Committed to Change – Bashi Rose, Filmmaker, Playwright & Actor (Blog Chat Series)

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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Photo courtesy of Bashi Rose
Photo courtesy of Bashi Rose
These days some African-American artists prefer not to carry the weight of race within their work. “Excuse me,” Bashi Rose says, his deep voice unwavering, “that’s bullshit.” Rose, a Baltimore-based filmmaker, actor, playwright and co-founder of Nommo Theatre does not sit on his words. 
In 2011, he won a Baker Artist Award, followed, in 2012, by a fellowship with Open Society Institute (OSI), an organization working for lasting social and political change. Rose developed D.R.A.M.A. (Direct Responses Alleviate Misdirected Aggression) as an OSI fellow, along with inmates at the Maryland Correctional training center. The program reached black men within five Maryland prisons, teaching them about using the art of theater and film as a tool to overcome conflict.

He is an avid student of the Black Arts Movement which began in the 1960s, and includes voices of such literary luminaries as Amiri Baraka (widely credited as “The Father of the Black Arts Movement”), Sonia Sanchez and Gwendolyn Brooks, among others. Rose sees self love and knowledge of history as a critical piece of our own evolution.

The Park Heights native credits Baltimore’s poetry scene with expanding his worldview and in a fundamental sense, saving him. “Even though I never left the city I was still in whole different world.” Fellow poets pushed him to read Richard Wright, author of the classic Native Son, and Algerian thinker Frantz Fannon’s challenge to colonialism and white supremacy, Wretched of the Earth. 

A multifaceted artist, he learned his craft hands on, “similar to the way of my ancestors in West Africa,” he says. “Whether they were sculptors or Griots, they learned it in their community.” Rose has performed or directed in venues throughout the state and in New York City including Theatre Project, Creative Alliance, Howard University, Maryland Institute College of Art, Center Stage, among others. Some of his film projects include Love Deferred and Me Myself and Us (based on the play by actor Robert Lee Hardy). 

I hope you’ll enjoy listening to my interview via Soundcloud below with this prolific artist as he discusses creative influences (African filmmakers, French New Wave cinema, etc.), his mentor and Nommo Theatre co-founder, Mitchell Ferguson, collaborations with other artists such as Vincent Thomas and LOVE the poet, and much more.

https://soundcloud.com/live-in-color-blog/live-in-color-blog-chat-witsah

Stay Connected to the Work:
Check Bashi out on Vevo.  I included a few clips – one from his recent short film, Love Deferred and a poetic ode to family life, A Mother’s Love.

Nommo Theatre

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bashirose@gmail.com

 

Provocative Play Returns to Theatre Project, ‘A Real Nigga Show’

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
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The n word is one of the most controversial terms in American culture. It incites rage and sorrow, along with insistence by some folks of color that it’s a term of endearment.

In 2003 at Theatre Project I watched a provocative play that brought the issue to audiences, A Real Nigga Show. The series of short theatrical stories all wrestled with this word’s complexity, and featured an all male cast, including the late Robert F. Chew, best known for his role of Prop Joe on HBO’s The Wire.

Returning for its 2nd run at Theatre Project (August 1, 2, 3, 9 and 10, 45 W. Preston St., Baltimore, MD 21201), it includes new pieces such as “Hoodie,” an image now synonymous with Trayvon Martin’s untimely death. The cast consists of five local artists: Davon Carey, Joshua Dixon, Robert Lee Hardy, Ezekiel Jackson, and Melvin T. Russell, and is directed by Troy Burton, executive director of Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute and Cultural Center.

Check out a preview of the show:

Advanced tickets are on sale at the Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute and Cultural Center (847 N. Howard Street Baltimore, MD 21201). For tickets and more information, call Troy Burton (443-326-7174)

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The cast of A Real Nigga Show

Live In Color – Emelda
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Romeo and Juliet are GAY!!

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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Photo Credit : diaries of a travelling cupcake fairy
Photo Credit : diaries of a travelling cupcake fairy

Romeo and Juliet is playing at the Baltimore Performance Kitchen celebrating LGBT Pride Month!

This play is incredible. Queer Romeo and “not-so-straight” Juliet were in loooove, hunni. I believed the whole story from beginning to end. The actors were SUPER HOT and it was amazing how they learned all those Shakespeare lines!

As Romeo climbed up the outside of a Baltimore fishing warehouse, the audience crowded around under the sunset. Then, we were swift away into the middle of the roofless warehouse.

The moon gleamed above us and it was 1303 . First, we danced with the Capulets; and then we saw the murder of cool cat Mercutio and the ghost of Tybalt. As we sat bedside with Juliet we felt her pain. Finally, all of us gathered around Juiet, in the Capulet tomb, as Romeo threw back a vile of poison and collapsed on Juliet’s breasts.

OH THE DRAMA!

IT WAS AMAZING!

A MUST SEE PERFORMANCE.

Live In Color – Shannon-Eli