The Bay Street Theater and the Sag Harbor Center for the Arts, in partnership with the Eastville Community Historical Society and the Southampton African American Museum, are pleased to announce the online world premiere of “In Case You Hadn’t Heard: A Conversation Between America’s Past And Its Promise âon Monday February 22 at 8 pm. The evening will feature a conversation between the director and the cast, led by Dr. Georgette Grier-Key of the Eastville Community Historical Society.
The mission of the Eastville Community Historical Society is defined as “a non-profit organization based in Sag Harbor committed to the preservation of historic buildings in the Eastville area of ââSag Harbor, New York, and in research, collection and dissemination of information regarding the history of the community. The historic area is recognized as one of the earliest known working-class communities comprised of African Americans, Native Americans, and European immigrants.
Currently, Dr. Georgette Lovette Grier-Key is the first executive director of the Eastville Community Historical Society and is a National Trust for Historic Preservation Diversity Fellow and Arcus Fellow. She is also president of the Long Island Historical Societies, formerly known as the Association of Suffolk County Historical Societies (ASCHS). âUnder his leadership, the organization expanded its geographic territory from Montauk to Brooklyn and successfully requested an organization name change with the approval of the New York State Board of Regents. As a founding member and main organizer of the Pyrrhus Concer Action Committee, her continued work led to the purchase of the Concer property and the continued reconstruction of the farm of the formerly slave Pyrrhus Concer in the heart of the village of Southampton. The historic African-American communities of Sag Harbor Hills, Azureest, and Ninevah (SANS) in Sag Harbor were recently granted national and state historic designations, of which she served as the senior advisor.
âIn Case You Haven’t Heard: A Conversation Between America’s Past and Its Promiseâ is a provocative and unvarnished look at issues surrounding race in America. The world-first theatrical presentation is adapted and directed by Reggie D. White, and sources have found text to draw on the words of 20 thought leaders from the past and present. Their lyrics come together to create a “conversation” between a group of four actors, as they candidly discuss what it means to be black in America. As the words of the past and hopes for the future collide, a frank and frank dialogue emerges, sounding a call to action. (Note: This presentation includes language that may disturb some viewers.)
The content of “In Case You Hadn’t Heard: A Conversation Between America’s Past and Its Promise” is drawn from the speeches and writings of 20 influential African-Americans, including: Houston Baker, James Baldwin, Mary McLeod Bethune, London Breed, Keiajah Brooks, Stokely Carmichael, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Angela Davis, Dick Gregory, Fannie Lou Hamer, Lorraine Hansberry, Jemele Hill, Marley K., Tamika Mallory, Robert P. Moses, Khalid Abdul Muhammad, Barack Obama, Amber Ruffin, Jesse Williams , and Malcolm X.
Dr Grier-Key touched on the significance of this event, especially at this time in our history, and how it came about by explaining: âBlack history shouldn’t just be a festive memory, it should be. is also a time for reexamination, reflection, learning and sharing. The experiences of African Americans are not a monolithic, nor should our history be subject to slavery or exceptional eras, but rather a collective and a continuum of our entire history and our contributions to America. African Americans have fought persistently to gain their freedom and freedoms as a birthright and as citizens. “
Commenting on the choice of director and performers, she revealed, âIn Case You Haven’t Heardâ is masterfully crafted to use the voices of iconic cultural ambassadors to recap times of triumph, pain and sorrow, discrimination and citizenship. This brilliant idea of ââa converging conversation between various figures in history promises to be enlightening and perhaps even edutainment. Memory and history are shaped by events and what we choose to remember is often a fraction of the time and often vague. As humans, we want to remember which happy ending gives the best result. If this conversation took place I believe, like Audre Lorde, âIt’s not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept and celebrate these differences.
Below is the background for the director and cast:
Reggie D. White is a New York-based multidisciplinary artist and educator who recently appeared in the Vineyard Theater virtual play, “Lessons in Survival, which he co-designed.” Before Broadway began its indefinite closure, he also appeared in the 11-time Tony-nominated two-part epic, “The Inheritance.” Other actor credits include NYTW, The Public Theater, 59E59, Arden Theater, Berkeley Rep, and La Jolla Playhouse. As a director, his work has been presented at the Bay Street Theater, Public Theater, Atlantic Acting School, New York Winterfest, Bay Area Children’s Theater, Berkeley Playhouse, AlterTheatre Ensemble, etc. He is an alumnus of the Atlantic Acting School, where he is now the artistic director of the school, recipient of the TBA TITAN Award, TCG Fox Fellowship, and is a fellow of The Williams Project, a theater company in living wage.
Darryl Gene Daughtry, Jr. is originally from Pittsburgh and holds a Masters of Fine Arts degree from Juilliard Drama Program’s Group 48. Prior to Juilliard, Darryl spent his undergraduate years at Temple University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in theater studies. Beyond acting, Darryl touches both fashion and music production. He also spent two summers in Botswana as a teaching artist, working alongside students and the surrounding community. His Off-Broadway credits include the Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park productions of âCoriolanus,â directed by Dan Sullivan. Broadway credits include “The Inheritance” by Matthew Lopez, directed by Stephan Daldry.
Crystal Dickinson is an actress, educator, and native of New Jersey. Her Broadway credits include the Tony Award-winning play, “Clybourne Park,” for which she received an illustrious Theater World Award, and the Tony-nominated play, “You Can’t Take It With You,” alongside James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne. She has performed Off-Broadway at Lincoln Center, Public Theater, Playwrights Horizons and Signature Theater, and most recently the Theater for A New Audience. Film and TV credits include: âI Origins,â âThis Is Where I Leave You,â âThe Good Wife,â âFeed the Beast,â âNew Amsterdam,â and recurring roles in Showtime’s âThe Chiâ and â For La vie. âCrystal has had an illustrious career teaching drama and coaching at Juilliard, Stella Adler Studio, Spelman College, NYU, Princeton, Pace University and at her two alumni schools, University of Illinois and Seton Hall. University A proud MFA graduate from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, she also studied at the London Academy for Music and Dramatic Art and is an elite member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab.
Jason Veasey is a New York-based actor and singer who has had the chance to do what he loves on stage and on screen – most notably on Broadway in “The Lion King” as well as in the touring company. On stage, he was recently seen in the critically acclaimed film “A Strange Loop” at Playwrights Horizons. It has also been seen at the Public Theater, Actors Theater of Louisville, Denver Center, and many other theaters. On the big screen he was seen in “American Gangster”, TV credits include “Chicago Fire”, “High Maintenance” and the upcoming “Starling”.
Clarissa Vickerie is a New York-based actress whose most recent works include “Lordes” at the New Ohio Theater, “A Little Water Clears Us” at the Wolfson Gielgud Studio in London, and directing an Off-Broadway production. titled “Over the Rainbow: Rock Ballet. She graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she trained at the Atlantic Acting School, and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London She also trained at the Black Arts Intensive at the Billie Holiday Theater in Brooklyn, New York.
Speaking on his hopes for what viewers of all ages could get from this event, Dr Grier-Key concluded: and demanding justice continue to wave the bloody banner of liberty, justice and liberty. How far have we gone and where are we going? When you think of the saying, âyou cannot know where you are going without knowing where you have beenâ rings true and serves us now – we must never forget. We need to speak up and recognize our past in all its authenticity.
âIn Case You Haven’t Heard: A Conversation Between America’s Past and Its Promiseâ can be seen through Sunday, February 28.
For tickets, go to www.baystreet.org. For more information on the Eastville Community Historical Society, go to www.eastvillehistorical.org, or call 631-725-4711.