Body/Courage Adventures: Two Trains Running & Opening Night at the Goodman Theatre

“You a Woman in the world. you got to make the best of it”

As most of you know I just came back from a much needed vacation in New Orleans. Look out for that blog entry tomorrow. You do not want to miss the shenanigans.

I have been offered a really cool opportunity thanks to Sydney Chatman of the Tofu Chitlin’ Circuit & Denise Schneider of the Goodman Theatre. I have been asked to be one of the feature bloggers for the city wide August Wilson Celebration here in Chicago. There are three fierce female writers who are participating and you can find more about them and the festival here. 

August Wilson is, by far, one of the greatest 20th century playwright’s we have had ever! His works have chronicled generations of the African American experience. His “20th Century” Cycle includes 10 plays total. Beast!

We arrived home from New Orleans at noon and I had 5 hours to transform my life from

THIS: in bed before event

TO THIS: out of bed after event

When I entered the Goodman Theatre last night I immediately felt like I was at a family reunion and, possibly, even church. I ran into the gorgeous and phenomenally talented TaRon Patton of Congo Square. I understudied TaRon in Goodman’s production of By the Way, Meet Vera Stark directed by the legendary Chuck Smith. taron photo

The excitement bubbled outside of the theatre as we all waited in anticipation for the doors to open. I was so hyped I swore Beyonce or Prince was on stage. I grabbed my press kit and ran down the aisle like:

jinkeleah16.tumblr.com

When I entered the space and saw the scenic design by Linda Buchanan…

Photo Credit: Liz Lauren.
Photo Credit: Liz Lauren & The Goodman Theatre

She put an ENTIRE Diner on Set y’all! The cast was transfixing! The costumes were sharper than a fresh cut cucumber. Chester Gregory’s curl pattern put MY hair to SHAME!

thegiflibrary.tumblr.com

As a documentary playwright, what I love most about Wilson’s work is that the audience becomes a part of the environment. I LIVED for the barbershop /shootin’ the breeze on a hot summer day/ I’ll cuss you out in a hot-minute dialogue. Watching Ernest Perry Jr. on stage was like witnessing a Master Class. He transformed from the crown of his head to the sole of his feet.

Is it shady that I sat in the audience wishing August wrote a lil’ bit more for Risa? August Wilson addresses black women in society and women’s body image in a powerfully discreet way that left me wanting more. Wilson talks on issues of self-mutilation, sexual harassment and unfairness in the workplace. These topics are still relevant and are very telling of today’s gender society. Nambi E. Kelley was breathtaking in the role.

nambi kelley
Nambi E. Kelley and I at Petterino’s

Run and go see Chuck Smith’s fantastic production of Two Trains Running at the Goodman Theatre. Running: NOW till April 12, 2015. Click Here for Tickets.

For more pictures of last night’s event follow me on Instagram: @bodycourage 


Also, Check out this video I made at 4am this morning from last night’s extravaganza 

Love y’all,

D

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