Yes, I was asked to direct a short play, “Free To Go” by Holly Morse-Ellington and Jason Tinney. Their play will be part of an evening of 3 or 4 other short plays. Holly and Jason are multi-talented folks who play incredible music and perform their own dramatic work (though they’re not opposed to others performing it). We met when Jason and I were both judges for Maryland’s “Poetry Out Loud,” and we just sort of clicked. They helped me when I was rehearsing “B-Side Man” for the NYC performance, and they came to the show. Very true-blue of them, I’d say. I’d say their musical style was American “roots,” and their theatrical proclivities were very erotic and personal. How’s that for an artistic cocktail?!
Performances are scheduled for May 4th and 5th at the Manhattan Rep as part of their Playwright’s Showcase. I’ll be up there for final dress & tech rehearsal and will stay for the performance.
The play is awful damn powerful, and deals with a pretty intense “taboo” situation. So obviously — it’s right the frick up my alley. I’ve known Holly and Jason for a while, but I’m thrilled they asked me to direct. It’s nice to be considered for anything, and as I tell folks, AS I ALWAYS TELL FOLKS: anytime you get to do what you’re passionate about, it’s always a privilege. I’m not the first to say that, and won’t be the last.
I’ve found that the free-lance opportunities I’ve had run right in sync with this philosophy. From directing “The Telling Project” at Hopkins and Center Stage to working with GADO Images and the Afro-American newspaper for “East Side Story,” these are stories and storytelling ventures that I’m enormously proud to have collaborated on. Though vastly different projects, and I like to feel that they came to life and spoke to audiences on a very interior level. I don’t wanna sound like an artsy-fart, Heaven Forbid!!! But as I look back over what brings me joy, and what brings audiences joy, I think it was all part of this “genuine article” of writing and directing that I felt offered some kind of reaching out, some kind of engagement. That’s how I be rolling, my friends.