What is black theatre? How is it defined and by whom?
What is the relationship between the black dramatist, their creation and the black community in general?
Looking For Leroy explores these questions through the career of LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka, arguably the most important black playwright of the 20th century and one who intended his art have social impact. Baraka’s ideological shifts – Beatnik, black nationalist, Marxist – were also reflected in his plays. In Looking For Leroy, a young theatre intern struggles to comprehend the artistic metamorphoses of his hero, a great playwright at the pinnacle of his powers. While the acolyte assists with play development, his casual observations infuriate his mentor and the two heatedly debate the fundamental questions of theatre, examine the fungible nature of aesthetics, question whether artistic expression is ever nonideological and weight the added responsibility of artists of color.
TAJ - 20-something theatre intern, African-American.
BARAKA - 60-something literary icon, African-American
ABOUT THE PLAY
The Wrong Kind of People will transport you to the year 1942. There you will meet, Theo, an African-American law student, needing privacy to study for the California Bar Exam during 1942, checks in at the exclusive Guardian Hotel located in downtown Los Angeles. He is assigned to “The Colored Room” a rarely used, run-down room at the back of the hotel. During his first night at the Guardian his studies are interrupted by four diverse “denizens of the night” who seek private entry to the hotel via his window. During the course of the evening, there will be sexual shenanigans, a shady card game, and an inconvenient corpse. During the course of one amusing evening, a Black law student gains the “real world education” needed to prepare him for the challenges of a career as a “colored” attorney
Mr. Corbin’s new play was developed in the Robey Playwrights Lab. This is the closing production of Robey Theatre Company’s 25th Anniversary season. The company was founded in 1994 by Danny Glover and Ben Guillory. The newest production, developed at Robey, is consistent with the Company’s mission to tell stories of the global Black experience.
When you encounter The Wrong Kind of People, you’ll find that they’re just the right kind of people to provide you with a very entertaining evening at the theatre.