“Telling: Baltimore” finished at Center Stage last weekend, and I can’t say enough about how fantastic the experience was. The cast was
so psyched to perform in such a “legitimate venue”. And they rose to the occasion. Here we are taking a break during dress rehearsal. From left to right that’s Nick Lutwyche, Lisa Lutwyche, Maureen Stewart, Jim Paris, Jim Perry, Aisha DaCosta, Susie Cooper, Tracy Miller and cut off at the end if Karin Rodney-Haapala. That Alonzo, sitting in the audience. Some would say that’s my “best” side — I beg to disagree. As I told our audiences, and the cast, this was one of the best experiences of my life. Especially with regards to Theater. The cast was so unpretentious and sincere it made working with them easy as pie. They never fell into any of the typical “traps” that can sometimes come along with performing. And they listened, and trusted me — who can ask for more? It wouldn’t surprise me if I end up working with a few of them, if not more, somewhere down the road.
We all wished we could take our show on the road, having been in and out of rehearsals since June, we were all VERY comfortable about what we put onstage. And, we performed excerpts from the show at three different Baltimore schools during the week leading up the show at CS. We answered lots of questions, had some truthful engagement with a variety of students (high schoolers) and staff. “Telling” was 100% volunteer and boy did I put time, effort and energy into it. That’s no freakin lie. Ahhh, but what rewards. As I told wiffee Nicole, it’s something I can look back on and say “Yeah, I did that.”
What’s upcoming for 2015? Well, since I seem to be doing a cavalcade of projects “on my way to being famous,” I’m working with the Baltimore City Dept. of Housing, specifically Tyrone Requer an actor buddy who I’ve worked with on “East Side Story,” and I’ve been asked to create 4 one-hr. dramatic profiles of famous African-American Women. These will be performed as solo narrative pieces at the Waxter Center through 2015. The women I’ve chosen to write about are Marion Anderson, Ella Fitzgerald, Harriet Tubman and Wilma Rudolph (below). An eclectic mix, to be sure.
We have 12 months with a different woman featured each month. Our illustrious Mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake will be doing the final month, not sure who she’s profiling. Also, and this is a mighty BIG also — “B-SideMan” will have a reading in Baltimore. I know it’s in February, but beyond that I’m unsure. It’s being sponsored by the Dramatists Guild (they find me a Theatre and send out the invites) and Alonzo will be doing the reading.