a rhyme for the UNDERground
written and performed by chandra thomas
Monday, May 17th, 7pm
The Barrow Group Theater
The Studio Theater
($5 suggested donation)
“Oh, you’re developing a solo show. . .why would you do that?”
“I don’t even go to see one-person shows anymore,” he further explained as i gave my knowing smile.
Frankly, i understand the reluctance to see yet another solo show. i too have had to endure more than my fair share of overindulgent, dry, self-congratulatory one-person shows. Of course, through the mire there are some beautiful, standout gems, but it often seems like you have to wade through much “mire” to get to the “gems”.
And, as a rhyme continues to evolve, it has truly been amazing journey so far shaping this gem. :^)
The idea for this play started when subway fare was only $1.50. The New York Historical Society was running an exhibit about the enslavement system in
“What if Violet saved a teenage girl today?”
It is from this simple question that a rhyme for the UNDERground began.
When i finally started to find answers to that question (right around the giant fare hike to $2), the piece was a multi-character, multi-actor play. But as the play called for more poetry, dance, original songs, spoken word and rap, it became clear that there was actually one central voice in the play—the voice of the character “chandra”. All of the other characters were, in fact, connected to this core character in a way that necessitated a single actor performing the entire piece. From “chandra’s” central humanity these other (now EIGHTEEN) characters were there to shape, guide and transform her. It has been amazing (and frightening!) to see that these other characters have always been and always will be pieces of the puzzle that compose this woman trying to figure out her journey.
My friend who asked that inciting question at subway fare price $2.25 has RSVPed as a “Maybe” to the Facebook invitation for the special workshop performance on May 17th, as part of Coyote REP’s Works-In-Development Series . (Please note that i did NOT send him that invite :^) So he just may be there. . .
chandra, and, of course,
will be there on this stop on the ride of a rhyme for the UNDERground.
Join the trend on Twitter:: #arhyme