The Thaumaturgy Department

(It's dramaturgy, not thaumaturgy.)

Gavin
CENTERSTAGE
Baltimore
Maryland
USA

thaumaturg
Main Entry: thau·ma·turg
Pronunciation: \ˈthȯ-mə-ˌtərj\
Function: noun
Etymology: French, from New Latin thaumaturgus, from Greek thaumatourgos working miracles, from thaumat-, thauma miracle + ergon work — more at Theater, Work

2013-2014 Season:
Animal Crackers
Dance of the Holy Ghosts
A Civil War Christmas
Stones in His Pockets
Twelfth Night
Vanya Sonya Masha and Spike
Wild with Happy
Play Labs

The official blog of the Dramaturgy Department at Baltimore's CENTERSTAGE. For posts related to our current and upcoming shows, click the links to the right. Alternatively, you could begin at the beginning, and explore our posts in chronological order.

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Tags | casting | theater | race | ethnicity

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Hansberry family house, Chicago’s South Side; source of conflict, center of legal battles, and inspiration for A RAISIN IN THE SUN. Fitting sign.

Hansberry family house, Chicago’s South Side; source of conflict, center of legal battles, and inspiration for A RAISIN IN THE SUN. Fitting sign.



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1960 demographic map of Chicago, against which take place RAISIN IN THE SUN, CLYBOURNE PARK, and BENEATHA’S PLACE, the 3 pieces of #CSRaisin RAISIN CYCLE at centerstage.

1960 demographic map of Chicago, against which take place RAISIN IN THE SUN, CLYBOURNE PARK, and BENEATHA’S PLACE, the 3 pieces of #CSRaisin RAISIN CYCLE at centerstage.



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life:

Fifty-five years after nine courageous teens integrated Little Rock Central High School, LIFE.com presents pictures—many of which never ran in LIFE—from those heady, ugly, ultimately inspiring days.
See the photos here on LIFE.com
Pictured: Members of the Little Rock Nine during legal hearings on their attempts to enter Little Rock Central High School, September 1957.

life:

Fifty-five years after nine courageous teens integrated Little Rock Central High School, LIFE.com presents pictures—many of which never ran in LIFE—from those heady, ugly, ultimately inspiring days.

See the photos here on LIFE.com

Pictured: Members of the Little Rock Nine during legal hearings on their attempts to enter Little Rock Central High School, September 1957.


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The narrative of a black chef didn’t exist. Black people have always cooked and been part of serving, but not from a chef perspective. Not in these establishments — the three-star, highest establishments. So when they say ‘Marcus Samuelsson’ coming in — that’s a Swedish name, and then they saw me, it was a shock. I was not applying for the dishwashing job — I was applying for a chef job. So being able to, in a nonthreatening way, and getting the job just like anybody else — they were just not used to it. They had just never seen it, ever. Marcus Samuelsson: On Becoming A Top Chef (via npr)

(via npr)



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tballardbrown:

“NOW, I’m not proud of what I did,” my friend Donna said the other day, her voice dropping to a low, confessional register.
Donna is black, in her late 40s and a graphic designer. Three generations of her family owned a Victorian row house in Washington until a probate dispute a while back forced them to rent in the Maryland suburbs. Driving home from work in the city recently, she took a shortcut through the alley where she frolicked in her youth, but which she now barely recognized, with its three-story decks and Zen gardens that led onto sidewalks freshly paved in red brick.
Donna tooted the horn at a parked car blocking her path. The car’s owner, a white woman, dawdled away in her garden nearby. With a blithe wave, the woman suggested a detour. Donna refused. She intended to wait her out, but then the words just tumbled out: “If you didn’t want to follow the rules, you shouldn’t have moved your white” — and here she used an expletive — “into D.C.!”
This is the rage, long simmering just beneath the surface, that is bubbling over now that Washington, the once-majority-black city immortalized in George Clinton’s 1975 funk classic “Chocolate City,” has lost its black majority. But even before the data corroborated that demographic milestone last year, Washington’s makeover had created something of an identity crisis.
(via Farewell to Chocolate City - NYTimes.com)
Photo: Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

tballardbrown:

“NOW, I’m not proud of what I did,” my friend Donna said the other day, her voice dropping to a low, confessional register.

Donna is black, in her late 40s and a graphic designer. Three generations of her family owned a Victorian row house in Washington until a probate dispute a while back forced them to rent in the Maryland suburbs. Driving home from work in the city recently, she took a shortcut through the alley where she frolicked in her youth, but which she now barely recognized, with its three-story decks and Zen gardens that led onto sidewalks freshly paved in red brick.

Donna tooted the horn at a parked car blocking her path. The car’s owner, a white woman, dawdled away in her garden nearby. With a blithe wave, the woman suggested a detour. Donna refused. She intended to wait her out, but then the words just tumbled out: “If you didn’t want to follow the rules, you shouldn’t have moved your white” — and here she used an expletive — “into D.C.!”

This is the rage, long simmering just beneath the surface, that is bubbling over now that Washington, the once-majority-black city immortalized in George Clinton’s 1975 funk classic “Chocolate City,” has lost its black majority. But even before the data corroborated that demographic milestone last year, Washington’s makeover had created something of an identity crisis.

(via Farewell to Chocolate City - NYTimes.com)

Photo: Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

(via npr)



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After the general discussion, three of us—a middle-aged black woman, an older white woman, and a Jewish man—continued to talk about our experience of race, shared history, and the handing down of tradition. Where else in this wonderfully diverse city do such conversations occur? Thanks to all at Center Stage for a most memorable evening….

In response to our current production of The Whipping Man, we got this lovely, unsolicited email from a patron. Couldn’t ask for more:

Dear Everyone!

The play, the actors, the direction, the set, lighting were ever so much better than the review led me to expect. …the subplots and subsidiary detail enhanced our experience of the intricacies of relationships under the slave system.

The follow-up discussion engaged all of us in opening up the characters and plot lines as we talked about religion, politics, and race.  I was so impressed that [the actor] stayed to hear and interact with the audience - and describe some of the directorial process. …I have to disagree on one point: We do talk about race in America - not frequently, not enough, but at Center Stage on a spring Sunday following a shared experience of artistic genius.

After the general discussion, three of us , a middle-aged black woman, an older white woman, and a Jewish man, continued to talk about our experience of race, shared history and the handing down of tradition. Where else in this wonderfully diverse city do such conversations occur? Thanks to all at Center Stage for a most memorable evening!



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Slavery’s Legacy in America: a post-performance discussion

Sunday, April 15, following the 7:30 pm performance of The Whipping Man at CENTERSTAGE:

Post-Show Discussion, The Head Theater.

Dr. Raymond A. Winbush, celebrated author and historian, will host a discussion focusing on the legacy of slavery in American: What are the historic and modern implications of slavery in our country? How does it continue to influence race relations and public policy?



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