Yale School Of Drama Has Trouble In Mind

by Donald Brown | Jan 28, 2019 7:30 am

Alice Childress’ best-known play, Trouble in Mind, — a hard-hitting study of racism in American theater, being put on by the Yale School of Drama at the University Theater from Feb. 2 to Feb. 8 — debuted in 1955. The play’s critical success made Childress the first African American woman to win an Obie as a playwright. Originally produced Off Broadway in Greenwich Village, the play was Broadway bound, until Childress became dissatisfied about changes she was asked to make in her play. The play remains as Childress originally wrote it, and also remains woefully underproduced. Aneesha Kudtarkar, a third-year director in the Yale School of Drama, sees irony in the way the play’s history relates to its subject matter.

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When The Old South Haunts The New

by Donald Brown | Jan 18, 2019 7:46 am

T. Charles Erickson PhotosWhen you hear the term “Southern Gothic,” what do you think of? Racism, incest, misogyny, patriarchy, madness, suicide, a crumbling old house in which, at some level of symbolism, the white supremacist evils of the Confederacy eat away at the foundations of civilized society? Boo Killebrew’s Miller, Mississippi has it all, served up with a persistent backdrop of newscasts — from 1960 to 1994 — to help us keep track.

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Collective Consciousness Lets Rasheeda Speak

by Brian Slattery | Jan 15, 2019 7:44 am | Comments (1)

Brian Slattery PhotosWe’re maybe a third of the way into Rasheeda Speaking, and Ileen is treating Jaclyn badly. She’s sniping and casually cruel, and going a little nuts, and for much of the time so far, it has worked on Jaclyn, who at first doesn’t understand what exactly is going on.

Then there is a moment where she gets it. She sees the forces aligned against her. They threaten her livelihood. They threaten her dignity. And in retaliation, in a moment when Ileen isn’t looking, Jaclyn seizes the chance to open the drawers of Ileen’s desk and rearrange everything in them, so Ileen, who prizes order, can’t find anything.

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Voices Raised At Arts Awards

by Brian Slattery | Dec 10, 2018 7:39 am | Comments (2)

Luciana Q. McClure PhotosThe Arts Council of Greater New Haven’s 38th annual awards ceremony, held Friday during a luncheon at the New Haven Lawn Club, began with a protest. As patrons were seating themselves in the Lawn Club’s expansive ballroom, a troop of young women marched in file toward the stage, chanting and holding aloft signs about stopping domestic and sexual violence, about women’s suffrage, about curing breast cancer.

The women were dancers from Premier Dance Company, headed by Hanan Hameen, one of the afternoon’s award recipients. They took the stage to a blast of music from the speakers, moving from funk to pop to hip hop, as patrons finished sitting down — a fitting nod to the theme of the arts awards this year, of phenomenal women.

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