Mr. Soul! By Laura A. Thomas
Directed By Reuben J. Tapp Before Soul Train and the popularity of American Bandstand, there was what some have called America's first Black Tonight Show, SOUL!. SOUL! was a performance/variety television program that showcased African American music, dance, and literature in the late 1960s....
Time & Location
Sep 07, 7:00 PM
Rochester, 142 Atlantic Ave, Rochester, NY 14607, USA
About The Event
Thurs, Aug 24 - 7:30 PM Mr. Soul! By Laura A. Thomas Directed By Reuben J. Tapp
Fri, Aug 25 - 7:30 PM Mr. Soul! By Laura A. Thomas Directed By Reuben J. Tapp
Mr. Soul! August 24-25, 2023
Written By Laura A. Thomas
Directed By Reuben J. Tapp
Before Soul Train and the popularity of American Bandstand, there was what some have called America's first Black Tonight Show, SOUL!. SOUL! was a performance/variety television program that showcased African American music, dance, and literature in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Though it had estimated 65% of the African American community that had access to it watched and it aired on over 70 public broadcasting stations, SOUL! was taken off the air.
Laura A. Thomas (The Brownstone, The Circle, and A Safe Distance from Lov) brings the last moments of this viewing treasure to life in this stage play, Mr. SOUL!. Set in 1973, Mr. SOUL! provides a fictional account of the moments as the show "SOUL!" is in danger of being canceled. Though SOUL! had famous guests on its program, everybody that, was anybody from Earth, Wind, and Fire, Patti Labelle, Minister Louis Farrakhan, Jesse Jackson to Sidney Pointier, Steve Wonder, Gil Scott Heron, Kathleen Cleaver, and Nikki Giovanni, it was still constantly threatened to be put off the air.
An overzealous reporter plans to discover why but has other ideas on how SOUL! could remain on the air. When he threatens to break the story of the hosts' sexual orientation, tensions rise as the battle to save SOUL! It happens on two fronts. Based on the actual show, until the curtain, Mr. SOUL! will have you wondering how the tension will unfold and why the revolution will not be televised.
The 14th Annual Sankofa Theatre Festival features local African American artists in a one week theatrical festival.
The Sankofa Theatre Festival is an annual theatrical festival primarily of local: playwrights, actors, and directors that come together for one week of theatrical fun. Rochester has long had theatrical productions but has not always had theater festivals, especially that showcase African American playwrights. The Sankofa Theatre Festival is one such festival.
Originally organized to provide opportunities for African American playwrights to mount their works, the festival has been in various venues, but has remained faithful to its initial calling.
Initially, the festival was one of one-act plays; it has grown to three main stage plays for five performances. Though the format and content, to a degree, have expanded(other ethnicities are occasionally produced alongside African American plays) audiences can find comfort in viewing theatrical performances agreeing with the culture represented.
This years featured plays include: The Return of Double Ax Max: a radio play By Karen D. Culley Directed By Reuben J. Tapp Mr. Soul! By Laura A. Thomas Directed By Reuben J. Tapp Blood at the Root By Dominique Morisseau Directed By Reenah Golden
MMB is a project-oriented theatrical organization dedicated to developing original dramatic works by local playwrights, focusing on enhancing writing, directing, and acting skills. Annually, MMB Theatre 1 Project invites local playwrights to submit full-length and one-act plays for staging considerations. Once all entries and scripts are submitted, they are reviewed, and plays are selected.