The play - BALDWIN’S NI$$ER is a Biographical drama that explores the life and times of Black Leader, Activist, Preacher and Writer, James Baldwin. This drama follows Baldwin from the 1960’s in Harlem. It is set in a fictious plot and serves as a device to convey the complete details of his life. It follows his life at the tender age of 11 becoming an preacher to the present, which; is Fall of 1967. SYNOPSIS: BALDWIN’S NI$$ER is a raw, in your face, roller coaster ride and bio-drama about the life and loves, sorrows and successes of National Treasure James Baldwin. Approached by a white, male, stranger, offering a Million Dollars for the Civil Rights Movement, Baldwin invites this friend or foe to his room at midnight. They immediately spar like prize fighters trying not to get hit, but provocation leads to conflict and lust. Will both get what they want or will someone be exposed and left in a fetal ball of defeat?
The Relevance - BALDWIN’S NI$$ER has a unique relevance at this time because people are just beginning to re-discover Mr. Baldwin’s work. 2018 saw the theatrical release of the documentary: I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO and packed art houses across the country. 2019 continues the rabid interest in Baldwin’s work with the theatrical release of Baldwin’s play adapted to a movie: IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK. This production was critically acclaimed and won a number of Oscar nominations. It walked away with the Best Supporting Oscar for Regina King, causing the producers to re-release the film to soak up the Oscar bump in revenue. Baldwin’s freedom to discuss such hot button issues like Homosexuality, Racism, Classism, Religion and the role of the Black Man In America are all on display for the audience to see. In the time of BLACK LIVES MATTER nothing could be more on spot than Baldwin’s discussion of the Black Man. He once said: THE EDUCATED BLACK MAN IN AMERICA HAS TWO CHOICES. ONE, HE COULD IMPLODE OR TWO HE CAN EXPLODE. At a time when Black Men are being executed by Police for nothing but being Black, Male, Alive and American, this question of imploding or exploding is critical. Are we drawing closer and closer to seeing which the masses of Black Men are going to do?
Appeal and Outcome: THE DC BLACK THEATRE FESTIVAL is the perfect venue for BALDWIN’S NI$$ER. DCBTAF offers this drama a debut in the capital of the country. The production is a chance to be seen by a real paying audience which is priceless on it’s own merits for future development of the drama DCBTAF fills that gap that has opened in New York, where new works can not get produced because of the loss of smaller theatre companies looking to take chances on new dramas. DCBTAFI is an Oasis in a Desert of Theatre hopefuls. This drama has went through a reading at the NTOZAKE SHANGE READING SERIES at the New Federal Theatre in 2018. Now it will be featured in the DC BLACK THEATRE AND ARTS FESTIVAL, which will serve like a great “out of town trial.” We are also videotaping the show to submit as an entrtant for the Pullizer Prize. The performances will be June 22, 2019 @9pm and June 23, 2019 @ 5pm.
BIOS: Writer/Director REGINALD T. JACKSON has received a New York City Mayor's Citation and a Arts and Cultural Foundation Award for his work in Arts-In-Education -- teaching creative writing and playwriting throughout the New York City School System. With dual bachelor degrees in both Music and Theatre from CCNY, he has served as the Education Director for the Foundation of The Dramatists Guild’s Young Playwrights Festival, and an Arts-Educator/creative writing instructor for the New York City High School Division of the New York City Board of Education; where he authored the only official curriculum for playwriting which continues to be used by the New York State Regents Board for Regents Certification in Theatre. He has also worked as an Arts-Educator/creative writing instructor for Arts Partners Program, Arts Connection, The New York State Council On The Arts and Henry Street Settlement. He is a certified “Cultural Treasure” of New York City by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. He has been a guest lecturer at Stoneybrook College, Antioch University, Brown University and New York University. He has been a founding member of the OTHER COUNTRIES: Black Gay Men’s Writing workshop for the past thirty-three years. He was the poetry editor for their second anthology SOJOURNER: Black Gay Men Respond To AIDS, and was co-editing their new anthology OTHER COUNTRIES: Voices Rising. He is a graduate of the New York based Downtown Television Documentary and video programs and the THIRD WORLD NEWSREEL Film program. He has had film works in the Frameline and New Film Festivals. He is legendary for his appearances in the films TONGUES UNTIED, ANTHEM and AFFIRMATIONS by Critically acclaimed filmmaker MARLON RIGGS , a close personal friend who he also assisted with the technical and production aspects of each film. As an independent writer his literary works have appeared in many many publications including; the