Play Could Begin Renaissance For Seminole Nation Culture

Posted in Articles, Arts, History, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2013-11-19 04:34Z by Steven

Play Could Begin Renaissance For Seminole Nation Culture

The Seminole Producer
Seminole, Oklahoma
pages 1-2

Karen Anson, Senior Editor contributed to this report

A play on the history of the Seminole Nation’s Freedmen is wrapping up in Los Angeles, but those involved hope it’s only the beginning of a movement.

The play, “the road weeps, the well runs dry,” will end Sunday in Los Angeles Theater Center.

It’s part of a “rolling premier,” being debuted in LA, as well as at the Pillsbury House Theater in Minneapolis, Minn; Perseverance Theater in Anchorage, Ala., and University of South Florida’s School of Theater and Dance.

“Surviving centuries of slavery, revolts and the Trail of Tears, a community of self-proclaimed Freedmen creates the first all-black U.S. town in Wewoka, Okla.,” states the press release about the play.

“The Freedmen (Black Seminoles and people of mixed origins) are rocked when the new religion and the old way come head to head and their former enslavers arrive to return them to the chains of bondage.

“Written in gorgeously cadenced language, utilizing elements of African American folk-lore and daring humor, ‘the road weeps, the well runs dry’ merges the myth, legends and history of the Seminole people.”

Playwright Marcus Gardley was awarded the 2011 PENN/Laura Pels award for mid-career playwright.

He holds masters of fine arts in playwriting from the Yale Drama School.

“Originally I set out to write a play about the first all-black town in the U.S., Wewoka, Okla.,” Gardley said.

“I had a special interest in the town because my grandmother was born there.

“In my research, I learned that Black Seminoles (people of African and Native American ancestry) actually incorporated the town…

…A third person involved in the program claims very close ties to Seminole County, Okla.

Phil “Pompey” Fixico spoke in a post program panel entitled “Exploring African American and Native American Spirituality.”

Fixico is featured in the Smithsonian Institute’s book and exhibit entitled “indiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas,” which will open its next show on Jan. 25 at the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Education Center in New York City.

For the exhibit, Fixico had to carefully document his heritage.

“I was a 52-year-old African-American, when I discovered that I was really an African-Native American,” Fixico said.

“This epiphany took place 14 years ago.”

Fixico’s found that he was the great-grandson of Caesar Bruner, an early leader of the Seminole Nation’s Freedman band…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,