baba Bunjo Butler,  Dr. David Fakunle, Duane “Djembe” Hinton, Kendell and Karron, Rodney 'Prince' Moore, Brother Nile to celebrate Queen Mother Mama Mary Carter Smith.  On a rainy February 4, 2018, The National Blacks in Wax Museum held almost 100 people to celebrate our most esteemed ancestor. Hosted by Dr. David Fakunle, the presentation began with an emotionally stirring reading by Dr Joanna Martin; an original Mary Carter Smith poem dedicated to Dr. Elmer Martin.  Baba Bunjo Butler was next with an original piece called "I Love Being Dark" which was performed with the cool virbrato of a jazz musician. Then brother Nile came out and told the story of Harriett Tubman in front of a large quilt and explained the meaning of the hidden messages sewn into quilts and journey through the underground railroad.

Growing Griots Literacy Learning Program graduates were awarded certificates for continuing to share in the African Oral Tradition. One of the awardees, Rodney 'Prince' Moore gave a fiery performance, their ode to the 'Black Boy'.

Rodney 'Prince' Moore

Rodney 'Prince' Moore

Next Generation began with drumming and gave libations to our ancestors in song, dance, and acting. They discussed how violence in our communities has become normal and the cycle must end. Next Generation's performance closed with West African dance. 

The evening ended with the powerful and uplifting "Soliders" performance by the duo KenRon. Guests dined and shared stories about their memories of Mama Mary Carter Smith as they slowly trickled out of the museum.   

Ms. Deborah Fakunle with the wax figure of Queen Mary Carter Smith

Ms. Deborah Fakunle with the wax figure of Queen Mary Carter Smith

Next Generation

Next Generation

KenRon performing "Soldiers"  

KenRon performing "Soldiers"  

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Nevus

Mama Rashida and Mama Kay 

Mama Rashida and Mama Kay 

Mama Rashida in Coppin State University's Tell Pharaoh Show
Flyer--TELL PHARAOH (final) 11-15-2017-page-001.jpg

by: Mama Rashida

“Tell Pharaoh” is a musical written by Loften Mitchell. It is directed by my theatre teacher and a mentor to many…Professor Willie O. Jordan.  As an elder who has returned to school, (I’m a Junior at CSU) I feel so honored to be on stage with my fellow cast members who are such talented young performers.  I feel so honored to once again to be able to tell the story of Africans born in America, whose contributions to this country and to the world must always be remembered. If you can’t find Mama Rashida, I am somewhere studying new choreography, songs, or my lines. My lines!!!! I am being paid back for every time I said to the cast at WombWork, “You had better come back here with those lines memorized.” LOL!!! Hard work and fun!!!! Come join us for evening of music, dance and live theatre.

Press Release:

BALTIMORE—The Coppin Repertory Theatre will conclude the 2017-2018 Social Justice Theatre Season with Loften Mitchell’s concert drama, Tell Pharaoh: The Cries Of Africa’s New World Children. Performances are scheduled December 8-11, 2017 in the Theatre Lab, located on the lower level of the Grace Jacobs Building.  Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Monday; 3:00 p.m. on Sunday.

Tell Pharaoh is a live docu-drama woven with theatre . . . spoken word . . . song and dance . . . on a journey that chronicles the trials, tribulations and triumphs of the African American’s journey to America.

Highly regarded as a playwright, historian, author, librettist and teacher, Loften Mitchell (1919-2001) was an early leader of the black theater movement. His critical works, such as Black Drama: The Story of the American Negro in the Theatre (1967) and Voices of the Black Theatre (1975), documents the contributions of African Americans to the theatre.  His plays include Blood in the Night (1946), A Land Beyond the River (1957), Tell Pharaoh (1963, 1987), the Off-Broadway musical Ballad for Bimshire (1963) and Broadway’s Tony-nominated musical, Bubblin’ Brown Sugar (1975).