Meet Ben Guillory, the co-founder of the Robey Theatre with actor Danny Glover. Also meet some of the playwrights and directors Camile Lourde Wyatt, Dominique Miller, Dwain Perry, Kathie Foley-Meyer, Kellie Dantzier, Mohammed Ali Ojarigi, Robert Tathon Clements, Ryan Anderson, and Starr Gazer.
Bringing together 20 years of signature work, Robey presents a two-day festival of one-act plays developed through the Robey Playwrights Program, performed and directed by alumni from Robey’s theatre productions and workshops.
During the McCarthy era, a selected group of people were called before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), where they were asked to answer whether they were a communist or not, and if so, to give the names of other communists. Paul Robeson was one of these persons called and he refused to answer, stating as an American it was within his right not to answer such a question. He was then asked about a recent trip he took to the Soviet Union. He replied:
“In Russia, I felt for the first time like a full human being…no color prejudice like in Mississippi, no color prejudice like in Washington.”
When the committee asked if he liked Russia so much, why didn’t he stay there, he answered:
“Because my father was a slave and my people died to build this country and I am going to stay here and have a part in it just like you. And no fascist-minded people will drive me from it. Is that clear?”
This fearless social consciousness and command Paul Robeson had is what inspired the Robey Theatre Company to launch its first Paul Robeson Theatre Festival, to be held at the Los Angeles Theatre Center July 18-19, 2014. There will be 16 playwrights in this year’s festival, featuring a few writers each week for the next three weeks until the festival begins.
The playwrights were asked to submit their original play or a scene from a body of work (no more than 20 pages long), that addressed and/or reflected Paul Robeson’s principles concerning social consciousness. The plays submitted did not have to be about Mr. Robeson per se, only to have been inspired by his values.
The festival will be featuring the following writers:
Julie Taiwo Oni
Cornell Hubert Calhoun, III
Please join the Robey Theatre Festival July 19 – 20, 2014 at the:
Los Angeles Theatre Center
514 South Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA. 90013
A special thank you to Phillip Sokoloff, PR
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