Read to Relate: A Theatre Memphis Interactive Play Discussion Group is an online reading and discussion group that reads works by American playwrights of color and/or those who are differently-abled. This virtual experience's objective is to broaden awareness of plays written by and about the BIPOC and/or differently-abled communities (BIPOC: Black, Indigenous, and People of Color). Local Black theatre artists will moderate discussions about the scripts. The moderator guides the participants through two virtual discussions about the literary and social context found in the play's text and production qualities.
Every other month Theatre Memphis offers a new script selection for discussion. Participants read the play on their own and attend two virtual discussion sessions. Registered participants receive a copy of the script and a link to the scheduled discussions. There is a $15 fee to register. The fee covers the cost of the script and the two moderated discussions. The scripts are available for pick up at Theatre Memphis. Register online below. If fees are an issue for an interested participant or if you have additional questions, please contact the program manager, Claire Rutkauskas.
Registration: through April 8, 2021
Discussion One: April 13, 7 - 8:30 PM
Discussion Two: April 27, 7 - 8:30 PM
A Small Oak Tree Runs Red by Lekethia Dalcoe
Shackled, bound, and trapped within someplace between reality and make-believe, lies swollen bellied bloodied Mary Turner, the accused murderer Sidney Johnson, and the loving husband Hayes Turner. All are haunted by the voices of the mob that resides in an abyss that tangles, throws, and switches the elements all in an effort of stopping the memories from coming forward. Their torture continues even in the afterlife. Sidney has reluctantly been given the task to force Mary to remember the horrible accounts of her lynching so they both can move on. In this world entangled in history and unforgivable acts against humanity, to forget is to forever perish, just like the countless stories before them trapped within old newspapers and forgotten memories. Read more about A Small Oak Tree Runs Red at https://www.theatreinchicago.com/a-small-oak-tree-runs-red/8480/ and https://chicagocritic.com/a-small-oak-tree-runs-red/. Disclaimer/Content Warning: Participants should be aware that the script, A Small Oak Tree Runs Red by Lekethia Dalcoe, is historical fiction and contains Graphic, Violent, and Sexual Imagery and Language which includes lynchings, racial slurs, sexual situations, and references to rape.
Discussion of the A Small Oak Tree Runs Red will be moderated by Bria Brown.
Bria Brown is co-founder of 901Homegrown LLC, a local theatre troupe of Black women that create original work. She is self-described as a Poet; Southern, Black woman who tells stories about southern, Black people. Bria is the Program Coordinator at Stax Music Academy.
Anyone interested in sponsoring a title for discussion can do that with a $100 donation to the program. Your name or company will be listed as the title's sponsor in all promotions of the title. Contact Claire Rutkauskas.
Future guest moderators for this program's inaugural year are Tony Horne, Mary Ann Washington and Kierra Turner.
Past play discussions include:
- Saturday Night/Sunday Morning by Katori Hall / Discussion moderated by Leslie Reddick
- Immediate Family by Paul Oakley Stovall / Discussion moderated by Thomas King (TeKay)