Posts Written On August 20, 2011

“Secrets of a Black Boy” by Darren Anthony

Last week I saw the entertaining and thought-provoking reading of Secrets of a Black Boy, by Canadian writer, Darren Anthony and directed by Kehinde Koyejo–part of a 4-day mini-festival fundraiser, “New Voices in Theater,” by Brooklyn’s ActNow Foundation.

 

The play focuses on a group of five young, black men whose bond is the rec center they frequented growing up, which is slated to be demolished in order to make way for a new high-rise condo.  The rec center is one of only a few buildings from their familiar neighborhood still standing as gentrification sweeps through.  As a New Yorker (I’ve been here 5 years, so I earned the right, no?), it is easy to relate to this double-edged phenomenon.

 

The men recount experiences of the past and present, from sex to interracial dating, to untimely death and struggles.  One moment I was laughing and the next I found myself engrossed in a heart-wrenching monologue.  What I really liked about this piece is that it was so easily relatable.  Even if you don’t share any of the characters’ experiences firsthand, their raw and matter-of-fact accounts sure do make you think!  Whether you’re from the suburbs or the city, from the U.S. or Canada, and regardless of your ethnicity, you can relate to the vulnerability shown by the characters and their nostalgic reminiscences.





Last week I saw the entertaining and thought-provoking reading of Secrets of a Black Boy, by Canadian writer, Darren Anthony and directed by Kehinde Koyejo–part of a 4-day mini-festival fundraiser, “New Voices in Theater,” by Brooklyn’s ActNow Foundation.

 

The play focuses on a group of five young, black men whose bond is the rec center they frequented growing up, which is slated to be demolished in order to make way for a new high-rise condo.  The rec center is one of only a few buildings from their familiar neighborhood still standing as gentrification sweeps through.  As a New Yorker (I’ve been here 5 years, so I earned the right, no?), it is easy to relate to this double-edged phenomenon.

 

The men recount experiences of the past and present, from sex to interracial dating, to untimely death and struggles.  One moment I was laughing and the next I found myself engrossed in a heart-wrenching monologue.  What I really liked about this piece is that it was so easily relatable.  Even if you don’t share any of the characters’ experiences firsthand, their raw and matter-of-fact accounts sure do make you think!  Whether you’re from the suburbs or the city, from the U.S. or Canada, and regardless of your ethnicity, you can relate to the vulnerability shown by the characters and their nostalgic reminiscences.

 

 

Writer Darren Anthony

 

Aaron Ingram of ActNow and Director, Kehinde Koyejo

 

For more information visit: www.secretsofablackboy.com and actnowproduction.org

 

kisses, Olisa
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