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May 6, 2015 5:17 PM ET

Archived: Strange Fruit with JACK and Colloquy Collective: an alternative voice in the popular discourse regarding performance, identity, culture, and art; and, to be a venue for complex theatrical conversations on how social imbalance affects (and has affected) power, relationships, and history

iCrowdNewswire - May 6, 2015

Strange Fruit with JACK and Colloquy Collective


In the early 1900s, many Black playwrights wrote works about lynching — usually family-centered dramas focused on the tensions leading up to a lynching, or the effect on the family after a lynching.  Given the renewed, legalized violence on black and brown bodies, JACK, in collaboration with Colloquy Collective, will present readings of five of these plays throughout the spring, with professional actors. Each reading will be followed by a discussion.

Your donations will allow us to support the bevy of artists that make this production possible. Mostly, you will support the professional actors that have committed their time to making sure these important works don’t get lost.

Photos by Gwynne Hogan for Voices of NY


“New York Theatre Review: Announcing the Launch of NYTR’s Podcast Series: THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM: TEDDY NICHOLAS TALKS WITH ALEC DUFFY AND COURTNEY HARGE ABOUT ‘STRANGE FRUIT’ AT JACK.” Interview by Teddy Nicholas. New York Theatre Review, 6 Feb. 2015. Web. 16 Mar. 2015.

Hogan, Gwynne. “Reviving Anti-Lynching Plays in Brooklyn – Voices of NY.”Voices of NY. Voices of NY, 10 Feb. 2015. Web. 16 Mar. 2015.

Clements, Alexis. “Early Anti-Lynching Plays, Read in Light of Ferguson.”Hyperallergic. Hyperallergic, 26 Feb. 2015. Web. 16 Mar. 2015.

The five readings in the series are:

Sunday, Feb. 8: Aftermath (1919), by Mary P. Burrill (1884-1946), tells the story of a young black soldier in World War I who comes back to rural South Carolina and learns that his father has been lynched by a white mob. He grabs his service revolver and leaves home to settle the score. 

Sunday, March 8: Corrie Crandall Howell’s The Forfeit (1925) depicts a white woman who facilitates the lynching of a young black man for a crime her own son has committed, delivering the young black man into the hands of a lynch mob in order to save her son. It presents an uncommon dramatic portrayal of white motherhood that umasks the racist and gendered assumptions of white male dominance and lynch mob mentality.

Sunday, April 19:  In Georgia Douglas Johnson’s Blue-Eyed Black Boy (1930), a black mother attempts to avert the lynching of her son by revealing to a lynch mob that her son was the product of rape by the white governor. The play thrusts the issue of the sexual exploitation of the black woman into public discussion.  

Sunday, May 17: The harrowing play, Safe (1929), by Georgia Douglas Johnson, depicts Liza, a pregnant mother, going into labor. After news of the lynching of an innocent black boy in town, Liza falls into a panicking state while her baby is born, and after learning that her baby is a boy, does the unthinkable.  The reading will be followed by a discussion with Prof. Koritha Mitchell (Ohio State University), an expert on anti-lynching plays and author of the book Living with Lynching: African American Lynching Plays, Performance, and Citizenship, 1890 – 1930 (University of Illinois Press, 2011)

Sunday, June 7:  TBD

Part of JACK‘s series FORWARD FERGUSON, a season-long firehouse of arts and activism around racial justice. 

Colloquy Collective is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the purposes of Colloquy Collective must be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

Project Leaders

  • Colloquy Collective

    Colloquy Collective

    Brooklyn, NY

    Member since: January 19, 2013


    Colloquy Collective’s vision is to be an alternative voice in the popular discourse regarding performance, identity, culture, and art; and, to be a venue for complex theatrical conversations on how social imbalance affects (and has affected) power, relationships, and history. There is a lack of dialogue between “traditional” theater and “multicultural” theater that creates unnecessary conflict, and leaves all sides misinformed. There are traditions inherent to all communities that effect audience response to performance: the organization intends to make those traditions available to broader audiences in order to create holistic theatrical experiences for all those involved.

    Moreover, Colloquy Collective will be an institution in which all people can explore the complexities of their identities through art. Issues of race, sexuality, ability, age, community, religion, will all be examined through performances, talkbacks, forums, discussions, and videos presented within the context of what has come before. New generations of art-experiencers will be exposed to works that may not be of their community and will be given the tools to recognize and appreciate that difference. They will also be able to apply and relate their experience to others. Colloquy Collective’s vision is a conversation where people rejoice in their differences and connect in their art. 

    If you want to get involved or learn more about the work we’re doing e-mail info@colloquy-collective.org 

  • Courtney Harge

    Courtney Harge

    Member since: January 28, 2013


    My name is Courtney and I love to talk.

    I love to talk about art and theater and identity and business models. I love to learn about the work you’re doing, the work they’re doing, and the work we all should be doing. I love to work with people who are excited about what they’re doing, where they’re doing it, and whom they are doing it for.

    I am an arts administrator who loves to build new skills, make new connections, meet new people, and explore new ideas. I want to support artists in ways that allow them to focus on executing their art to its fullest potential. Fundraising support, administrative planning, resource- and information-sharing, and program execution are just some of the ways I can assist any artist or organization to create the work they wish to create.

    I am also the Founding Artistic Director of Colloquy Collective, an emerging theater organization whose mission is to be a theatrical space for the performer of color to expand his or her professional repertoire while recognizing the unique experiences created by his or her identity, history, and community. Through that, Colloquy Collective will expose the audience – particularly the audience of color—to the theatrical canon in contexts that acknowledges the identities, histories, and communities of that audience.

    Ultimately, I want to continue to support artists creatively and administratively in all their endeavors. 

  • JACK


    Member since: February 25, 2015


    JACK is an arts center in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn led by Artistic Director Alec Duffy.  Our mission is to serve as a cultural hub in Clinton Hill, presenting cutting-edge theater, music and dance performances, expanding access to the arts, bridging audiences and educating youth. 

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