Purchase College theater and design tech students will present Ma Rainey'S BLACK BOTTOM at the Sage Theatre in New York City, beginning Friday, August 21.
The cast and crew are drawn entirely from the Purchase College talent pool of actors & design technicians, and the budget was raised through independent means.
"Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" is a song by Ma Rainey which makes obvious allusions rather than being dance music. The title Ma Rainey's Black Bottom was used for a 1982 play by August Wilson, showing the exploits and experiences of African-Americans.
The Director of the students' performance, Tabitha Holbert, discovered "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom," the 1982 play by August Wilson, through her university class work. Holbert has assembled a cast and crew drawn from the Arts Conservatories at SUNY Purchase. Her production features a nontraditionally young cast, and lends that youthful energy to the smart, often hilarious, just as often tragic dialogue. This, along with the play's interjections of Ma Rainey's blues ballads, makes the stage glow with the intangible, valuable spirit of the music which forms the cornerstone of the action in this soulful, tragic story.
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom is set in Chicago, March of 1927. In two acts, the play tells the story of legendary blues singer Ma Rainey and her band, addressing race, religion, art, and the sometimes soul-crushing search for identity in 1920s America. The title of the play, derived from a phenomenally popular flapper-era dance and the title of one of Ma Rainey's actual songs, is in itself a statement about the exploitation of African-American performers by white producers, which becomes one of the play's central conflicts.
August 21st, 8:00 PM
August 22nd, 8:00 PM
August 28th, 8:00 PM
August 29th, 8:00 PM
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom will perform at The Sage Theatre, 711 Seventh Avenue, 2nd floor, New York, NY 10036 - Between 47th & 48th St.
Tickets are priced at $20 for general admission, $15 with student ID.