MAY 2014 FEATURE: Reconstruction by Tom Minter
ABOUT THE PLAY
A grimy portrait hangs Witness of past & present choices; in the wake of her mother's death, IoniMitchell is drawn to this item of legacy, and discovers it to be the startling image in a family history of complex color, and resonant with ghosts of opportunity..
Reconstruction is this journey; moving between America and France in 2008- It also refracts an America of the 1870's.
ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT: TOM MINTER
Tom Minter is a playwright specializing in work on issues of diversity, culture and national identity. He is also a librettist, and Teaching Artist, living in Washington, DC.
Tom's first theatre works were presented by the New Playwright's Trust at the Theatre Museum in London. His play "Exposition" was produced in the West End at The Arts Theatre in 1997. He has been commissioned by the "London New Play festival" and has been produced at the Riverside Studios ("Fragments of a Dream" 1995) and The Man In The Moon Theatre ("A Lesson To Forgive" 1994). He has had productions in the London New Play Festival, at the Lyric Hammersmith ("Semper Suburbia" and "Dahlias and Moonshine").
Since moving to the States in 2000, Tom's work has been produced by The Henry Street Settlement ("Past is the Present, Imperfect"), The Hansberry Project ("The Orion") both in Manhattan and the Brave Hearts Theatre (Grace Notes) in St. Paul, MN. Tom has also had productions in Philadelphia at the Adrienne Theatre ("Perfection Unspeakable 2005") and the William Way Community Center ("Cakewalk" 2006). His groundbreaking theatre triptych, In Caliban's eye, consisting of the plays "The Orion", "Breathing Ash" and "Reconstruction" have received workshop presentations at the Working Theatre in Manhattan; The Manhattan Theatre Club and The Lark in Manhattan.
The Berkshire Playwrights Lab performance of "The Orion", in 2008, established a continuing collaboration with Tom that has included pre-production efforts for "Reconstruction".
Tom was commissioned by the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery to write "Smoking Out The Beehive", a theatre work collecting the artistry and voices of 6 African American Poets, from the museum's exhibition Poetic Likenesses. "Smoking Out The Beehive" premiered at The National portrait Gallery in 2013.
Also in 2013, the cell presented a workshop reading of three one act plays by Tom ["Groundwork; strawberry dwarfs and other lies; Collections of a working Mind"], under the heading "Doors To My House".
"Blues For A Royal Flush" is Tom's most recent endeavour; a theatre piece commissioned by
Stanford University, in Washington, DC. This work weaves resonant experiences of Ethel Waters, Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Strayhorn and Lena Horne, presenting their different routes through racial segregation and challenge, to presentation as a constellation of achievement, in their orbit of, DC native son, Duke Ellington.
This work premiered at the Duke Ellington School for the Arts in January 2014; it will be presented in September of 2014, as part of the National Portrait Gallery's audience
Tom continues his work as a Teaching Artist, connecting DC students with experiences of theatre, while facilitating the journey in creating scripts out of their own ideals and stories.
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