I had the pleasure of spending a Saturday evening with Donald and all of the talents that make up the Arena Players. I love this company. They are not just Baltimore treasures; they are gifts to art now and for generations to come. For six and a half decades they have been the consistent home for black theatre in our city, training artists, giving opportunity to performers and designers, and producing canonical and new work.
This past Saturday I found myself in a church on Clinton Street, in a hall where one would expect to be voting or watching an Easter pageant rather than seeing a show. Tucked to one side of the room is a stage made of recycled flats and platforms, dressed with sustainably sourced materials; on it, four actors and a first time director mount a production of a nearly thirty-year-old play that was as moving,
“I ain’t on oith and I ain’t in Heaven, get me? I’m in de middel tryin’ to seperate em, takin all de woist punches from bot’ of ’em. Maybe dat’s whay dey call Hell, huh?”
On a weekend packed with frightening diversions the most terrifying of all is surely Eugene O’Neill’s nearly century old expressionist drama, The Hairy Ape running through 19 November at Spotlighters Theatre. I was at opening night on Friday and I have been haunted ever since by the themes,