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The Hutchins Center and ART team up to revive long lost African-American plays

Kassmin Williams | 11/14/2013, 2:26 p.m.
Khandi Alexander American Repertory Theater

The American Repertory Theater at Harvard University and the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research have joined forces to revive plays written by underrated African American playwrights.

The series named “Trouble in Mind: Lost Masterpieces from the African American Theatre Canon” will kick off with a staged reading of Alice Childress’s “Wedding Band: A Love-Hate in Black and White” at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19 at the Loeb Drama Center, 64 Battle Street in Cambridge.

A discussion will be held following the reading at the free and open event.

Curated by Hilton Als, writer and theater critic for The New Yorker, the three-year series aims to bring a new version of the “long neglected” plays to a contemporary audience, according to a press release from ART.

Co-directed by Als and ART artistic associate Shira Milkowsky, the reading of the 1962 depiction of inter-racial love in the American South during World War I includes participation from actress, choreographer and dancer Khandi Alexander, actor Jason Bowen and actress Kathleen Chalfant.

As ART artistic associate, Milkowsky directed Taylor Mac’s The Lily’s Revenge, which was named one of top ten theater events in 2012 by The Boston Globe.

Alexander is known for her long-running roles in “CSI Miami,” “Newsradio,” and “ER” and also appeared on HBO’s “The Corner,” and films “CB4,” “Menace II Society” and “Sugar Hill.”

Bowen’s regional credits include Orsino in “Twelfth Night,” the title role of Othello and Antonio in “The Duchess of Malfi.”

Chalfants was nominated for Broadway’s 1993 Tony Award as Best Actress for her role in “Angels in America’ and appeared in Broadway plays “Racing Demon” and “Dance With Me.”

For ticket information and to keep up to date on future readings, visit www.americanrepertorytheater.org.

Kassmin Williams is an arts writer for The Bay State Banner and can be reached at kassminwilliams@gmail.com.