When New York City's Drama Dept. staged Uncle Tom's Cabin in the 1997-98 season, the innovative company used black actors to portray white men, actresses to play male roles, and additional source material to include Frederick Douglass and Paul Lawrence Dunbar to Gustave Flaubert and Charles Darwin. Jan. 31-Feb. 23, Los Angeles' Sacred Fools Theater will perform the Randolph Curtis Rand and Floraine Kay adaptation of the Harriet Beecher Stowe in celebration of Black History Month.
When the novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin" arrived on the American scene in 1852, the anti-slavery message of Stowe's work caused a controversy in the pre-Civil War North and South. With a 150 years between then and now, however, the often stereotypical characters of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" has not aged well, prompting Rand and Kay to adopt the writings of James Baldwin, e.e. cummings, W.E.B. Dubois, Thomas Edison, George Sand, Oscar Wilde and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. into the satiric play.
Uncle Tom's Cabin features Carolyn Hennesy (Natalie Schafer Award winner for an emerging comic actress), Yvans Jourdain, two-time L.A. Weekly Award winner Stan Freitag, Jon Huertas ("Moesha"), J. Karen Thomas and Fred Shahadi.
Alexander Yannis Stephano directs. Other works for Sacred Fools include Want's Unwished Work, Or a Birthday Party, Grimm! and Tongue Tied Tales. He will direct a new Theresa Rebeck play at the Chautauqua Theatre Alliance in summer, 2002. Donna Perkins-Mooney choreographs.