By Tribune Staff
NASHVILLE, TN — Fisk University’s iconic Little Theatre was the site last week of the world debut of “Brown Boy Mad,” a play by SekouWrites. The staged reading, which was presented by Professor Felder-Fentress and the Fisk Stagecrafters, attracted a large audience of theater fans from not only Nashville, but as far away as Atlanta.
New York City’s SekouWrites, an award-winner blogger, journalist and playwright, is currently serving as an artist-in residence at Fisk while developing the play. The reading’s date, Feb. 26, was particularly significant as it was the same day Trayvon Martin was killed in 2012, and he’s also mentioned in the play.
Several Fisk students’ talents were utilized in the staged reading. The cast included Jeffrey Casey, Chelseai Cunningham, Kiaré Green, Meaghan Hall, Kyron McDonald, and Keenya Phillips Riley, among others. Kyna Kyles, the author of “Some See in Color, I See in RHYME,” was outstanding as the opening act.
While this was a free event open to the public, donations were taken. Sekou surprised the house by donating 100 percent of the proceeds collected to the Fisk Stagecrafters. Several of his Morehouse brothers (Konson Patton, Dr. J. Sheats, Tony Lewis, and Korby Marks) also contributed to the production, donating their time, energy and resources.
“Brown Boy Mad” is best described as a choreopoem. It incorporates elements of film, song, poetry, even the actors’ actual perspectives in an attempt to describe some of the author’s real-life interactions with race and microaggressions in “post-racial” America.
During a brief talkback after the performance, one attendee described the play as just the right mix of anger and humor. “These issues of race and microaggressions are, unfortunately, timeless,” Sekou said in describing “Brown Boy Mad.”
Though currently a New York City resident, SekouWrites frequently travels to Nashville to visit his mom and aunt, who are both Fiskites. He has written for a wide range of publications including Essence, Ebony, Uptown,and Upscale among others. He has also edited three books (“When Butterflies Kiss,” “Stories of Survival & Beyond”, and “The Sound of Silk at Midnight”) His writing has been featured in several anthologies.
In addition, SekouWrites has been featured in several anthologies, performed in the NYC Fringe Festival, and earned an MFA in Creative Writing from New School University. He has been a guest on many podcasts, radio shows and TV shows including “Nightline,” “The Today Show,” and WGBH’s “Basic Black.”
For more information about the play and playwright, visit www.sekouwrites.com.