On Saturday, February 1, 2020, at 7:00 PM, the University of West Georgia Theatre Company and the School of the Arts are excited to bring back to Carrollton Daniel Banks, Co-Founder and Co-Director of DNAWORKS, as the Michael and Andrea Stone Visiting Artist. Dr. Banks will direct a staged reading of Dreaming Emmett, a play written by Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Nobel Laureate, Toni Morrison. This event will take place in the Townsend Center Dangle Theatre on the campus of the University of West Georgia.
Toni Morrison is the author of seminal works such as The Bluest Eye, Beloved, Song of Solomon, and many more. While most known for her novels, she did write in other genres, and in 1985 wrote a play revolving around Emmett Till, and how issues of race and gender permeate our current society.
The play opens as Emmett Till invites the people associated with his murder to a liminal, dream-like space. Till is making a film, “How I Spent My Summer Vacation.” He is still fourteen, but his guests are all adults—they have been summoned against their will and they cannot leave.
The play is structured as an act of restorative justice and is timely on many fronts, addressing police brutality; the historic and continued violence against Black bodies and the psychic damage this causes our nation as a whole; and the intersection of gender relations and “race.”
Daniel Banks first visited the University of West Georgia campus as the Michael and Andrea Stone Visiting Artist in April 2019 when he delivered an interactive discussion titled “Community Keynote Forum: Breathing, Listening, Creative Change,” about the power of the “encounter” and theatre’s ability to create change. Along with his work for DNAWORKS, which is entering its fifteenth year, Dr. Banks is the founder of the Hip Hop Theatre Initiative and is an acclaimed director, choreographer, and dialogue facilitator. He has worked across the globe leading arts-based social justice programs with artists, educators, and activists of all ages.
The University of West Georgia is the only campus in Georgia to bring a staged reading of Dr. Morrison’s play to the public. There will be a community story circle (post-show interactive discussion) following the staged reading performance. Dreaming Emmett by Toni Morrison will take place on Saturday, February 1 at 7:00pm in the Townsend Center Dangle Theatre. Admission is free. Seating will occur on a first come first served basis.