Filed under: Fractured Atlas, Judith Malina, Season One, Season Three, Season Two, TheatreNow! Artists | Tags: Anne Hamilton, Catherine Filloux, Claire Lautier, Fran Tarr, Hamilton Dramaturgy's TheatreNow!, hamiltondramaturgystheatrenow.com, Jennifer Tipton, Judith Malina, Kamilah Forbes, Kate Valk, Kristin Marting, Laura Maria Censabella, Margo Jefferson, Maria Alexandria Beech, Murielle Borst Tarrant, Paule Constable, Pulitzer Prize Winner, Quiara Alegria Hudes, Rae Smith, Ruth Margraff, Season One, Season Three, Season Two, Valentina Fratti, Women Theatre Artists, Yvette Heyliger, Yvonne Farrow
Thank you for visiting TheatreNow!’s blog. Our podcasts and transcripts are now located on the site http://hamiltondramaturgystheatrenow.com
Please click on the titles below to listen to the podcasts. And make sure to subscribe to the website so you’ll receive all of our new interviews!
Yvette Heyliger, Producer, Playwright, and Director
Yvonne Farrow, Producer, Actor, and Choralographer
Hamilton Dramaturgy’s TheatreNow! is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the purposes of Hamilton Dramaturgy’s TheatreNow! must be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
Filed under: Kamilah Forbes, Season Two, TheatreNow! Artists | Tags: African-American Theatre, Anne Hamilton, Broadway, Director, Hamilton Dramaturgy's TheatreNow!, Kamilah Forbes, Season Two, TheatreNow! Artists
Congratulations to Kamilah Forbes, who served as the first guest of Season Two on TheatreNow! She is serving as Assistant Director of the Broadway production of THE MOUNTAINTOP by Katori Hall, starring Angela Bassett and Samuel L. Jackson. Brava!
Filed under: Kamilah Forbes, Laura Maria Censabella, Paule Constable, Season Two, TheatreNow! Artists | Tags: Actor, Artistic Director, Director, Kamilah Forbes, Laura Maria Censabella, Maria Alexandria Beech, Playwright, Season Two
Kamilah Forbes, the award-winning artist and the Artistic Director of the Hip Hop Theatre Festival, appears as the first guest in Season Two of TheatreNow!
Please tune in by clicking here: Hamilton Dramaturgy’s TheatreNow! Interview with Kamilah Forbes
You can read a transcript of the interview here.
Upcoming guests include Laura Maria Censabella, Paule Constable, Maria Alexandria Beech and Linsey Bostwick.
Filed under: Kamilah Forbes, Season Two, TheatreNow! Artists | Tags: African-American Theatre, Anne Hamilton, Hamilton Dramaturgy's TheatreNow!, Hip Hop Theatre Festival, Kamilah Forbes
Kamilah Forbes is an award-winning theatre artist and the Artistic Director of the Hip Hop Theatre Festival.
Listen to her speak about her early influences, experience, and artistic process.
Filed under: Kamilah Forbes, TheatreNow! Artists | Tags: Anne Hamilton, Hamilton Dramaturgy's TheatreNow!, Kamilah Forbes, TheatreNow! Artists
Kamilah Forbes Interview 2010
KAMILAH FORBES: I’m a little speechless because I’m in such awe of the other honorees as well as the organization, so I’m very, very honored. The recognition means a great deal.
AH: I think that it’s important to learn about a woman’s early growth as an artist. Can you tell us what kinds of artistic activities you took part in as you were growing up?
KF: I took piano lessons and I went to a lot of theater growing up in Chicago. Based on my musical influences, I would write hip-hop lyrics at that time. I was very much involved in my drama program in high school, which led to me wanting to study theater in college. I was involved in the acting and directing program at Howard University and did a little bit of producing.
AH: AND YOU ALSO STUDIED AT OXFORD.
