Showing posts from March, 2015

The West Indian Front Room

The West Indian Front Room The Visual Inspiration behind Let There Be Love By Nirmala Nataraj The West Indian Front Room exhibition at the Geffrye Museum, 2005-2006 Photo by John Neligan In 2005 Kwame Kwei-Armah was moved to write Let There Be Love after seeing an art exhibition at London’s Geffrye Museum of the Home. The show, entitled The West Indian Front Room: Memories and Impressions of Black British Homes , recreated the front rooms of African-Caribbean immigrants of the 1960s and ’70s, while providing stories from the first wave of West Indian immigrants to England. The vivid installations, awash in a sensorial landscape of sounds and sights, struck Kwei-Armah profoundly, and from his memories of the “politics of my family’s front room,” the story of Alfred, Gemma, and Maria emerged. The exhibition’s curator, Michael McMillan, describes the quintessential front room, which is derived from the Victorian parlor: “colorful floral-patterned wallpaper and carpet tha

A Simpsons Lover’s Guide to Mr. Burns, a post-electric play

By Adam Odsess-Rubin Costume designer Alex Jaeger’s  rendering of Bart  Simpson   for A.C.T.’s production of Mr. Burns If humanity ever suffers an apocalypse, The Simpsons , with its encyclopedic collection of movie-star cameos, original couch gags, and literary references, would offer survivors a detailed archive of the last 25 years. The Simpsons is American society writ large. Winner of 31 Emmys, a Peabody Award, and the record for the longest-running sitcom in television history (561 episodes and counting), it has been lauded as a simple yet effective satire on the dysfunctional nature of the American family, and a piercing look into the complexities of human nature. The many characters that populate this seemingly simple TV show reflect American society in a fun-house mirror meant to simultaneously entertain and provoke. The heart of the show is the Simpsons family. Homer, the father, is an irate buffoon who serves (poorly) as a safety inspector at Mr. Burns’

A Prologue Discussion: Anne Washburn’s MR. BURNS at A.C.T.

Go behind the scenes of Anne Washburn's post-apocalyptic play with a discussion ranging from nuclear meltdowns to Springfield Follies Amidst apocalyptic chaos, a group of survivors find comfort in recounting a beloved episode of The Simpsons in Anne Washburn’s exhilarating Mr. Burns, a post-electric play . Director and A.C.T. Associate Artistic Director Mark Rucker joins Washburn onstage to discuss the importance of “low-brow” media and why we cling to stories in the face of tragedy. Moderated by A.C.T. dramaturg Michael Paller, this discussion will give you a revealing look at this mind-blowing theatrical homage to our popular culture. For more about Mr. Burns , be sure to read our latest edition of Words on Plays ! Click here to order online. For tickets to Mr. Burns visit .