The AfroSolo Theatre continues to be a beacon of culture in San Francisco’s African American community by presenting the 24th annual AfroSolo Arts Festival’s, Black Voices Performance Series: Our Stories Our Lives.
COURAGE UNDER FIRE: The Story of Elroy
written and performed by Thomas Robert Simpson
Thursday, October 18, 8 pm, Admission: $20, Seniors and youth $15
Thomas Robert Simpson, AfroSolo’s founder, and artistic director performs COURAGE UNDER FIRE: The Story of Elroy.
Courage Under Fire... is a story about family, race, politics, and redemption. It explores the life of Elroy Simpson, AfroSolo founder Thomas Roberts Simpson’s father. Elroy committed a simple, everyday deed, that, in his life experiences, proved revolutionary. Had it happened a few years earlier, Elroy would have been hung from a tree. Growing up in the South, Elroy conflated family life with navigating the horrors of Jim Crow, segregation, discrimination and racism. Courage Under Fire... is a transformational story, one filled with pride, resistance, forgiveness, and transcendence.
Black Voices Performance Series: Our Day Has Come
Featuring: Nina Causey, Marshall Jarreau Ayodele Nzinga, Kathryn Seabron and Thomas Robert Simpson (all perform on each date below)
Friday, October 19th, 8 pm, Admission: Pay What You Like, $0 - $20
Saturday, October 20th: Festival Gala Reception and Performance, 6pm - AfroSolo Gala Reception, Gala Admission: $35, Seniors and Students $30
Sunday, October 21st, 3 pm, Admission: $20, Senior and Students $15
Nina Causey performs Horne to Horn, written by Dr. Mona Vaughn Scott, is an enigmatic, love story between Lena Horne and genius jazz composer, pianist, lyricist, and arranger Billy Strayhorn, mentored by Duke Ellington. After Strayhorn declined Lena Horne’s marriage proposal, they became best friends. They had an "UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.”Singing the songs of Stayhorn, Causey weaves a tell of unflinching friendship. Directed by Sean Vaughn Scott.
Marshall Jarreau performs This Little Light which chronicles the depths and heights of the life of Marshal Jarreau as he explores the space in between spirituality/sexuality, masculinity/femininity, and white/black. Told entirely through words, music, dance, and video, This Little Light was created to inspire those that have ever felt shame or guilt because of their identity and for those who don't yet believe that, “it can get better."
Ayodele Nzinger performs Glory. It a story of one North American African’s woman’s journey into claiming her destiny. It’s about a thrown away child who knew at an early age that she had a purpose. Glory captures how personal narrative inhabits a family line and is edited over time, recasting meaning and the present moment. It looks at how that narrative is carried by the many selves that inform the whole of an individual. The work explores “fractures in self” and how these multiple selves may or may not contribute to the individual’s thriving.
Kathryn Seabron performs excerpts from Angry Black Woman "We are living in a "post-racial" society where "all lives matter.” Black women are fighting for their humanity. We are demanding to be seen, heard, valued and respected. Activist and raconteur Kathryn Seabron has a tale to tell. She is the quintessential Angry Black Woman and she has created a show that chronicles misogynoir, the ovious hatred of Black women, that has made her annoyed and exasperated to shed light on the racism and sexism that infects her daily life."
Thomas Robert Simpson performs San Francisco, Open Your Golden Gate. This is a true story in a day of the life of Simpson. Through drama, comedy, and media, Simpson weaves a stirring tale of this day, The day includes leading a community health fair, a jazz/rock concert, a walk through San Francisco, and an unbelievable racial encounter, The day also includes sailboat racing, a famous comedy team, and a live concert.