HOUSTON -- Know what a "choreopoem" is? Ntozake Shange takes credit for the dance-cum-recitation-cum-theater form, articulated in her Obie Award-winning for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf. Houstonians can hear the acclaimed writer/performer/director talk about it, and her other works, April 27 at the Ensemble Theatre in a presentational event organized by Inprint, Inc., Houston's major nonprofit organization dedicated to the literary arts.
Shange is the third and final playwright to appear over the past month in Inprint's dramaturgical triptych of evenings, collectively called The Play's the Thing: Three Playwrights & Their Work. Earlier, Edward Albee spoke at Stages Repertory Theatre while subsequently Horton Foote held forth at the Alley Theatre. Shange, Albee, and Foote all have Texas ties and Houston connections. Proceeds benefit Inprint.
Three Ensemble actors will perform a staged reading from Shange's The Love Space Demands. Then Shange will participate in a Q & A, moderated by Elizabeth Brown-Guillory, associate professor of African American Studies at the University of Houston and a playwright in her own right.
Shange's other texts for the stage include an adaptation of Bertolt Brecht's Mother Courage and Her Children, for which she also won an Obie. Her novels include Liliane, Betsey Brown, and Sassafras, Cypress & Indigo, and has she published several collections of poetry. Recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, Shange is currently associate professor in the English Department at Prairie View A & M, an area school.
For tickets to Shange's appearance via The Play's the Thing: Three Playwrights & Their Work, $15, call Inprint, Inc., at (713) 521-2026. -- By Peter Szatmary