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New Play Workshop Staged Reading

A sign of a mature arts scene is one that contributes to the development of up-and-coming artists, as well as presenting finished works. Road Less Travelled Theater is a leader in this process by supporting developing playwrights. Their New Play Workshop chooses four locally-written scripts with strong production and performance values and hones them over the course of a year by teaming the playwrights with some of the area’s leading talents in acting and directing.
Tonight, one of the four participants is undergoing a critical process – a staged reading featuring local actors at the Karpeles Manuscript Museum’s Porter location. Having gone through a private session on the first draft, tonight is a public performance intended to provide a live audiences in order to gauge reaction to the work.
The play in question is Annette Daniels-Taylor’s new work A Little Bit of Paradise. Set in Buffalo in 1923, it is the story of Mr. and Mrs. Bridges, then-urban pioneers of Buffalo’s rising Negro middle class. Jacob, an attorney, has been called upon to advise the Buffalo’s new mayor on race matters. Louisa, a fair skinned Creole native of Louisiana, has a harder time adjusting to Buffalo’s ways after spending years in Paris as a concert pianist. Their dreams of a happy life together and advancement for their community are threatened by unexpected violence in the city.
The play touches on some of Buffalo’s more unknown history with the Ku Klux Klan, (as seen in the book Hooded Knights of the Niagara, by Shawn Lay) and is based on true incidents in local history. “This is the second draft of the play, which I’ve been working on for the last year,” says Daniels-Taylor (pictured above). “There have been lots of changes. The play is much stronger, concentrating more on the family itself. I felt it was an interesting story to be told — readers have been surprised that these incidents actually took place in Buffalo. I would love for people to come to the performance – I want all the feedback I can get.”
Annette Daniels-Taylor is the author of Mamasongs, which she has performed in schools throughout Erie and Niagara County. She also contributed original material to
Symphony Down In My Soul (Alleyway/BET) and has appeared with Down In My Soul Productions’ staging of For Colored Girls Who Have Committed Suicide When The
Rainbow Is Enuf
. If that wasn’t enough, Annette is also the local organizer of the national festival Mamapalooza.
A Little Bit Of Paradise will star Verneice Turner, Ebony Pace along with Artie Award winners Hugh Davis, Michael Providence and Maggie Zindle and others under the direction of Tom Dooney.
Monday, March 12, 8 PM
Karpeles Museum
453 Porter Avenue, 14201, 885-4139

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