Associate Artistic Director DATHAN B. WILLIAMS and Executive Producer VOZA RIVERS interviewed by Harlem Talk Radio.
August 11, 2014.
NOTES FROM THE ROAD. A SONNET BY PAUL EDMONDSON
SHAKESPEARE IN SABLE FOR DEBRA ANN BYRD AND ALL WHO LOVE THE HARLEM SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL
I dreamt there was a neighbourhood called Harlem,
Which starts in Henley Street and stretches far
Into the tender places of the soul;
Dressed in sable, like a King James’ bible,
These actors live their book of prophecy:
A truth that enters even tiny cracks
Of ice that clinks within our cocktail glass,
Shaken through dancing in Yatenga Bar.
We hear its beat in voices of the past:
James Hewlett, Henrietta Vinton Davis,
Ira Aldridge and that ol’ man river:
Paul Robeson – fighting, singing all his life –
A litany of light-filled pioneers
Who now ignite a living company:
Mary, Dathan, Norman, Julius,
Trezana, Voza, Nick, and Debra Ann.
They catch our breath, and now take wing and soar
Across the way, where Adam Clayton Powell
Holds hands with one hundred and thirty third,
Sweeping through Manhattan – angels’ wings –
That stir up all the dead leaves in the park,
And find new ways to kindle ancient fire.
This Harlem pride, this sisterhood of power,
Gives back to us a feeling of being free,
Like children playing round that cedar tree –
The one from Shakespeare’s garden, which we brought
To Harlem – marking all the years you’ve fought
Within its rings; those scars we still must trace.
This dream is true; I see it in your face.
LISTEN TO DR. PAUL RECITE HIS SONNET FOR HARLEM SHAKES! Thank you, Dr. Paul!
ABOUT THE SABLE SERIES
THE SABLE SERIES: The History of Black Shakespearean Actors © 2014
Manhattan Borough Preseident Gale Brewer and Councilmember Inez E. Dickens joined the Harlem Shakespeare Festival and the Harlem Community for our ENCORE PERFORMANCE of THE SABLE SERIES: The History of Black Shakespearean Actors starring the award winning classical actors and singers Dathan B. Williams, Debra Ann Byrd and Julius Hollingsworth as they pay tribute to three Black Shakespearean actors who left an indelible mark on the American Theatre and even filled the houses of many international theatres as well.
THE LEGACY CONTINUES! … The evening’s special performance of poetry and song features the work of Paul Lawrence Dunbar with
monologues and scenes from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Antony & Cleopatra, Richard III, and Othello, along with moving
spirituals, and the songs of Paul Robeson. Many know the contributions of Robeson and even Aldridge, But Do You Know Henrietta Vinton
Davis (The Celebrated Shakespearean Tragedienne who later became the right hand of Marcus Garvey). Many Thanks to all our patrons!
The Harlem Shakespeare Festival is an official trademark and subsidiary of Take Wing And Soar Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved © 2011-2014
THE SABLE SERIES:
The History of Black Shakespearean Actors
Written by: Debra Ann Byrd & Dathan B. Williams
Costume Design: Gail Cooper-Hecht
Sound Design: David Wright
Producer: Debra Ann Byrd /Take Wing And Soar Productions
Producer: Voza Rivers/ New Heritage Theatre Group
Dathan B. Williams ... Ira Aldridge
Debra Ann Byrd ... Henrietta Vinton Davis
Julius Hollingsworth ... Paul Robeson