BATA Staged Readings

Bringing the Art to the Audience (BATA) is our popular series of staged readings which features new and established works by African American and multicultural playwrights.  The readings have been performed at various partner venues in San Francisco and the East Bay including our ongoing flagship partner, the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD), the African American Art and Culture Complex (AAACC), East Bay Center for the Performing Arts in Richmond, The Oakland School for the Arts, The Contemporary Jewish Museum, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Oakland's Eastside Arts Alliance and Joyce Gordon Gallery, among others.

 

 

Bringing the Art to the Audience (BATA) staged readings are FREE and open to the public.
(Check this page throughout the season for the most current schedule.)

 

FUNDED IN PART BY


   

 

 

2016-2017 (BATA) Staged Reading Series Schedule

VENUE DATE/TIME    PLAY TITLE 

I.T. Bookman Community Center

446 Randolph Street

San Francisco, CA 94132

www.itbookmancenter.org

 

Thursday, March 23, 2017 at 7:00 PM

FREE and Open to the Public

 

Searching For Willie Lynch

by Layon Gray

directed by Steven Anthony Jones

 

On the bank of the James River in the colony of Virginia in 1712, a slave owner named Willie Lynch allegedly read a letter to teach his methods to slave owners on how to keep black people divided for 300 years. Searching For Willie Lynch is set in Louisiana centering around three families in 2008, 1965 and 1925 that have lived in the same house over the years and how a door could be a portal to the past and a celebration to the future.

 

Playwright Layon Gray has spent more than two decades writing, directing and developing stage plays and films that reflect a wide array of African-American cultural movements, creating new paradigms for the stage. Focusing on creating conversational dialogue in his works, Layon continues to make his mark in traditional African-American theater.

 

A native of Louisiana, Gray quickly ascended as one of Los Angeles’ premiere playwrights earning more than 60 nomination and awards for his works since 2000.  Among the honors are 2012 NYC Inspire Award, 2012, Al Sharpton Man of Vision Award, 2012 PCTF Award (Best Director) 2010 NY AUDELCO Award (Achievement Award for Excellence); 2009 NAACP Award (Best Ensemble Award); 2009 Hollywood ADA Award (Best Ensemble Award); 2008 MATCH-LIFE Artist of the Year; 2007 NAACP Award (Best Producer, Best Play); 2007 MITF Award (Best Play, Best Writer, Best Director, Best Producer); 2006 NAACP Award (Best Play); 2005 Hollywood ADA Award (Best Play); 2004. Hollywood ADA Award (Best Play, Best Writer, Best Director); and 2003 Los Angeles MADDY Award (Best Play, Best Writer, Best Director, Best Ensemble). Additional information about Layon is on his website www.layongray.com.

 

I.T. Bookman Community Center

446 Randolph Street

San Francisco, CA 94132

www.itbookmancenter.org

Thursday, April 20, 2017 at 7:00 PM

     

Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD)
685 Mission St (at 3rd)

San Francisco, CA 94105
www.moadsf.org

 

Free entry for MoAD Members and LHT Subscribers

 

General Admission to MoAD $10 | Students & Seniors $5

Non-LHT subscribers and non-MoAD members must pay regular admission fees which give access to the museum for the entire day.
Saturday, May 6, 2017 at 2:00 PM      

 

2016-2017 BATA Staged Reading Series Archives


VENUE

DATE/TIME

TIME

PLAY TITLE

African American Art & Culture Complex (AAACC)

762 Fulton Street

San Francisco, CA 94102

 

CANCELLED

Saturday, March 11th, 2017 at 2:00 PM

 

 

East Bay Center for the Performing Arts (EBCPA)

339 11th Street

Richmond CA 94801-3105

www.eastbaycenter.org

CANCELLED

Saturday, February 11, 2017 at 2:00 PM

 

 

Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD)

685 Mission St (at 3rd)

San Francisco, CA 94105
www.moadsf.org

Saturday, February 4, 2017 at 2:00 PM  

Run Home
by Jennifer Nelson

directed by Steven Anthony Jones

 

RUN HOME consists of three short plays linked to the theme of baseball in the lives of three teenage girls in three different eras: in 1863, the mid-1940's and early 1960's.

There is something almost metaphysical about team sports. Baseball's particular role in American culture serves as an apt metaphor for so much of what has transpired in this country dating from its "first pitch."  With relative objectivity, race, gender and class issues are represented, as are respect for competition and “may-the-best-player-win” philosophy.  Although professional ball has become mired in capitalism, the game is still beloved. Baseball represents the enduring hope that regardless of the outcome of one game, there is the possibility that the next "at-bat," the next game, the next season, will lift the team, and thereby, its fans to a level where all vicariously transcend the ordinariness of our daily lives. Is it any wonder then that sports heroes are elevated to the status of demi-gods?

