Fri. & Sat. July 7 –8 at 8pm, Sun. July 9 at 4pm.
by TALVIN WILKS
Performed by HARTBEAT ENSEMBLE
Developed by playwright Talvin Wilks through research and in collaboration with HartBeat Ensemble members, this play is a meditation on the American political climate of the late ’50s and early ’60s through the lens of two significant artists and social activists of the time. James Baldwin and Lorraine Hansberry were firebrands who helped to forge an image of a true America, an inclusive America, one that debunked all notions of a second-class citizenship.
Significant speeches, television interviews, and political debates all served as fodder for this investigation. The result is a piece that gives a view of the personal lives of the two artists, exploring key relationships that navigate the challenging terrain of race, class, sexuality, and friendship while holding up a mirror to America’s history and shedding light on the issues of race, art and politics in an ever-changing multicultural society.
James Baldwin taught locally at Hampshire College and UMASS. We hope that post-show discussions will feature recollections by his colleagues.
HartBeat’s performances at Ko are supported, in part, by the the New England States Touring Programs of the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA), made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts Regional Touring Program and the 6 New England state arts agencies.
“Simply put, this seemingly modest gem is one of the best plays of the year…” —Frank Rizzo, Hartford Courant
Jimmy & Lorraine was nominated for the 2015 Best New Play award by the American Theater Critics Circle.