Uppa Creek, a new play by Keli Garrett inspired by the work of artist Kara E. Walker, was to premiere at NYC’s Dixon Place Sept. 12 with a preview performance at 8 PM. An official opening is scheduled for Sept. 15 at 8 PM.
However, all New York theatrical performances are currently suspended owing to terrorist attacks, made Sept. 11, on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. All Wednesday matinees are cancelled; theatres are awaiting word from Mayor Rudolph Giuliani regarding Sept. 12 evening performances. Sources say it is likely that all theatrical performances held below 14th Street are likely to be cancelled for several days. Performances in other national cities have also been seriously affected by the disasters. Please call the theatres for the latest information.
Based on a silhouette etching by Walker, entitled “The Means to an End...A Shadow Drama in Five Acts”, Uppa Creek revolves around a young Negress slave who plots to poison her white master and escape from his plantation.
The play is directed by Dominic Taylor. The cast features Amy Fellers, Yvonne Jung, Bradford Olson, Kaipo Schwab, Ron Riley, Keli Garrett, Rodney Owens and Gwen Mulamba.
Playwright Keli Garrett has written stage adaptations of Alice Walker’s Meridian and Charles Johnson’s Faith and Good Thing. She has also written two original works, Funkland and The Red Clay Hills for Chicago’s Victory Gardens Theatre. In addition to Uppa Creek, Dominic Taylor has also directed Sound Check and Driving to Providence for HERE’s Culture Mart, and Cantana Negroes Burial Ground at The Kitchen.
Kara Walker’s controversial silhouettes first appeared in 1994 at The Drawing Center in New York. Her work, which is often composed of sexually suggestive and violent images, has been displayed in galleries and museums worldwide, appearing at The1997 Whitney Biennial, Wooster Gardens, Des Moines Art Center, Armand Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, San Francisco Museum of Art and The Museum of Modern Art in Paris, among others.
Uppa Creek previews Sept. 12 at 8 PM at Dixon Place, located at 309 East 26th Street, just east of 2nd Avenue in Manhattan. The show opens on Sept. 15, with performances Thurs-Sat through Oct. 6. Tickets are $15 at the door, $12 in advance and $10 for students and seniors. TDF is accepted. For more information or to make reservations, call the Dixon Place box office at 212-532-1546 or visit the website at www.dixonplace.org.
— by Esther Sapan