On March 1-4, 2012, Regina Taylor's "Crowns" will be staged at the Austin Theatre in Ft. Valley, GA (@crownsfv). "Crowns," an adaptation of a coffee table book by Michael Cunningham and Craig Marbury, documents and explores African American womens' tradition of wearing elaborate church hats.
This production is a collaborative effort between myself, as director of Fort Valley State University's (FVSU) Joseph Adkins Players (JAP) student drama group, actress and Ft. Valley native Karan Kendrick (The Hunger Games, CSI Criminal Intent; @karankendrick,) and Mrs. Betty Rivers, wife of Larry Rivers, FVSU's president (a professor, a performer and a presidents wife). In the words of President Rivers, "Crowns-FV" will be a "communiversity" event in which members of the Ft. Valley, GA community as well as FVSU's JAP students have been cast together to bring this piece to a Middle Georgia stage for the first time! Staging "Crowns" is truly a labor of love for all involved since Ms. Kendrick toured with a production of the play for two years, Mrs. Rivers community programming overlaps with the play's themes and my graduate research on the ring shout and performance ethnography structure the work.
Although this marks my first entry in this series, we have actually been in pre-production for this show since summer, 2011. Now is the time to share our process! Look forward to reading about the show's development, preview pics and the (funny) stories I have to share about producing this show. (I already have several). I must also admit to being excited to finally write in my own words for this blog. I am elated to be able to share my work in this way.
Tickets for the show go on sale soon! Stay tuned for more details. Follow us at @crownsfv.