On Thursday (Feb. 5), CalArts’ MFA Creative Writing Program kicks off the Spring edition of its Writing Now Reading Series with a presentation by actor, director, writer and CalArts School of Theater faculty Roger Guenveur Smith in Langley Hall.
Smith’s “incisive, socially trenchant” theater works often deal with race in America and features figures such as the Black Panther Party co-founder Huey P. Newton and Rodney King, and events such as Hurricane Katrina.
His latest work, Frederick Douglass Now, which he began as an undergraduate student at Occidental College, is a multimedia performance based on slave-turned-abolitionist Frederick Douglass’ texts, punctuated by Smith’s own words and contemporary references.
From the Los Angeles Times:
Indeed, Smith’s purposeful authorial skill is at its zenith… and his performance technique remains mesmeric. Repeated pin-drop silences alternate with chortles of laughter throughout, due in no small part to Smith’s wide dynamic range and less-is-more attack.
In his talk at CalArts, Smith will perform excerpts of his solo performances and discuss his process of transforming complex historical conflicts, characters and debates into performative texts. The presentation is being held in conjunction with the Creative Writing Program’s new Writing and Performativity concentration, which focuses on the study and implementation of performative tropes as tools of textual production.
Above is a promotional video for Frederick Douglass Now.
Writing Now Reading Series: Roger Guenveur Smith
Feb. 5, 7-9 pm
Langley Hall, CalArts
24700 McBean Parkway, Valencia