February 13, 2024
4545 Park Blvd Ste 101
San Diego, CA 92116-2668
Gay Play Tuesdays: A Monthly LGBTQIA+ Play Reading Salon
Two One-Acts from the Black Arts Movement:
The Baptism by Amiri Baraka &
What Use Are Flowers? by Lorraine Hansberry
Join us for our next Gay Play Tuesday, which will take place on February 13th at 6:30pm, when we will read two short, imaginative, and provocative one-acts from the Black Arts Movement: The Baptism by Amiri Baraka (1964) & What Use Are Flowers? by Lorraine Hansberry (1962).
The Baptism is a viciously comic assault on diverse hypocrisies—religious, social, sexual—which inform contemporary American life. The play was first presented in 1964 by the Writers’ Stage Theatre in New York City, under Baraka’s given name, LeRoi Jones. According to critics, the play “jarred and amused its spectators” but also “drew charges of both obscenity and blasphemy” in its absurdist depiction of a minister and a homosexual man pitted against each other for the soul of a teenage boy.
Does humanity deserve another chance? That is the question posed by the great Lorraine Hansberry in What Use Are Flowers?, a post-apocalyptic one-act fable about a hermit and some children at the end of the world—or the beginning. Written in 1962 by the brilliant author of A Raisin in the Sun, this is an intellectual, emotional, and lyrical fantasy play that takes on the horrifying possibility of nuclear holocaust, yet deliberately presents how the world can retain its hope amidst the hardest realities.
Together, these plays reveal the radical and necessary politics, aesthetics, and imaginations of two of the finest writers to emerge from the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s.