What Do You Want to Know, Think and Do?

It’s easy to admire, and look up to the people that are inspirational but we may never actually meet: Tabitha Brown, Chadwick Boseman, Coleman Domingo, Viola Davis. Now, I’m not saying I won’t ever meet them, but in my current existence, it won’t be an everyday event. So imagine me, being gobsmacked upon meeting the theatrical powerhouse and my Emerging Artist Grant Mentor, Fanni Green.

I first met Fanni in 2018, at the start of rehearsals for American Stage’s production of A RAISIN IN THE SUN. We’d gathered in the lobby of the theatre for the first rehearsal meet and greet. Of course I was nervous, it being my very first contract as a new member of Actor’s Equity, the union for professional actors and stage managers, so I quickly and quietly said my hellos, grabbed my food and sat down next to one of my fellow cast members. Later, after the designer presentations, the cast returned to the rehearsal hall and sat down for the first read of the play as a group. I had been cast as Joseph Asagai, a charming suitor and love interest of the confident and strong willed Beneatha Younger. Fanni, was playing the iconic role of Lena Younger, the matriarch of Lorraine Hansberry’s Tony award winning play. With the first words, I was amazed at Fanni’s mastery of the text, finding Lena’s power, tact, and love for God and her family as we navigated through the scenes. Our rehearsal and performance journey was absolutely a dream, and I would come to find that Fanni and I shared more in common beyond our passion for theatre, was our love for God.

In January of 2020, we worked together again but I had the pleasure of being directed by Fanni in a staged reading of YOU TOO? by Taylor Leigh Lamb. It was here, that Fanni posed a question to Taylor the playwright as we went a lot developing her script. The question was simple, “What do you want the audience to know, think and do after experiencing your work?” Well, perhaps not that simple, because I found myself searching for the answers to that very same question from the perspective of a director and emerging artist, during one of our very first meetings.  She smiled, and reminded me “It will change as you go along, but be sure to write it all down.”

So, here I write…and you dear reader get to be apart of my discovery of the answer to that question.

More to Come…

Photo Credit: Kara Gold-Harris

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