I am currently working on the American Ensemble Theater production of Character Building. This is a new musical adaptation of the teachings of Dr. Booker T. Washington, and features traditional African American spirituals and work songs.
I have been doing quite a bit of research coming up with some appropriate songs to fit Dr. Washington’s words (deftly adapted to this 1-hour 1-man play version by Martin Blank), and it’s been a very rewarding experience. I am music directing Gregory Burgess, a friend and fellow performer who I have worked with many times before with Chesapeake Shakespeare Company. I shall also be playing piano for this world premier staged reading coming up over Labor Day weekend. (Official date/time is still TBD.)
This production is happening at this little dive of a venue in D.C. you may have heard of… THE KENNEDY CENTER!!!
So, yeah… I’ll be playing piano at The Kennedy Center. This is surreal, frightening, and exciting all at the same time. Which is certainly what it is SUPPOSED to be in order to motivate some good work!