KF: Yes, at the British-American Drama Academy (BADA). I’m in love with the classics. I’ve always been in love with language, whether it’s hip-hop or Shakespeare. You know, it made my decade, just to be in the same room with Ben Kingsley and to study with him. I studied with Fiona Shaw as well.
AH: TELL US ABOUT SOME OF THE SHAKESPEAREAN ROLES YOU’VE PLAYED.
KF: I’ve played Rosalind in AS YOU LIKE IT. That was with the WSC Company in Washington DC. I was part of the Folger Shakespeare Theater Educational Troupe. I did ROMEO AND JULIET, and MUCH ADO. In The Scottish Play, on the main stage of Folger Shakespeare, I played Hecate, which is a role that’s generally omitted. She’s the queen of the witches.
AH: HOW DID YOU GO FROM HECATE TO HIP-HOP?
KF: Well, I think my interests always co-existed, and it was just a matter of my two worlds bumping into one another. When I studied at Oxford, I would attend classes about scansion and diction during the day and then I would be running to London to see DE LA SOUL at night.
My college professor Sybil Roberts really encouraged us as theater makers to challenge the boundaries of performance and take experimental risks. I decided to pull together a collective of poets and DJs, and began to workshop a concept for a play I was writing called RHYME DEFERRED. The DJ definitely laid the score of the play. I worked with dancers and choreographers whose background was in hip-hop dancing and popping and locking and break dancing. I was interested in using the dance as storytelling tools.
I asked myself, “How can this kind of movement truly tell a story just as any posse or other Broadway choreography would?” And the poetry and the language wove together. In this 1997 workshop I was experimenting with what Hip-Hop Theater as an aesthetic could potentially look like.
AH: TELL US ABOUT WORKING WITH DEF POETRY JAM.
KF: I served as the producer for the HBO show, which basically meant I just did what I did for the festival. I curated. When the show started to move towards Broadway, I worked with the director Stan Lathan as an associate director for the Broadway tour. I got to work with a lot of these poets in a lot of different ways. Several of them had written long-form work that I had presented in the festival. And then in this iteration, they were performing their three-minute, shorter work as well.
AH: YOU WEAR A NUMBER OF HATS EXTREMELY WELL. WHAT DO YOU THINK CONTRIBUTES TO YOUR SUCCESS?
KF: I’ve always been interested in a lot of different sides of things. I want to know how the show is run as well as how it’s produced, because they’re interrelated. You know, being a good actor makes me even better director. Being a producer makes me a better director. Being a director makes me a better producer, just because of my knowledge of the full 360-degree circle of the theatre world. At times it’s difficult, because sometimes I can feel very schizophrenic. But when I’m truly able to focus on one thing at a time, I think each one of my interests enhances the other.
AH: IS YOUR JOB WITH THE FESTIVAL YEAR-ROUND?
KF: It seems like it. [Laughs.] But we’ve backed away from being a year-round organization only because it gives me a lot more freedom to work on other individual artistic projects, whether as a director or an actor. Or to work on the series that I produce. It gives me a little bit of freedom for that.
AH: WHAT KIND OF ARTISTIC GROWTH ARE YOU EXPERIENCING AT THE MOMENT?
KF: I’m finding a lot of inspiration from a lot of different forms and in very unlikely places. I will go to a visual art exhibit and be so inspired in by the way in which it was presented. I’m always figuring out ways to build upon inspiration, and to incorporate this piece of inspiration into the work that I do. I’m constantly looking for ways for that to happen in very unlikely places.
AH: IT SEEMS LIKE YOUR ARTISTS ARE WELL-DISCIPLINED, WELL-INFORMED, SUPERBLY INTELLIGENT AND ALSO, THAT THEY WORK THROUGH THE HEART AS WELL AS THE MIND.
AH: KAMILAH, I WISH YOU GREAT, GREAT SUCCESS IN THE FUTURE IN EVERYTHING THAT YOU’RE DOING. HOW CAN PEOPLE KEEP UP WITH YOUR SHOWS AND ACTIVITIES?