 

The Lorraine Hansberry Theatre at MoAD is a collaboration that connects theater and the visual arts, bringing both audiences together, making each art form more accessible and relevant to both constituencies and providing context across art forms. Each reading is followed by an audience discussion with the cast.

African American Art & Culture Complex (AAACC)

762 Fulton Street

San Francisco, CA 94102

Saturday, January 28, 2017 at 2:00 PM  

Blooming In Dry Season

by Eljon Wardally

directed by Steven Anthony Jones

 

Set in a rum shop in the Spice Isle of Grenada, Rose, an oppressed housewife, has lived life for her husband, Fitz and daughter, Garland. When a once in a lifetime opportunity for her daughter presents itself, Rose realizes she's put her own dreams on hold long enough and she is forced to make a decision; should she stay or should she go?

Through Blooming In Dry Season, the playwright's aim is to demonstrate that women stuck in traditional roles in the Caribbean can break free and create their own path, no matter the age. How do gender politics affect a nuclear family in the Caribbean especially when a suppressed member of the family decides enough is enough? In the case of Blooming In Dry Season, that person is Rose, a mother and devoted wife who on the surface, represents the traditional role of a woman. Just as talented as her husband, Fitz, she pushes her dreams and goals down so he can be happy but when she sees her daughter going down the same path she did, she decides to make a choice. Rose’s struggle to break free echoes stories of so many women who push themselves to the side to appease their significant others. It is a story that deserves to be told.

I.T. Bookman Community Center

446 Randolph Street

San Francisco, CA 94132

www.itbookmancenter.org

Thursday, January 19, 2017 at 7:00 PM  

Black Super Hero Magic Mama

by Inda Craig-Galvan

directed by Rose Oser

 

A single mother, Sabrina Jackson, is unable to cope with the shooting death of her 14-year-old son Tremarion by a White police officer. Rather than become yet another grieving Black mother leading community rallies, Sabrina escapes into her own mind. There, she lives out a comic book fantasy where she is a super hero crime fighter, mimicking the Maasai Angel comic book her artist son had created. Sabrina must decide if she’ll stay in the splash-and-pow world where sons don’t die, or return to the real world and mourn her loss.

Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD)

685 Mission St (at 3rd)

San Francisco, CA 94105
www.moadsf.org

Saturday, December 10, 2016 at 2:00 PM  

 

The Perfect Wife

by Karen Lewis

directed by Michael French

 

Paul and “Natalie” appear to share an ideal May/December marriage until Paul’s daughter Sarah reveals their relationship is a sham. “Natalie” is actually Paul’s other daughter Kathy; cast in the role of wife by Paul’s worsening dementia. Kathy has managed to avoid sharing Paul’s bed. But when Sarah’s attempt to drive a wedge between them backfires, Kathy is forced to make a choice that preserves his dignity and his illusion of her as the “perfect wife”

 

The Perfect Wife won the 2012 Stanley Drama Award from Wagner College, was a semi-finalist in the National Playwrights Conference, and chosen for the 2013 nuVoices Play Festival at The Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte. Karen L. Lewis (WGA & Dramatists Guild) has had productions and readings regionally and off Broadway and has won various awards.

 

East Bay Center for the Performing Arts (EBCPA)

339 11th Street

Richmond CA 94801-3105

www.eastbaycenter.org

Saturday, November 19, 2016 at 4:30 PM  

Compared to What? 

by Judith Offer

directed by Steven Anthony Jones

 

Compared to What? is set in West Oakland in 1926, the year the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters started organizing.  It portrays the tension that was created for the porters in simply trying to decide to join the Brotherhood, as well some of the difficulties they experienced in doing their jobs.  Judith Offer did extensive research to create this play, and was also interested in showing the lack of access to jobs and housing that formed the background to African American life of the day.  She also wanted to show the important role of “club women” in creating opportunities and assistance for the race.

