This weekend a new play by a veteran playwright will get its first reading at Penumbra Theatre.
Ed Bullins, a major voice of the Black Arts Movement, is now in his 70s. His latest work, "In Search of Assata" looks back at the tumultuous life of Black Panther Assata Shakur through the lens of the media and her personal memories.
Associate Artistic Director Dominic Taylor says the reading is part of Penumbra's ongoing effort to develop new works that explore African American identity, culture and history.
The goal of these readings and of OKRA, our new play development program, is to make Penumbra like Hitsville used to be in the 60s. I'm trying to set up an environment where people can explore and find the 'right sound' for their work.
Photo courtesy Penumbra Theatre
Taylor says while each play is not guaranteed to end up on stage, since the OKRA program started several of the plays have gone on to be fully produced across the country.
In the past, the staged readings have been all the works of emerging playwrights, Taylor says he decided it was time for a change, and this year brought Ed Bullins into the mix.
We want to keep finding new ways of looking at theater; looking at new work doesn't have to mean just the work of new playwrights. We're trying to find that elusive thing that makes art shine.
Penumbra presents a staged reading of "In Search of Assata" tonight at 7:30pm.