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Culture, The Exhibitionist Boys to Men in <i>Master Harold</i> at the Aurora

Boys to Men in Master Harold at the Aurora

Enacted in 1950, The Population Registration Act in South Africa classified its citizens by their race. It was the legislative foundation on which apartheid — the policy of racial segregation — was officially built. It’s not a coincidence that…
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Culture, The Exhibitionist Optimism and Humor in the African-American Shakespeare Company's <i>The Colored Museum</i>

Optimism and Humor in the African-American Shakespeare Company's The Colored Museum

2016 marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, and as a palate cleanser from this season's Romeo and Juliet and Antony and Cleopatra, the African-American Shakespeare Company staged George C. Wolfe's The Colored Museum. The primary thing to keep foremost…
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Culture, The Exhibitionist Black Satire Matters: The African-American Shakespeare Company Tackles <i>The Colored Museum</i>

Black Satire Matters: The African-American Shakespeare Company Tackles The Colored Museum

For the first time in its 21-year history, and during the biggest resurgence in civil rights activism in almost half a century, the African-American Shakespeare Company is producing George C. Wolfe's satire, The Colored Museum. (In spite of its…
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Culture, The Exhibitionist The African-American Shakespeare Company's <i>Romeo and Juliet</i> Casts Oakland Teens in the Leads

The African-American Shakespeare Company's Romeo and Juliet Casts Oakland Teens in the Leads

Those violent delights have violent ends. Baz Luhrmann famously updated Romeo and Juliet by setting it in a modern-day Miami-esque “Verona Beach.” And Oakland’s African-American Shakespeare Company is outdoing the Aussie director by staging a version set in the…
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Dining, Bouncer Bouncer Considers Racial History at 1300 on Fillmore

Bouncer Considers Racial History at 1300 on Fillmore

If "Rule 34" exists (the idea that if something is, there will be someone to sexually fetishize it), then it stands to reason that I can create a "Rule 44," which states that for any phenomenon there is an upper…
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Calendar, Night&Day The Heat Is On

The Heat Is On

African-American Shakespeare Company’s production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof excises neither “redneck” nor the n-word from the original script. Director L. Peter Callender “hasn’t changed a word,” aside from creating his own hybrid of playwright Tennessee Williams’ multiple…
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Culture, The Exhibitionist <i>A Raisin in the Sun</i> Has Gaps But Is Still an Emotional Stunner

A Raisin in the Sun Has Gaps But Is Still an Emotional Stunner

The African-American Shakespeare Company closes its 2011-12 season with a stirring, affected reprisal of Lorraine Hansberry's classic watershed drama, A Raisin in the Sun. Directed by L. Peter Callender, Raisin follows the struggles of the Youngers, a black working-class family…
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Calendar, Night&Day Shakespeare, Shaken

Shakespeare, Shaken

We've told you that the African-American Shakespeare Company (as its name suggests) likes to take familiar productions and turn them on their heads. That's worth reiterating because of the really cool ways it makes the familiar seem new. Last fall…
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Calendar, Night&Day You Ain't Got No Alibi

You Ain't Got No Alibi

The African-American Shakespeare Company is known for taking familiar tales and turning them on their heads, largely by telling them from an African-American perspective. Last year, for example, the company set Cinderella on the Louisiana bayou. Each year, however, a…
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Calendar, Night&Day Et Tu, Iago?

Et Tu, Iago?

A military tribunal is right where you don’t want to be. You’re already the enemy, and now you’re on trial before a judge and jury composed entirely of the other side. In such a scenario, could you be blamed for…
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Calendar, Night&Day Double Your Pleasure

Double Your Pleasure

Twins are fun and sinister. At the African-American Shakespeare Company's production of The Comedy of Errors, director Raelle Myrick-Hodge takes the old story for all the laughs it's worth. Mistaken identities rule the day as two sets of identical twins…
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Culture, Stagecap

African-American Shakespeare Company charms us with its take on Cinderella

The more freewheeling the fun, the better the show in the African-American Shakespeare Company's rendition of the familiar holiday children's story. When the whole cast suddenly bursts onto the stage for a joyous 1950s dance number, or the two Ugly…
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Culture, Stagecap

Taming of the Shrew

The African-American Shakespeare Company's production of the Bard's tale depicting the battle between a husband and wife for the marital upper hand can't be faulted for making bold production choices. Instead of traditional Elizabethan settings and garb, director Victoria Evans-Erville…
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Calendar, Night&Day

School of Hard Knocks

Crass materialism, blatant hypocrisy, unrepentant social climbing, and vicious gossip make enduring dramatic fodder, which means the African-American Shakespeare Company's production of School for Scandal should translate nicely as a satire of backbiting black elites, although playwright Richard Sheridan wrote…
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Culture, Stage

Aisle Seat

Shrewd Shrew ? When I think of great moments of misogyny in drama -- and there are so many, going back so many centuries, involving so much of Western literature, and sometimes I get so angry that it's all I…
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