Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Negro Speaks of Rivers Pomona College, Allen Theatre

A Negro Speaks of Rivers
Pomona College, Allen Theatre
Thursday January 31, 2013

A Negro Speaks of Rivers is a one hour and ten minute theatre production written and performed by Margaret Laurena Kemp,

Directed by Mark Lindberg, 
Sound design by Guy Brenner
Video Moses Hacmon
Text facilitated by Joyce Lu

The generosity of the Mellon Foundation and Pomona College supports this event so, it is free of charge please! RSVP
RSVP the Pomona Performance

Margaret Laurena Kemp, Writer and Performer, she originated roles in the premier productions of Splash Hatch on the E Going Down at Center Stage/Baltimore, and of Cora, the Devil’s daughter, in Tom Walker at Arena Stage in Washington, DC. Her numerous television appearances include recurring roles on The Orlando Jones Show. In 2006-2007, she produced her first solo performance piece Creative Instructions from MyCrummyLife which she toured nationwide. Ms. Kemp the creative collaboration of Joyce Lu, Moses Hacmon and Guy Brenner, without whom this performance would not be possible.

Mark Lindberg, Director is a New England native. He is highly regarded as director and performing arts teacher. He is the Theater/Barrows Family Master Teacher Chair at Buckingham, Brown and Nichols school. 

Joyce Lu, Text Facilitator is a director, dancer, actor and theatre maker. Her specialty is in working 
with personal stories and bringing them to the stage. She has conducted writing and performance 
workshops for women in the Bay Area and in Honolulu. Her directing projects include: C. Mamo Kim's 
play Crazymaking in 2010; Be sure to catch her current directing project Krunk Fu Battle Battle, by Qui Nguyen, Beau Sia, and Marc Macalintal this spring, at Pomona College.  

Guy Brenner, Sound Designer, is an award winning composer, musician and sound artist who most recently composed and designed sound for the Alayo Dance Company’s piece, Migrations, at the Dance Mission Theater in San Francisco in May. He  composed funky sci-fi opera, Close Your Mind and Kiss Me, presented by the Oakland Opera Theater at the SOMA Arts Gallery in San Francisco. Guy is currently the sound engineer at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco where he has been working since 1993.

Moses Hacmon, Video Designer, is a collaborative visual artist, designer, and photographer who brings forth the ethereal and evocative in all mediums of his work. His recent work includes lighting design for Cold Dream Color, a dance collaboration between Roxanne and Morleigh Steinberg and Oguri. He recently completed video projection and design for Crazymaking, directed by Joyce Lu at Pomona College. He created live-feed video Carole Kim’s N1 at the New Original Works Festival at REDCAT in Los Angeles. His video work, explores the struggle to stay humane in the urban American environment. View more of his work at Moses played Jesus Christ in the National Geographic 2007 television special, The Missing Years of Jesus.

Special acknowledgment to Joyce Lu, who generously gave her time and creativity to support and facilitate the text.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Negro Speaks of Rivers...Synopsis

A Negro Speaks of Rivers written and performed by Margaret Laurena Kemp A Negro Speaks of Rivers is a one hour and 10 minute theatre piece written and performed by Margaret Laurena Kemp, directed by Mark Lindberg, featuring sound design by Guy Brenner, and video design by Moses Hacmon. Tying together personal and ecological history, this piece reveals that water and land use issues are also culture and race issues. Low income, urban America is alternately glamorized in music videos and demonized in the news as “the hood” or “the ghetto.” In this climate, any real discussion about creating a sustainable future for these communities is sorely lacking. A Negro Speaks of Rivers is my artistic response to this lack. The play begins with my personal narrative, and then it ties this narrative to intersections between environmental racism and urban development. A Negro Speaks of Rivers also brings the Afro-Caribbean immigrant community I grew up in onto the stage; a group of people whose voices are virtually absent from American Theatre. A Negro Speaks of Rivers is inspired by the tradition of African American slave memoirs and the unearthing of cowrie shells, amulets, toys, and other objects belonging to enslaved peoples from the ground of old plantations. 1970s Boston, where the play is largely located, is also full of individuals and events that speak to the history of race in America. I revisit Louise Day Hicks, court ordered bussing, race riots, redlining, blockbusting, and FHA-sanctioned segregation in order to link the past to the present, and to show how the choices we make in terms of urban land use impact the human body and spirit. In January 2011, A Negro Speaks of Rivers was presented in excerpts at the Electric Loge in Venice, California. As result, it was invited to be performed in Cape Town, South Africa in the prestigious Out the Box Festival. The work was also presented at Cape Town’s Magnet Theatre. As a work-in-progress the work was presented at The International Theatre of Changes in Athens, Greece, on July 14, 2010. It is my hope to expand the ways in which presenting organizations can connect with communities through the arts; provide historical data that can be useful in correlating how land and water use relate to racial dynamics and violence; and promote partnerships between the public and private sector to facilitate a more equitable distribution of resources.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Friday, October 21, 2011

Thank you!

Thank you all for supporting my work in South Africa. I taught a lot and I learned a lot more. In the next few days I will be archiving my posts from South Africa and replacing them with pages detailing all the work I did during the past 3 months. You will hear from me personally regarding live presentations that I will make to discuss the trip. I hope that I will have many and you will be able to attend at least one! Good news! The journey is not over. A Negro Speaks of Rivers will be touring the U.S and beyond. Tour dates will be posted here. During my last two days I was had the opportunity to take enjoy Cape Town. One thing no one told me about is the great number of beautiful flowers that you can find....the city is garden of are some of the images I captured.
A random act of beauty...I saw on a walk
Another random act of beauty...
A Protea at Kirstenbosch Gardens
Girls in Trees a different type of natural beauty
Me and a Giant Protea...The Protea is South African's National Flower

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Moving from Workshop to Rehearsal at the Lawrence House

Phase 3 of The Mother Tongue Project with Visiting Artist Margaret Laurena Kemp's collaboration. We meet with the girls of the Lawrence House every week. The past several weeks have been spent getting to know each and learning basic theatre and storytelling skills. Now we will start putting it all together for our show! Here is gorgeous Davinia reading her homework responding to the question "what are your super powers?"

Saturday, August 6, 2011

A Negro Speaks of Rivers/Mothertongue Collaboration at Gender Dynamix

Phase Two of my collaboration with The Mothertongue Project is underway.

Freeing the Breath Healing the Body Healing the Breath Freeing the Body
This week I reflected on my time in Greece last summer and visiting The Theatre at Eppidarus. This ancient theater is on the site of one of the earliest surgery hospitals. Even brain surgery was performed there. At that time it was recognized that theatre has the power to heal. Thousands of people flocked to see a show and get a healing. My collaboration with the Mothertongue project speaks to that ancient tradition. Using theatre to heal both the performer and community. This is the spirit that I started week 2 and our work with Gender Dynamix.

The participants have very little (if any) performance/acting experience. The process is a bit scary. I will ask them to go places they haven't gone before both physically and mentally. So small group meetings with Sara Matchette ( Mothertongue Co-Artistic Director) the participants and I gave us a chance to commune without the stress of having to perform in anyway. It was nice to see everyone physically more at ease and ready to start the process of building Creative Instructions…. low stress, trust building, on one meeting. We all need to get to know each other feel that we are safe place so that we can share experiences and create theatre in the traditional sense of the words.