Press Articles

The cast and creative team of The Black Clown discuss the show during rehearsals

"The challenge but also the joy of the project has been in realizing the instructions Hughes left in the text,” says [co-adaptor and performer Davóne] Tines…“As a black man myself I thought ‘this can’t be esoteric, it has to be ecstatic joy’ and how that exists in the black community is gospel music. That resulted in a gospel number."

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Davóne Tines and Michael Schachter perform

Even as the production expanded, they hewed to the original text, says Schachter: “…You create power through repetition and cyclical musical behavior, within a pocket of the story.” They call theirs a “vaudeville oratorio.” It jumps through different genres—from blues narratives, which use a 12-bar form and nested repetition to drive at a musical idea, to South Indian music, where the text repeats, rising in pitch and complexity—to sound out the idea of inheriting oppression across generations.

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