Boy, the performance by Ebony Jackson as “Maya Angelou” at the Waxter Center was out of this world good. Spooky good. Much as I love the sound of applause for my own work, the applause for our interpretation of Maya Angelou’s life was — almost as rewarding.
The script worked like a charm because Maya’s poetry was prominently featured. I felt so incredibly proud in trying to do justice to the spirit of Maya Angelou. How many people get asked to write about her on a daily basis? I’m guessing the number is small. I hadn’t seen any rehearsals, but I trusted the material. Sometimes that’s a leap of faith. And then times like this it’s a no-brainer. Ebony, though slight, was a little powerhouse. We had the biggest audience we’d ever had for the series.
As you can see, we had a full house. And watching the audience I thought how lucky I was to have this kind of turn our for something I contributed (in no small part, might I add) to. There were all generations, and all sorts of folks who just wanted to see a dramatic presentation about one of their all-time greats.
Trust me, I could do a lot worse…….
Here’s Ebony taking a bow with Tyrone Champman (below) coming onstage. Tyrone is producing the series in conjunction with the Arena Players. Tyrone and I go back. We had a Q&A session afterwards, but all I did was stand there. The questions went to Maya. As they should. I believe Ebony would like to perform the show again. Fine with me. I think it should be seen as much as possible. I tried to show (based on Erick Kelly’s original script) that Maya rose from her beginnings, in thought, spirit, mind and body. Her poetry reflects this, and the sensations she generated from her writing completely elevated her. So HOORAY!
When this project started out, I had no idea we would touch so many folks. I envisioned 20-30 people drifting into the audience. Curious, but that’s about all. But I should slap myself upside the head. Little did I know that theatre STILL had the ability to reach out and grab you right where you live. And that’s what happened at the Waxter Center.
So this production isn’t really about my writing the script. It’s not even about my involvement. What it’s all about is right here……right there in those seats.