The Colored Museum opens at Street Theatre June 14

The cast of Street Theatre’s The Colored Museum. Pictured (top, l to r): Shawn Whitsell, Jennifer Whitcomb-Oliva, Don Daniels, Chalana Pitts; (middle, l to r): Fiona Soul, Lauren Jones, Nikkita Staggs; (bottom, l to r): Tamiko Robinson, Nae Callihan, LaTorious Givens                photo: Christopher Bosen

The cast of Street Theatre’s The Colored Museum. Pictured (top, l to r): Shawn Whitsell, Jennifer Whitcomb-Oliva, Don Daniels, Chalana Pitts; (middle, l to r): Fiona Soul, Lauren Jones, Nikkita Staggs; (bottom, l to r): Tamiko Robinson, Nae Callihan, LaTorious Givens photo: Christopher Bosen

The Colored Museum, a satirical, humorous play by George C. Wolfe, opens at the Street Theatre, 1933 Elm Hill Pike (just off the Briley Pky.) in less than two weeks on June 14. This highly unique and imaginative play gives new meaning and perspective on being Black in contemporary America.

The Colored Museum consists of 11 ‘exhibits’ re-exploring and undermining stereotypes of what it means to be Black. The play tackles issues such as oppression, stereotypes, and self-identity with a satirical twist, and examines the strong desire and struggle for African Americans to release centuries of oppression.

Although the play is generally light-hearted and farcical containing a great deal of jazz-and-blues influenced music and a spattering of dance, its underlying themes are intended as a valuable reminder of the struggle for equality and recognition that African Americans have experienced throughout their history.

“Wolfe has created a museum filled with pieces that trace the African American experience from slavery into the 20th century,” said the production’s director Jon Royal. “Like many things that find themselves in museums, these exhibits have become somewhat distorted and distanced from their origins.”

Ever since its debut in 1986, The Colored Museum has received rave reviews. Newsweek said the play “…brings forth a bold new voice that is bound to shake up Blacks and Whites with separate-but-equal impartiality. True satire.” The New York Times said: “Mr. Wolfe is the kind of satirist who takes no prisoners. The shackles of the past have been defied by Mr. Wolfe’s fearless humor, and it’s a most liberating revolt!”

In addition to Jon Royal’s direction, the Street Theatre production features musical direction by Rollie Mains and choreography by Nomalanga Eniafe. The cast features a cast of 13 actors including Shawn Whitsell, Tamiko Robinson, Lauren Jones, Jennifer Whitcomb-Oliva, and other talents from the Nashville area. The Street Theatre Company is supported by the Metro Nashville Arts Commission and the Tennessee Arts Commission.

The Colored Museum runs June 14 through 30. Tickets are $18 for adults and $16 for students and seniors, with group rates available. For specific show information and to purchase tickets, visit www.streettheatrecompany.org.  Performances are at the Street Theatre, 1933 Elm Hill Pike, just off the Briley Parkway. For more information, call (615) 554-7414.

The Street Theatre Company is a non-profit arts organization dedicated to fostering professional, affordable and accessible theatre, music and arts education in Nashville. Founded in 2004, the organization produces high quality performances and educational workshops, and provides artistic opportunities for young people. For more information, visit www.streettheatrecompany.org or e-mail Street’s founder and artistic director Cathy Street at cathy@streettheatrecompany.org

Lakewood Theatre’s Summer Camp for Children set for June 8-July 13

Lakewood Theatre’s Summer Camp is a hands-on opportunity for students to produce and perform their own show in one fun-filled week! Students will learn about acting, make-up, costuming and stagecraft—then get a chance to put their new knowledge into action with a full production presented to their parents and the public at the end of the summer.

Ages 13-18 will be taught by April Hardcastle-Miles (a very talented actress whom I’ve had the pleasure of directing in several plays). Classes for this age group are from 9:30 am-1:30 pm from June 24-29.

Ages six-12 will be taught by Buffi Jones Holland and will be held at 9 am-2 pm from July 8-13.

The price of the theatre summer camp is $100 per student. One scholarship is available per class.

For further information or to register, visit the website at www.lakewoodtheatre.com; e-mail lakewoodt@yahoo.com; or call (615) 847-0934. The Lakewood Theatre is located at 2211 Old Hickory Blvd. Old Hickory, TN 37138.