Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe to present staged reading of ‘Yellowman’ on June 19

Event to be part of the international effort Project1VOICE

Image from the Project 1VOICE website

On June 19, the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe (WBTT) will take part in Project1VOICE/1PLAY/1DAY, “an international effort presented in association with 45 theater companies and other diverse institutions to celebrate African American theatre,” WBTT has announced.

This year, Project1VOICE has selected Dael Orlandersmith’s Yellowman, a 2002 Pulitzer Prize finalist for drama, for staged readings, a news release explains.

Yellowman follows “the tragically intertwined love story between Alma, a large, dark-skinned black woman, and Eugene, a tall, light-skinned black man, from childhood to adulthood,” the release explains. “It takes place in the Gullah community in South Carolina in the 1960s,” the release adds. “The play — which contains mature themes, brief violence, and strong language — examines intra-racial discrimination, cyclical abuse, class, alcoholism, and racism,” the release points out.

The staged reading of Yellowman will take place on Monday, June 19, at 7:30 p.m. at the WBTT theater, which is located at 1646 10th Way in Sarasota. Tickets are $10. To purchase tickets, call the box office at 941-366-1505 or visit westcoastblacktheatre.org.

The WBTT artists who will be performing are Syreeta Banks and Earley Dean. The director is Travis Ray, the release notes.

Now in its seventh year, Project1VOICE/1PLAY/1DAY “revives and reintroduces neglected, forgotten and/or underappreciated seminal works by black playwrights for the American theatre,” the release points out. “The series also celebrates and honors the black global experience through partnerships that reflect the historical roots of each participating city,” the release says.

Project1VOICE Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit performing arts service organization based in New York City whose mission is to promote and support black theater, including black playwrights, the release adds.

“Our experience last year with Project1VOICE was extremely positive, as we produced a reading of George C. Wolfe’s The Colored Museum,” said WBTT founder and artistic director Nate Jacobs in the release. “This year’s show touches upon some difficult — but important — themes that should spark spirited conversation,” he added in the release. “Our mission is to promote and celebrate the African-American experience and, through efforts such as Project1VOICE/1PLAY/1DAY, we can become part of something bigger than ourselves and work to explore and empower black identity.”