The Classical Theatre of Harlem renews a play originally performed in 1965 as it presents Douglas Turner Ward's Day of Absence at the Harlem School of Arts Theatre Feb. 2-25. The production directed by Alfred Preisser is in honor of Black History month.
In Day of Absence, a small Southern town wakes one hot summer morning to the sudden disappearance of the entire Black population. The production is being performed as a reverse minstrel show with Black actors in white face.
The original production played at New York City's St. Mark's Playhouse as part of a two one-act play program with another of his works Happy Ending. The production earned Ward an Obie Award for Distinguished Performance and a Drama Desk Vernon Rice Award (as they were known then.) Ward, a resident of Harlem personally endorses the Classic Theatre production.
The cast of this production includes Eldon Bullock, Rudy Marsalis, Larry James, Chiron Platnum, Quonta Beagely, Kenyon Farrow, Frank Bowman, Onyameach Aharanwa, Monifa Fola Brown, Charlynn Walker and Joshua Thelin. The design team includes Kevin Hardy (lights), Stefan Jacobs (sound) and Kimberly Glennon.
To be present at Day of Absence, at the HSA Theatre, 645 St. Nicholas Ave. (near 141st St.), call (212) 539-8828. — by Ernio Hernandez