Man, if it were called 'Big Man, Stronger Woman' this thing could tour.
Producer Gary Guidry of the urban theatre circuit, joking about repackaging August Wilson's Fences for touring the circuit, in The World of Black Theatre Becomes Ever Bigger in this morning's New York Times.
Interesting read about the success of urban theatre productions, which the piece describes as being built around "black settings and uplifting messages." Of the theatre that I've attended in Chicago in recent years about half of the productions have been peopled by black stories and performers (Intimate Apparel, Dreams of Sarah Breedlove, Raisin, and Radio Golf, to name a handful) so it's not uncommon in this city to attend a production with a largely African-American audience.
But the piece captured my attention mostly because of what I thought was a missed opportunity to draw a comparison to Yiddish Theatre and the role it traditionally played for the Jewish community, delivering relevant entertainment that lives outside the mainstream (read: WASP-stream).
And also because any time I read about living, breathing theatre that matters to folks beyond Broadway, I get happy.
Don't know why. Just do.