Four Stars! – Broadway Baby (Edinburgh 2017)
“This play touches on important subtleties in the discussion about black identity.” – The Scotsman (Edinburgh 2017)
THE BLACK THAT I AM
A meditation on blackness
KARL O’BRIAN WILLIAMS
Directed by WILL BROWN
THREE-WEEK LIMITED ENGAGEMENT
MARCH 17 – APRIL 2, 2023 AT HERE ARTS CENTER
OPENING NIGHT IS SATURDAY, MARCH 18 AT 7 P.M.
TICKETS ON SALE NOW AT BRAATAPRODUCTIONS.ORG
BRAATA PRODUCTIONS (Andrew Clarke, Executive Director, and Karl O’Brian Williams, Artistic Director) is pleased to announce the revival production of Karl O’Brian Williams’ THE BLACK THAT I AM, directed by Will Brown. THE BLACK THAT I AM will play a three-week limited engagement at HERE ARTS CENTER Dorothy B. Williams Theater (145 Sixth Ave, NY, NY 10013). Performances begin Friday, March 17, and continue through Sunday, April 2. Opening Night is Saturday, March 18 (27 p.m.). Tickets are $15 – $30.00 and are available at braataproductions.org/tbtia.
Inspired by an original poem of the same name THE BLACK THAT I AM, meditates on blackness, questioning themes of gender, sexuality, and nationalism. The show explores what it means to be Black, Jamaican, and a “foreign” immigrant – an experience that can be both empowering and disempowering. On the one hand, there is a feeling of pride in being a part of a vibrant, historically significant culture that has made its mark on society, especially in the arts and music. At the same time, there is the reality of systemic racism, which can make it difficult to pursue one’s goals or live without fear of discrimination. Each section of the play is intended to underscore these important themes and steer the audience off course from the main poetic narrative… a narrative constantly embodying Sankofa: looking back to go forward.
“Caribbean immigrants to the USA have an additional hurdle in fitting into this society because we are often treated by some as part of the African-American community, while in reality, some African-Americans do not regard us as such,” comments Williams. “So we as Caribbean people have to find our own place in this dynamic and our own ways of coping with being ‘double outsiders,’ if you will. The Black That I Am addresses these feelings of confusion, hurt, and yearning to belong. It is an addition to the New York cultural landscape on the heels of Black History Month, and will generate conversations that will hopefully go on for a long time after that.”
The production stars Sadi Bimwala, Jovaun Black, Nyanda Cammock, Hector Lincoln, Ansi Rodriguez, and Dan’yelle Williamson-Brown.
The production features scenic design by Harlan Penn, costume design by Devin (Devyn) Macke, and lighting design by Moneé Stamp. Joel Edwards is the sound designer, Jenna Arkontaky is the stage manager and Emani Simpson is the assistant stage manager. Technical direction by Joel Edwards, production management by Santos Collado, covid compliance managed by Kim M Jones, and publicity by Katie Rosin/Kampfire PR.
THE BLACK THAT I AM plays the following regular schedule through Sunday, April 2:
Fridays at 7 p.m.
Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Sundays at 2 p.m.