Monday, July 16, 2018

Jewelle Gomez Talks New Play “Waiting for Giovanni” (AUDIO)

Produced by Charlotte Robinson

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with playwright Jewelle Gomez about her new play “Waiting for Giovanni” that runs now through August 4th at The Flea Theater at 20 Thomas Street in NYC. Written in collaboration with Harry Waters Jr. and directed by Mark Finley the play addresses author James Baldwin at a pivotal moment in his career in 1957 as bombs are exploding in Black churches and lynchings are a fact of life for many across America. From these ashes a young Black writer emerges to become a literary celebrity bringing with him both his boundless talent and personal insecurities. Director Mark Finley stated, “In Jewelle's play, Jimmy wrestles with his identity as a black writer and a gay man as a newly noted author and a truthful creative vessel. It dramatizes not only the creative process but also relationships between creative people how we love and limit each other and how we love and limit ourselves.” The New York premiere of “Waiting for Giovanni” is presented by TOSOS (The Other Side of Silence), the city’s oldest LGBTQ theater and performed as part of the company's partnership with the Flea Theater. We talked to Jewelle about what inspired her to write “Waiting for Giovanni” and her spin on our LGBTQ issues.

When asked how she sees our LGBTQ community or any minority moving forward in this Trump administration, Gomez stated, “I feel like this administration is presenting us with a really great challenge to have someone so obvious in their distain for equal rights, distain for the Constitution, distain for Democratic institutions and for individuals. That’s so obvious it’s horrifying but it also says to me this is where we as a community an LGBT community can step up. He’s kind of a plague and we have faced plagues before and we stepped up and pulled together and worked to change for better lives and to me this is very similar. We need to think individually and as groups. What are the acts we can take once we cry and moan and complain and harmonize; then we need to say what is our next step whether it’s voting whether it’s supporting some of these nonprofits that are stepping in to do the work the administration would like to cut. We can think about individual act; it’s all about individual acts that we can commit to. It takes a couple of individuals to figure out to do something to make change and to be relentless about it and to not think ‘okay well I’m going to go on this march and I’m done and now things are going to be better’. It’s something that you do in your everyday life.”

Playwright Jewelle Gomez is the author of eight books including the Lambda Award-winning classic, “The Gilda Stories” which has been in print since 1991. Her play “Bones and Ash” based on “The Gilda Stories” was commissioned by the Urban Bush Women Company. “Waiting for Giovanni” is the first play of her trilogy about African American artists in the early part of the 20th century. In 2017 the second play, “Leaving the Blues” about singer/composer Alberta Hunter premiered at San Francisco’s New Conservatory Theatre Center where she is Playwright in Residence. She is currently working on “Unpacking at Ptown,” the third play in the trilogy which will premiere in 2021. “Waiting for Giovanni” runs now through August 4th at The Flea Theater at 20 Thomas Street in NYC.
For More Info & Tix: theflea.org

1 comment:

Marilyn Rosen said...

Thank you Charlotte for an interview that has awakened thoughts and feelings that I had years back "in the day" and am now intrigued by Jewelle's exploration of connections between the past and present. I want to read everything she's written.