Must-See Theatre Event and Benefit
Valerie Joyce’s stirring one-woman play, I Will Speak for Myself, tells the stories of 16 silenced black women from colonial times through Emancipation. The stories were constructed from historical records of these real women, who are all superbly interpreted by Kimberly S. Fairbanks.
The Eugene O’Neill Foundation, Tao House presents two performances only: on Saturday evening, July 7 and Sunday afternoon, July 8, at its Old Barn in Danville, as a benefit for the Travis Bogard Artist in Residence Program. Valerie Joyce, who worked on the play while a 2016 Fellow of the program, is chair of Villanova University’s School of Theatre.
Since 2015, the Travis Bogard Artist in Residence Program has provided a working retreat for developing or established playwrights, scholars, and critics in the performing arts. In 2017, the program established the Carey Perloff Fellowship for established theatre artists in transition to writing.
Tickets for this event are $75 ($50 for students on Sunday, July 8). Gourmet box dinners for the evening performance ($25) and box lunches for the matinee ($20) will be available. Proceeds will go to the Travis Bogard Artist in Residence Program, to nurture scholarship and writing in the performing arts.
I Will Speak for Myself has been performed to acclaim at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, as well as in New York, Philadelphia, and Detroit. This July event will be the play’s West Coast premiere.
Audiences have praised the play as an amazing theatrical experience and a re-education in American history:
“The powerful set of monologues imagines key moments in the lives of real African American women. . . . It is a fascinating insight into the various, sometimes shocking experience of injustice.” Keith McKenna, British Theatre Guide.
“This is truly an astonishing piece of theatre—the stories are as compelling and urgent today as they were centuries ago. The performance brings these women to life in completely accessible and deeply moving ways.” Heather S. Nathans, Chair, Department of Drama and Dance, Tufts University
“High school students should see IWSFM because it is a perfect example of . . . how ‘ordinary’ stories like their own can challenge and change society for the better.”
Tickets will be available soon, please check back here!