Image courtesy of The African Company
What do the words of a dead white poet mean to a group of black actors? Everything, actually. After all, the artists in this story are forced to spend their days disguised as maids and waiters. Forty years before the Civil War, the African Grove Theatre Troupe in New York sets about staging a production of Richard III. But when a major (and white) New York company scores a big-name star to headline its own production of Richard, they are determined to shut down the African company’s show. The African Grove Troupe can only hide their gifts, and their feelings, until the sun sets, however, and the time comes to discover themselves in Shakespeare’s poetry. The Bard’s writing demands that everyone find their own way through his words, haters be damned. A backstage story like no other – funny, furious, and uniquely American.