The HERE Arts Center will be completely transformed for its next production: the world premiere of The Black History Museum…According to the United States of America. Created and directed by Zoey Martinson, the immersive show will turn the downtown space into a theatrical museum examining Blackness from its constitutional origin to its modern currency— through visual art, theatrical performance, sound installation, and dance.
The interactive experience will feature, among other things, an installation of dozens of love letters written by slaves during slavery, a Black on Black room, and a dance through the Middle Passage.
“I want audiences to leave The Black History Museum... with a different understanding of what it means to be an American,” says Martinson. “This is an opportunity to look at our cultural identity beyond the trauma that America has attached to Black identity.”
The Black History Museum… will run November 1–24 at HERE. Click here for tickets.
The cast is made up of Kareem M. Lucas (who collaborated with Martinson on the creation of the show), Robert King, Marcia Berry, Landon Woodson, Tabatha Gayle, Toni Ann DeNoble, Langston Darby, Latra Wilson, Telly Fowler, Taylor Boyland, and Eury German, with additional video dance by Briana Reed.
The Black History Museum… is also created in collaboration with sketch writer Jonathan Braylock, visual artist Brandan “B-mike” Odums, dramaturg Arminda Thomas, scenic designer D’Vaughn Agu, costume designer Ari Fulton, and sound designer and composer Avi Amon.
The additional creative team includes choreographer Francesca Harper, additional writing by Robert King and Shenovia Large, video choreographer Abdul Latif, lighting designer Ayumu Poe Saegusa, projection designer Brittany Bland, animator Daria Amai Shelton, cinematographer Katherine Castro, gaffer Justin W. King, visual artists Paula Champange, Kalin Norman, Shariffa Ali, Laetitia Ky, and Yusef Miller, researcher A.J. Muhammad, production manager Clementine Seely, stage manager Alex B. West, and assistant stage manager Josephine Ronga.