Didn’t I blow your mind, this time

stepping onto the stage from behind the large draperies. Feelings of anticipation sparked by the call: P L A C E S … from the stage manager. The smattering of applause, building to an thunderous rhythm, peppered with yelps, and yells, screams, and whistles as the announcer shares my bio with the waiting crowd. A spotlight center stage illuminates my djembe drum just waiting there for me. I’m on the edge of the light, carrying a small piano stool which I place behind the drum then i stand erect raise my hand to acknowledge the audience-first the balcony, then the wings both sides, the back stage crew both sides and finally center house. At once the audience rise to their feet a sudden explosion of clapping and howling as I breathe it all in. Then I bend at the waist as in the beginning of a bow, tilt back, bend knees and sit on the small piano stool. Base, Tone, Slap, base tone slap base, base,tone, tone, slap, base, tone, tone slap, base tone, tone, slap, base tone, tone, slap, base, tone, tone, slap- the audience begins to clap along in time, Mark, Mark enters with the harmonizing djembe – adding fire to the mix of percussive sound. Then I raise my voice to the heavens. Vocalizing the truth as I know it…

THE ANCESTORS SAY TO PLAY MY DRUM…

PLAY FOR YOU THIS AFRICAN SOUND

FIND A RHYTHM TO CLAP YOUR HANDS

WE ARE CONNECTED TO THE ELEMENTS

C O N N E C T E D

THE ANCESTORS SAY THAT I SHOULD TRY

TO GET YOU TO RAISE YOUR VOICE UP HIGH

FIND THE MESSAGE IN THIS SONG

SOMEBODY SCREAM, Y’ALL -THIS IS HOW WE’LL GET ALONG

C O N N E C T E D Like leaves to the tress, ( C O N N E C T E D ) Like sand to the beach, ( C O N N E C T E D ) Like stars in the sky, ( C O N N E C T E D ) Yes, you and I are: C O N N E C T E D

THE ANCESTORS SAY TO TAKE A CHANCE

THE PEOPLE REALLY WANT TO DANCE

FOLLOW YOUR HEART AND MAKE A BEAT

YOU WILL SEE THEM MOVE THEIR FEET. C O N N E C T E D

Like grass to the ground (C O N N E C T E D ) Black, white, and brown (C O N N E C T E D ). Like ice in a glass (C O N N E C T E D ). Like now to our past (C O N N E C T E D ) Like clouds to the rain (C O N N E C T E D ) Like joy and pain (C O N N E C T E D ) Like heat the sun (C O N N E C T E D ) My hand on a drum (C O N N E C T E D )

There once was a young man, just crossing that bridge between childhood and manhood. It was time for him to declare his path, what he would do with his life. In the early teen age years, just beyond tween-dome, a boy must consider his gifts, the needs of his community, his purpose. It is his responsibility to determiner how he would use his gift call life, to help make the world a better place-for the sake of Mother Earth.

…To Be Continued

How To Be… Project @Bishop Arts Theatre

The HOW TO BE Project:
Ten Plays For Racial Justice
Directed by Morgana Wilborn
February 17 – March 6, 2022
One of the 10 is • The Water Fountain by Oba Wm King.
Bishop Arts Theatre has commissioned ten Black playwrights to write a short 0ne-act play inspired by and in conversation with Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s book HOW TO BE AN ANTIRACIST. At a time where Black authors including Ta-Nahasi Coates, Nikole Hannah-Jones, and other prominent Black writers are engaged in a dialogue about America’s racial reckoning, THE HOW TO BE PROJECT seeks to present works that continue the dialogue in the enduring struggle for racial justice. In partnership with PENAmerica. Won’t You Join Us?

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