We’re very pleased to announce that our first play of the season will be AT BUFFALO, a new musical by Amma Ghartey-Tagoe Kootin, Khalil Sullivan and Joshua Williams. The reading will begin at 4PM on Wednesday, September 18th, in Durham Studio Theater. Be there!
This is a bit of a homecoming, as an earlier version of AT BUFFALO was developed by Black Theater Workshop at Berkeley in 2011.
Curious about the play? Here’s the skinny. Check back soon for more information about the creative team!
AT BUFFALO: A New Musical
Book by Amma Ghartey-Tagoe Kootin and Joshua Williams. Original music and archival music arrangement by Khalil Sullivan. Lyrics by Khalil Sullivan with Amma Ghartey-Tagoe Kootin and Joshua Williams. Based on original research by Amma Ghartey-Tagoe Kootin.
Race was on display at the 1901 World’s Fair at Buffalo, New York. In exhibits like Darkest Africa, Old Plantation, and The American Negro Exhibit, larger-than-life showmen presented unique, and often conflicting visions of blackness in America at the turn of the twentieth century, leaving behind a fragmented archive of descriptions, newspaper articles, photographs, and film clips that sheds new light on a critical moment in the construction of modern black and American identity. AT BUFFALO, a new musical by Amma Ghartey-Tagoe Kootin, Khalil Sullivan and Joshua Williams, brings this archive to life, making present an experience of the past when definitions of race were— literally written, directed, choreographed, and performed in order to reconstruct the American character in the wake of the Civil War. Performing verbatim text from the archive of actual historical events, the musical resurrects the interwoven storylines of the individuals who populated the fairgrounds and exposes the impact that such performances continue to have on our everyday enactments of racial and national identity.