 


 

 

 

2015-2016 BATA Staged Reading Series

 

 

December 5, 2015

BATA staged reading at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) —

Welcome to the Sandbox

by LaToya Morgan

directecd by Kehinde Koyejo

 

February 10, 2016

BATA staged reading at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) —

Dysphoria: An Apache Dance      

by Britney Frazier

directed by Steven Anthony Jones

 

March 19, 2016

BATA staged reading at the African American Art & Culture Complex (AAACC) —

FREEZE!

by Richard Broadhurst

directed by Steven Anthony Jones

 

May 21, 2016

BATA staged reading at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) —

Craigslisted      

by Sharai Bohannon

directed by Steven Anthony Jones

 


2014-2015 BATA Staged Reading Series

 

December 13, 2014

BATA staged reading at the Museum of the African Diaspora in association with Cutting Ball Theater

Mt. Misery

by Andrew Saito

directed by

 

February 7, 2015

BATA staged reading at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) —

The Final Version

by Ishmael Reed

directed by Steven Anthony Jones

 

May 19, 2015

BATA staged reading at the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts (EBCPA ) —

Pedro and the Captain                

by Mario Benedetti

directed by Steven Anthony Jones

 

May 30, 2015

BATA staged reading at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) —

Measurement

by Paul Guess

directed by Steven Anthony Jones

 

June 4, 2015

BATA staged reading at the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts (EBCPA ) — 

There is No We

by Jeremy Kamps

directed by Steven Anthony Jones

 


2013-2014 BATA Staged Reading Series

December 8, 2013

BATA staged reading at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) —

Art Words

edited by Steven Anthony Jones & Brenda Payton Jones

performed by Steven Anthony Jones

 

January 25, 2014

BATA staged reading at Joyce Gordon Art Gallery in Oakland

HOME

by Samm-Art Williams

directed by Darryl Jones

 

February 15, 2014

BATA staged reading at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) —

Art Words (Encore)

edited by Steven Anthony Jones & Brenda Payton Jones

performed by Steven Anthony Jones

 

March 1, 2014

BATA staged reading at the African American Art & Culture Complex (AAACC) —

The Final Days of Negroville

by Keight Josef Adkins

directed by Michael Gene Sullivan

 

March 15, 2014

BATA staged reading at the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts (EBCPA ) — 

Pousada Azul                                  

by Nathan John Yungerberg

directed by Edris Cooper-Anifowoshe

 

March 28, 2014

BATA staged reading at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA)

Bronzeville                                       

by Tim Toyama & Aaron Woolfolk

directed by Stephen Buescher

 

March 29, 2014

BATA staged reading at the EastSide Cultural Center — 

Sugar and Needles                                  

by Keith Josef Adkins

directed by Stephen Buescher

 

April 26, 2014

BATA staged reading at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) —

Les Blancs                                      

by Lorraine Hansberry

directed by Aldo Billingslea

 

June 7, 2014

BATA staged reading at the Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco

Fugitive Slave Act                           

by Michael Gene Sullivan

directed by Michael Gene Sullivan        


2012-2013 BATA Staged Reading Series

 

October 27, 2012
BATA staged reading at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) —
The Fall of Heaven
by Walter Mosley
directed by Edris Cooper-Anifowoshe

 

December 8, 2012
BATA staged reading at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) —
Angélique
by Lorena Gale
featuring Aldo Billinslea
directed by Darryl V. Jones

 

January 11–12, 2013
BATA workshop readings at A.C.T.'s Costume Shop (A.C.T.)—
The Jamaican Wash Project
by Philip Kan Gotanda
featuring Carl Lumbly
directed by Steven Anthony Jones

 

January 19, 2013
BATA staged reading at the East Bay Center for Performing Arts (EBCPA) —
Indigo Blues
by Judi Ann Mason
directed by Steven Anthony Jones

 

January 25, 2013
BATA staged reading at the East Bay Center for Performing Arts (EBCPA) —
Safe House
by Keith Josef Adkins
directed by Steven Anthony Jones

 

February 2, 2013
BATA staged reading at the African American Art & Culture Complex (AAACC) —
Tituba, Black Witch of Salem  (aka The Devil Made Me Do It)
by OyamO
directed by Steven Anthony Jones

 

February 16, 2013
BATA staged reading at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD)—
Detroit '67
by Dominique Morisseau
directed by Steven Anthony Jones

 

March 15, 2013
BATA staged reading at the Joyce Gordon Gallery—
Start Fair
by Aaron Carter
directed by Steven Anthony Jones

 

April 6, 2013

BATA staged reading at the African American Art & Culture Complex (AAACC)-
Black Odyssey
By Marcus Gardley
directed by Steven Anthony Jones

 

May 4, 2013
BATA staged reading at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD)
We Are Proud to Present
By Jackie Sibbles Drury
directed by Steven Anthony Jones