PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

About

Prominent Playwright and Actress to Perform Tonight

Actress, poet, and playwright Dael Orlandersmith looks at a room of about 20 graduate and undergraduate students and takes a deep breathe, seemingly from exhaustion.

“Dael just had her first Megabus experience,” a theater professor says to the students.

After a brief introduction, the perfomer, who wrote such plays as “Yellowman”, “Beauty’s Daughter”, and “Monster”, begins an intimate lecture/conversation. She starts talking about what has influenced her work: the novel “Another Country” by James Baldwin, the album “Horses” by Patti Smith. Orlandersmith then discusses the difficulty of humanizing an evil character as a writer and actor.

“People are not born as monsters,” she says. “My job as the actor and my job as the writer is to make him human.”

Orlandersmith is talking about one of the characters in her solo performance “Black n Blue Boys/Broken Men,” which she will perform tonight at the Penn State Downtown Theatre Centre at 7:30 as part of the 2013 Cultural Conversations festival. The play follows the stories of abused children and their growth into damaged adults.

After spending some time talking about the art of theatre and some of her experiences, Orlandersmith tells the group of students to write a monologue using their mother’s voice as a six-year-old during a time she was scared. Six minutes on the clock.

“Go,” she says.

When the time is up, she begins calling on students to read their impromptu monologues. Orlandersmith stares intently at each student who speaks and asks them questions. Moments of intense silence are followed by captivating advice and instructions as she digs deeper into the story and motivations behind the character. Students share personal details from family experiences with Orlandersmith, and the actress shares her own right back.

Forty-five minutes after walking into the room, fresh from her travels, students are still looking at Orlandersmith as if she had just performed. A small applause breaks out, but the modest playwright just throws her hands in the air in an effort to deflect any praise.

Tickets for “Black n Blue Boys/Broken Men” are $3. I suggest you take advantage of this opportunity.

About the Author

Shawn Christ

I am a junior majoring in print journalism. I am American. I am a Lion.

Comments

More by Shawn

State College Native Becomes a ‘Wizard Girl’

It was around 10 o’clock on a Friday night when Meghan Richards decided she was going to try out for the official dance team of the Washington Wizards the following morning.

Three weeks and multiple auditions later, Richards is now one of the Wizard Girls.

Spanier, Schultz and Curley Due for Preliminary Hearing Monday

15th Tussey Mountain WingFest Kicks Off Tonight

Athletics

Reports: Tony Carr To Begin Professional Career In Italy

Tony Carr might have to wait a little longer than he had hoped to make his NBA debut.

Penn State Hockey’s Aarne Talvitie Showcases At Devils Development Camp

Penn State Hoops Releases 2018-19 Non-Conference Schedule

Forward Abdou Tsimbila Commits To Penn State Hoops

Penn State Volleyball Trio Representing U.S. At Pan-American Cup

Student Life

Penn State Student Dies Of Allergic Reaction To Peanuts

Max McGlinchey had just finished his freshman year studying finance.

Freshman 101: On-Campus Life

Student Farm To Commemorate Summer Solstice With Second Annual Celebration

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Skeller Replacement Best We Could’ve Hoped For

The last thing we need is an Applebee’s, so maybe this is the best we could’ve hoped for, after all.

What Should Happen To Houses Of Suspended And Former Fraternities?

Most of the 42 fraternity houses are located within the R-2 district, which as of now, no longer permits fraternity houses.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Doggie’s Rathskeller And Garden Opens With Hopes Of Returning To Its Roots

The All-American Rathskeller is no more and Doggie’s Rathskeller and Garden is officially in business — opening with its “sneak peak” at the new bar Thursday afternoon in time for Arts Fest.

Send this to a friend