anthology Brother To Brother, Flesh and The Word 2, BlackOut Magazine, Sojourner , BGM Magazine, OUTWEEK Magazine Pyramid Poetry Periodical, Pyramid Periodical, VAN GOGH’S EAR, BLACK GAY GENIUS, NASTY BOYS, JONATHAN #1 AND #3, CORNBREAD, FISH AND COLLARD GREENS, etc. He is the author of more than a dozen plays and seven screenplays. His play “ STRAIGHT BOYS” was named the best gay play of the decade by the New York City Gay Cable Network. His play “ LOVE SICKNESS” was a permanent teaching tool for freshman students at New York University His drama HOUSE OF LEAR earned him National Shakespeare Pioneer in 1994. As a writer/director he has presented productions at many, many prominent theaters including: the National Black Theater, The New York Shakespeare Festival at the Joseph Papp Public Theater, The Painted Bride Performing Arts Center of Philadelphia, The Schomburg Center for African American Research and Culture, The Young Playwrights Festival, The Juilliard School, and the St. Pauli Theater of Hamburg, Germany where he was commissioned to write and direct a musical based on the life of Soul singer Aretha Franklin entitled: ARETHA! QUEEN OF SOUL. He was also commissioned to write a Broadway musical based on the life of 70’s Soul Singers The Emotions entitled: BIGGER THAN BUBBLE GUM. Currently he continues to be the founder and artistic director of RAINBOW REPERTORY THEATER which is now more than thirty two years old. He was a staff writer for the national magazines: FLAVALIFE magazine and also a regular contributor to the national magazine: CLIK magazine. He was prominently featured in the reprint of the legendary Essex Hemphill anthology BROTHER TO BROTHER. His Books STICKS AND STONES and HEJIRA: From Cradle To Grave WERE BOTH NOMINATED FOR THE 2008 AND 2009 Lambda Literary Foundation’s Poetry Award. They are both available through online book retailers. His play D.L. AS IN DEADLY was also read by the Sugar Valley theatrical Company in 2012. He has completed three short films: HOOD LIFE: 101, SOUL MATES and FIRST BASE. Needless to say his shorts have been feature in numerous film festivals including THE HOLLYWOOD BLACK FILM FESTIVAL, BLACK HARVEST FILM FESTIVAL, ST. LOUIS BLACK FILM FESTIVAL AND THE HOLLY SHORTS FILM FESTIVAL. His memoir: THE FREAK FACTOR has just been published and is available online at venues such as Amazon. Baldwin’s Ni$$er was read at the Ntozake Shange Reading Series sponsored by New Federal Theatre NYC and later featured in the DC BLACK THEATRE AND ARTS FESTIVAL in Washington, DC.
Producer/Director : STEVEN DENNIS THOMPSON a pioneer in the interactive and digital marketing and development industry. Mr. Thompson, was co-founder and Managing Director of Chelsea Harlem Digital, Inc. one of the primer digital development firms in the country. (CHD); an independent digital agency started in 1998 and was based in New York City’s Silicon Ally. CHD specialized in digital solutions for companies, celebrities and government agencies. Chelsea Harlem Digital was positioned to respond to the growing demand of interactive digital media that reaches both multi-cultural audiences and emerging international markets. Mr. Thompson assembled a team of interdisciplinary professionals who embodied cutting edge research, marketing and production methodologies.Using trend analysis, long term forecasting, and other strategies, Chelsea Harlem Digital assisted clients* competing for market space in the new millennium. Mr. Thompson began his career at Citibank/Citicorp in the management associates program becoming an officer of the bank after an intense full year of accelerated training in Citigroup’s strategic development, marketing, systems and mortgage divisions. He then spent six years at Citicorp developing marketing plans and managing small business development on the retail level. In 1992, Mr. Thompson founded THOMPSON TECHNOLOGIES, INC., a technologies system integration company, specializing in designing cutting edge system solutions. Mr. Thompson is a graduate of the State University of New York with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics AND Business Administration. *Chelsea Harlwem Digital, Inc. clients included: United States Postal Service, AT&T, Motorola, Glaxo Wellcome Pharmaceuticals (now GSK), Uniworld Group Advertising Agency, Bravo Group (Young and Rubicam) Advertising Agency, Rutgers University, United States Post Office ( Spanish Language Division
Incentives for participating in Fund: 1. All donations shall be made through our producing partner RAINBOW REPERTORY THEATRE which is a tax-exempt 501C3 organization. So all donations will be tax deductable and each person will be made available with the tax exempt certificate to show your tax professional at the appropriate time. 2. $25 donation gets you a thank you in the official program. 3. $50 donation will receive a free ticket to the show of your choice. 4. $100 donation gets 2 free tickets to the performance of your choice. And finally, $150 donations gets you 2 free tickets to the production and a memorial T-shirt.
This appeal’s goal is : $5000.00.