a world premiere all-ages piece by playwright Amina Henry
The great migration north...
Drama of Works marks their 20th anniversary with this world premiere puppet play for all ages by Amina Henry. The piece has been awarded the Henson Foundation family grant and will premiere at the TANK in July 2019.
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In the early 1900s African-Americans began to migrate north in large numbers. Harlem was where their community was, so many moved there, despite the high rents. Rent parties became a popular way for families to raise the rent money they needed. They would hire a musician or band, get cheap refreshments and charge a small entry fee.
An innovative toy theater fills the stage, a replica of a Harlem block from the 1920s. Lights flicker on as people awake. We see toy theater puppets, shadows come to life in windows, and at a certain point the whole set transforms. All the while actors frolic in 20s costumes, original saxophone music plays through the speakers and a cat does back alley beat poetry. We’re transported in time to an era poignant and pivotal to the African-American experience in this country and people of all ages should know these stories, hear these words and listen to this music. Come follow Rose, Jenny and Ricky as they help their mammas throw a RENT PARTY to save their house. All they need to do is get the ice, hand out some cards, oh - and get a real live musician to play. Shouldn't be too hard...
Together, with Amina, we have the power to take on issues like water shortage, poverty and racism, in a way that is palatable for all ages. We achieve this through drama, fantasy and humor.
Drama of Works and the TANK present...
written by Amina Henry
directed by Gretchen Van Lente
music direction by Jessica Lurie
puppetry design by Gretchen Van Lente
costume design by Taylor Harrison
lighting design by Jeanette Yew
STARRING AnJu Hyppolite, Maya Posey,
Christian Roberson, and Ashley Winkfield
Fridays at 7pm, Saturdays at 3pm & 7pm, Sundays at 12pm & 3pm
July 12th - 21st
Kids 18 and under: $12 / adults: $18