Author Archive for Eric Shoemaker

High Visibility

“I am an invisible man.” To begin a play with that phrase can’t help but raise expectations. Court Theatre’s current run of “Invisible Man” has especially high expectations to reckon with, owing to both the long history of the celebrated…

Act II

While the group’s mission has not waivered since it was founded in 1971, eta’s leadership is currently going through a major transition. The foundation’s long-time president and co-founder, Abena Joan Brown, stepped down this past March, on the 40th anniversary of the opening of the theater. She passed the reins to Philip Thomas, a charming graduate of Morehouse College and the University of Chicago. According to Nancy McKeever, eta’s board president, “This is the first time new leadership has occurred.” With Thomas’ appointment, other firsts are on the way.

It Ain’t Necessarily So

When it first debuted in 1935, the Gershwin brothers’ ”Porgy and Bess” raised one of the biggest stinks in musical theater history. With its controversial portrayal of love in an impoverished African-American community, the work was famously decried by academic Harold Cruse as “the most contradictory cultural symbol the Western world has ever created,” and branded by Langston Hughes as a stereotypical, unrealistic account of black coastal life.

The Reverend’s Calling

Director Vaun Monroe has done an excellent job with Jackie Alexander’s play “Birthright”, creating a psychologically pervasive exploration of the history of an upstanding black preacher, Reverend Etienne.

Drag King

Virginia Woolf’s “Orlando” is no ordinary love letter, and Sarah Ruhl’s adaptation for the Court Theater is no ordinary play.