P R E S S R E L E A S E S 2003
January 6, 2004
One-Man Show Imagines Arctic Exile
(North Adams, Mass.) Acclaimed writer/director Roger Guenveur Smith and DJ/composer Marc Anthony Thompson, creators of the Obie Award-winning A Huey P. Newton Story, come to MASS MoCA on Saturday, February 21, at 8 P.M. to present their latest collaboration, Iceland. This one-man play invokes a tropical military strongman exiled in Iceland and searching for salvation from his myriad of war crimes while haunted by the faces of his victims. The piece is a co-presentation with Williams College as part of the conference Stalwart Originality: New Traditions in Black Performance.
"I'm fascinated by Iceland, the idea of Iceland," according to Smith, "In Iceland we confront the cataclysmic terror of nature -- fire and ice -- and the no less catastrophic terror of man -- rape, mutilation, ethnic cleansing, genocide."
Smith takes on several characters in Iceland, traveling from Brooklyn to the West Indies and finally to Iceland. The play is a love story which begins with a painter and dancer in Brooklyn. When they break up he travels to Iceland to paint and imagines himself and his ex-lover as a power couple in exile. Inspired by real-life military man Raul Cedras, who led the Haitian junta against Jean-Bertrand Aristide in the early 1990s, Smith made a trip to Iceland for in-depth research for the piece.
Smith's acting credits include Eve's Bayou, King of New York, Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing and Malcolm X, and most recently HBO's K Street. He has created and performed Frederick Douglass Now, Christopher Columbus 1992, and the award-winning Inside the Creole Mafia. Smith earned an Obie, Audelco, Helen Hays, Barrymore, L.A. Weekly, and N.A.A.C.P. Theater awards for writing and starring in A Huey P. Newton Story, a poignant portrayal of the Black Panther leader that was later made into a movie, directed by Spike Lee, which won a Peabody Award.
Lickety Split will serve dinner and snacks starting at 7 P.M. when the doors open. There will also be a full bar.
Tickets for Iceland are $12 in advance or $15 the day of show. Student tickets are $10. A combination ticket including admission to Iceland and Oni Faida Lampley's The Dark Kalamazoo is available for $17. MASS MoCA members receive a 10% discount. Tickets are available through the MASS MoCA Box Office located off Marshall Street in North Adams from 11 A.M. until 5 P.M. (closed Tuesdays). Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during Box Office hours or purchased on line any time at www.massmoca.org.
Stalwart Originality: New Traditions in Black Performance is a conference sponsored by the Williams College Dance and Theatre Departments. This gathering of scholars and performers of the black experience attempts to integrate practice and theory at Williams College in a manner similar to the generation of black performance itself. Other Stalwart events at MASS MoCA include a double feature, É Minha Cara and Brother Outsider, on Thursday, February 19, and a performance of The Dark Kalamazoo by Oni Faida Lampley on Friday, February 20. Additional information on Stalwart events can be found at www.williams.edu/acad-depts/theatre/ stalwart2004. Funding for the conference is provided by Williams College and the W. Ford Schumann '50 Endowment for the Arts.
MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located off Marshall St. in North Adams on a 13-acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings.
For Immediate Release