Tag Archives: Keith C. Wade
Langston Hughes wrote of “a dream deferred” from the elevated promontory of poetry; but the great playwright August Wilson wrote from the street what it was like living through a dream being deferred. And once again, M Ensemble captures the very essence of an era in Wilson’s Two Trains Running, honored by a cast inhabiting the vibrant array of residents and deftly orchestrated direction.
M Ensemble Company revives the 1972 award-winning The River Niger capturing a crossroads in Black life in America with a depiction of passionate, intelligent people debating diametrically opposed philosophies of how Black citizens should fight for justice in a racist world.
If it’s possible to capture the depth and breadth of a tumultuous vibrant time and place by just focusing on the intersecting lives of five ordinary people, in this case Harlem in 1930, then Pearl Cleage’s Blues for an Alabama Sky comes close, notably in this production by the M Ensemble Company.
Armature premiering at Island City Stage explores racism, politics, homosexuality, marital relations in tale suffused with humor and tragedy. The deeply committed work of the cast, co-directors and design team delivers the guts of Andrew Kramer’s overarching earnest call to aggressively address the social challenges of the day. But this admirable production illustrates the script still need a bit more work.
Asked to spotlight specific problems and potential solutions, everybody had a story of racism infecting the South Florida theater community. Some cited unintentional micro-aggressions in pressure-laden rehearsals. Others underscored systemic failings whose reform will require leaders, supporters and audiences to revaluate everything from what goes on stage to who decides what goes on stage.
In the current production of The M Ensemble Company, August Wilson’s legendary Seven Guitars almost plays like a musical or a folk opera akin to Porgy and Bess or Floyd Collins.
Blood may be thicker than water, but Brothers of the Dust at M Ensemble asks whether it’s thicker than land or greed or, crucially, dreams. M Ensemble presented this family drama three years ago with the same director and lead, but that familiarity has paid off with a deeper, more assured and more affecting experience for the audience than the first rendition
We’ve written a paragraph like this only two or three times: Stop what you are doing. Stop reading this review. Go to the phone or online and order tickets right now for Ground Up & Rising’s superb production of Stephen Adly Gurgis’ Our Lady of 121st Street.
Rage and defiance – against racism, against betrayal, against cruelty, fate and death itself – washes out into the audience with a ferocity rarely seen in Florida theater in The M Ensemble Company’s powerful production of August Wilson’s masterpiece Fences.
Earth, fire and blood mix with resentments, loyalties, betrayals, secrets and love in M Ensemble’s Brothers of the Dust. The production and performances veer from moving to stilted. But nothing can dim the consistent underlying glow of the script by young playwright Darren Canady whose vision and voice are unusually promising.