Fighting Mob Rule in Aftermath at Metropolitan Virtual Playhouse 1/16/21
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 05:32 pm EST 01/12/21

by Mary P. Burrill

1919 play pulls back the curtain on lynching in America

January 16, 2021 at 8 pm

The groundbreaking reading series continues as Obie Award winner Metropolitan Playhouse presents its next free "screened" readings, live-streamed at no charge, with talkback to follow: AFTERMATH, Mary P. Burrill.

1/16/2021 at 8 PM Eastern
Running Time: 60 minutes
Free of charge
Available at: www.metropolitanplayhouse.org
The video will be available through Wednesday, 1/20/21 on the Playhouse webpage, the Metropolitan Playhouse YouTube channel, and the Metropolitan Playhouse Facebook page.

John Thornton returns to his South Carolina family as a decorated hero on leave from duty in WWI. He finds them struggling to hold to their faith in the wake of the lynching of his beloved father, victim of an angry White mob following a trivial argument. But battle has taught John his own lessons about forgiveness and forbearance.
In one, tightly written act, Mary P.Burrill's short play digs deeply into issues of faith, patriotism, personal sacrifice, pacifism, mob mentality, and the bitter accommodations that preserve unjust social order. It is both a lament for the victims of entrenched power's abuses and a warning to the society that will not confront and own them.

Discussion including audience participation follow the readings, with special guest Koritha Mitchell, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Theater History, Dramaturgy, and Acting at the University of Missouri. Dr. Michell is author of the award-winning book Living with Lynching, editor of the Broadview Edition of Frances E.W. Harper’s 1892 novel Iola Leroy, and author of From Slave Cabins to the White House: Homemade Citizenship in African American Culture. She is an associate professor of English at Ohio State University and a Society of Senior Ford Fellows (SSFF) board member.

Directed by Timothy Johnson (On Strivers Row, Compromise), the play features Ryan Vincent Anderson, Anthony T. Goss, Linda Kuriloff, Nia Akilah Robinson, Lawrence Winslow, and Kim Yancey-Moore. Settings drawn by Pamela LAwton.

Mary Powell Burrill (1881- 1946) received a B.A. from Emerson Collecge in 1904, and there wroteher first play, Unto the Third and Fourth Generations: A One-Act Play of Negro Life, but through most of the rest of her life worked as teacher of English, speech, and dramatics at Dunbar High School in her home town of Washington DC. Three of her students became successful playwrights of their own: May Miller, James W. Butcher Jr. and Willis Richardson. Her best known works were published in 1919: They That Sit in Darkness was published in Margaret Sanger's progressive Birth Control Review, while Aftermath, was published in Liberator, and produced by New York City's Krigwa Players in 1928.

Metropolitan presents readings every Saturday at 8 pm, Eastern Time

Saturday, January 23, 2021
The Sleeping Car, by William Dean Howells, where barely an eye is shut on the road to Albany.

February, 2021
The Valiant, byHolworth Hall and Robert Middlemass
The Outside, by Susan Glaspell

The VIRTUAL PLAYHOUSE began on March 28, 2020, and has been simultaneously broadcast on New York's Pacifica Radio Station WBAI, 99.5 FM since April 11. Exploring the possibilities of ""remote"" ensemble, Metropolitan has pushed the envelope of Zoom broadcasts, with increasingly sophisticated virtual settings and sound design. Each reading is enhanced by conversation with the artists and a guest scholar for an hour-long live entertainment every Saturday night. Reaching an audience across the country and around the globe, the presentation of the forgotten one-act plays is an ideal way to pursue the theater's mission exploring America's diverse theatrical history.

METROPOLITAN PLAYHOUSE, in its 29th season, explores America’s diverse theatrical heritage through lost plays of the past and new plays of American historical and cultural moment. The theater received a 2011 OBIE Grant from The Village Voice for its ongoing productions that illuminate who we are by revealing where we have come from. Called ""invaluable"" by the Voice, Backstage and Talkin'ᾠBroadway, Metropolitan has earned further accolades from The New York Times and The New Yorker. Other awards include a Victorian Society of New York Outstanding Performing Arts Group, 3 Aggie Awards from Gay City News, 21 nominations for NYIT Awards (3 winners), and 6 AUDELCO Viv Award nominations.

The Playhouse's virtual readings serve to help us compensate performing artists, so particularly hurt during this long ""pause.""
Information about the theater's ARTISTS RELIEF FUND may be found at
Link http://www.metropolitanplayhouse.org/covidaid

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