Andre De Shields, Leslie Uggams, La Chanze, Bill Irwin Read Trouble in Mind Across U.S. June 20
By Adam Hetrick
Andre De Shields, Leslie Uggams, La Chanze and Bill Irwin appear in a New York reading of Alice Childress’ 1955 drama Trouble in Mind as part of the nationwide June 20 event 1 Voice, 1 Play, 1 Day.
Actor-producer Eric McMillan-McCall organized the event, which aims to preserve the legacy of African-American playwrights and theatres. 1 Voice, 1 Play, 1 Day also raises funds for the participating theatres in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and other cities across the U.S.
Charles Randolph-Wright directs the New York component, which takes place at 8 PM at the American Airlines Theatre. In addition to De Shields, Uggams, La Chanze and Irwin, the evening features Justine Lupe-Schomp, Malachy McCourt, Tim McGeever, Alano Miller and Don Stephenson.
The San Francisco presentation features Peter Coyote (The Exonerated); the Chicago reading stars John Mahoney (Prelude to a Kiss, "Frasier"); and the Los Angeles segment includes LaTanya Richardson Jackson and Roger Robinson of the Broadway revival of Joe Turner's Come and Gone.
Trouble in Mind is described as "a powerful comedy/drama about not compromising artistic integrity. This play within a play follows the journey of an integrated cast in 1957 as they embark upon rehearsals for a racially-charged play. Childress shows the actors’ complaints, the director's frustration and the efforts of well-meaning theater professionals to overcome their feelings about race. As the play unfolds each character is revealed, along with their cavalier approach to the scripts they hold. Today's audience will marvel at how insightful and fresh the play remains."
Trouble in Mind was slated to transfer to Broadway in 1955 after an Off-Broadway run; however, Childress declined to change the title and ending to the work for producers, and the production never materialized.
For tickets and information on the nationwide event, visit Project1Voice.
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