The nearly month-long celebration of black playwriting in Queens will end April 15 with a reading of Anthony Sparks' Ghetto Punch, a satire, being read at Queens Theatre in the Park (2 PM) and the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning (6 PM). Daniel Banks directs this tale of the black nerd Horatio as he suffers from a post-childhood breakdown.
The festival began with the comic one-act Looking for Hezekiah March 18 with a 3 PM performance at the Langston Hughes Community Library and Cultural Center and a 6 PM reading at the Jamaica Center for the Arts and Learning. Hezekiah, by National Endowment for the Arts Grant recipient P. J. Gibson, finds the aging Alberta Louise searching for a routine with her best friend Estaphine as she recovers from the recent loss of her husband. Directing and acting teacher Lisa-Erika James directed.
Two Jamacians did some searching of their own in Trevor Rhone's Two Can Play, performing March 31 at the Mason Community Center, Junior High School 198 and April 1 at the Jamaica Center for the Arts and Learning. James directed this play about the American Dream and the ups and downs of relationships.
All readings are free and feature discussions with the playwrights, cast and director after the show. For further information, contact the venue: the Langston Hughes Community Library: (718) 651-1100 and the Jamaican Center for Arts and Learning: (718) 658-7400.
-- By Christine Ehren