SLIDESHOW: Scenes from “Raisin’ Cane,” a production inspired by the African American music and arts that fueled the Harlem Renaissance. PHOTOS by GUDRUN STONE
FROM STAFF AND SUBMITTED REPORTS
Texas State University’s Encore Performing Arts Series will host a single staging of “Raisin’ Cane: a Harlem Renaissance Odyssey,” a touring show starring actress-director Jasmine Guy and the Avery Sharpe Trio.
Inspired by “Cane” — Jean Toomer’s contemporaneous composite novel published in 1923 — “Raisin’ Cane” is written by playwright Harry Clark and directed by Dan Guerrero. Set in 1920s Harlem, N.Y., the production celebrates the artisans of the Harlem Renaissance through a dynamic fusion of music, movement and imagery.
The company will perform 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1 at Evans Auditorium. General admission tickets are $17 and student tickets are $7. The event is being organized by the Honors College and the university’s Common Experience initiative.
Historically, black actors, poets, musicians, novelists and other artists in the United State found limited opportunities — and audiences — for their handiwork.
In 1918, however, as World War I concluded and thousands of black soldiers returned home, an explosion of African-American artistic expression began to earn currency in culture at-large. Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, Zora Neale Hurston, W.E.B. Du Bois and other luminaries became the voice of a new generation of black Americans who sought to be forward-looking but remained conscious of past and present struggles.
Guy has been in television, theatre and film for more than 25 years. She was the star of “A Different World” — a spin-off of NBC’s “The Cosby Show” — for which she has won six consecutive NAACP Image Awards. Her recent television work includes the “Vampire Diaries,” “Melrose Place,” “NYPD Blue” and “Dead Like Me.”
Sharpe is an American jazz double-bassist and has performed and toured with noteworthy jazz musicians that include Wynton Marsalis, Dizzy Gillespie, Cab Calloway, Bobby McFerrin and Pay Metheny.