Free Southern Theater's 50th anniversary—Friday 16 October & Sunday 18 October 2013
October 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the Free Southern Theater, the organizational predecessor to Junebug Productions in New Orleans. Talkin’ Revolution is a historic four-day gathering of artists, activists, and educators coming together to celebrate and honor the 50-year legacy of Free Southern Theater as carried forward by Junebug Productions and others. Join us as we gather for panel discussions, presentations, and performances to reflect on the historic and present day impact of Free Southern Theater. Read the recent HowlRound article on the Free Southern Theater.
Panels and performances will livestream on the global, peer produced, open source HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Friday, October 18 and Sunday, October 20. In Twitter, use hashtag #howlround and direct comments @JunebugNoLa. Additionally, follow @HowlRoundTV for updates about livestreaming events.
Friday, October 18
Welcome Address by Stephanie McKee at 10:30 a.m. CDT (New Orleans) / 11:30 a.m. EDT (New York)
Panel: Free Southern Theater Beginnings at 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. CDT (New Orleans) / 12 p.m.-1:30 p.m. EDT (New York)
Facilitator: Tufara Waller Muhammad. Participants: Dr.Doris Derby, John O’Neal, Roscoe Orman, Jerry Ward.
FST founders and members will discuss the theatre’s early years in Mississippi and its role as the cultural arm of SNCC and early debates about integration and aesthetics, including the theatre’s controversial decision to move to New Orleans.
Panel: Free Southern Theater’s Impact on Black Art: from the 1960s to Today at 1:30 p.m.–3 p.m. CDT (New Orleans) / 2:30 p.m.-4 p.m. EDT (New York)
Facilitator: Catherine Michna. Participants: Jan Cohen-Cruz, Kalamu ya Salaam, James Smethurst, Amara Tabor Smith, Carlton Turner
How did the rise of the FST shift conversations about African American theatre and dramatic writing in the early 1960s? In what ways does the legacy of the FST and related Black Arts movements theatres continue to impact African American writing and performance today?
Panel: Women in Free Southern Theater and the Civil Rights Movement at 3:30 p.m.–5 p.m. CDT (New Orleans) / 4:30 p.m.-6 p.m. EDT (New York)
Facilitator: Wendi O’Neal. Participants: Quo Vadis Gex Breaux, Doris Derby, Jeanne Johnson, Charlene Mays, Bertha O’Neal, Frozine Thomas, Doretha Smith-Simmons.
Women of FST will come together with women working in the civil rights and Black Arts movements to share their memories, accomplishments, aesthetics, and struggles
Sunday, October 20
Story Circle, Community Sing & Networking Lunch, Ashé Cultural Arts Center at 10:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. CDT (New Orleans) / 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. EDT (New York)
Facilitator: Caron Atlas. Panelists: Dudley Cocke, John O’Neal, and Linda Parris Bailey
The history, practice, and many uses of the story circle process will be presented. Participants are invited to share stories of how they have been impacted by Free Southern Theater, Junebug Productions, and this weekend’s convening. Following in the tradition of the civil rights movement, we will close the convening with a community sing featuring songs of the movement. Followed by networking lunch with local arts and social justice organizations.
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