Now thru Feb 3 | American Moor @ Anacostia Playhouse
Written and Performed by Keith Hamilton Cobb
Directed by Kim Weild
Produced in association with SenovvA
What is the role of a lifetime? What is the role of a life?
Playwright/performer, Keith Hamilton Cobb directed by Drama Desk nominee, Kim Weild , uses his love of language and 30 years of experience in the American theatre to explore Shakespeare, race, and America, not necessarily in that order. His 85-minute award-winning play, American Moor, that considers the dilemma of a seasoned African-American thespian auditioning for a role fraught with racial animus, Othello, is an unapologetic peer into a hindering industry irony that stands as metaphor for our most pressing societal condition: a white culture dictating rules of conduct to a non-white one from an often inadvertent place of privilege. Cobb, with a facility for poetry entertains, and with the pathos of a veteran tragedian engages while asking questions that demand answers, and answering questions that too seldom get asked.
American Moor had its first staged reading in March of 2013 under the direction of Brent Buell. It had its first public performance under the direction of Paul Kwame Johnson at Westchester Community College in November of 2013 as a presentation of the WCC Humanities Institute with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Between 2014 and the present it has had multiple presentations contributing to its development. Among the most notable of these were an 11-performance showcase produced by Phoenix Theatre Ensemble at The Wild Project, Manhattan in April of 2015, directed by Paul Kwame Johnson; a production here at The Anacostia Playhouse in July of 2015, directed by Craig Wallace; and a joint production of O.W.I. (Bureau of Theatre) and Phoenix Theatre Ensemble at Boston Center for the Arts in July of 2017, directed by Kim Weild. The 2015 Phoenix Theatre Ensemble showcase garnered an AUDELCO Award for Outstanding Solo Performance. The Anacostia Playhouse production brought the play to the attention of The Folger Shakespeare Library, the script now a part of the library’s permanent collection. The O.W.I./Phoenix production in Boston earned two IRNE (Independent Reviewers of New England) Awards for Best Visiting Production Small Theatre, and Best Visiting Performer Small Theatre, and an Elliot Norton Award (Boston Theater Critics Association) for Outstanding Solo Performance. Most recently American Moor was presented on the stage of The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, London, England.
If you missed it in 2015, do not miss it this time.
EOR/Senior/ Student: $30