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Bella: An American Tall Tale image 1
Bella: An American Tall Tale image 2

Robert O'Hara

Playwrights Horizons: Bootycandy (writer and director), next season’s Mankind. He has received the NAACP Best Director Award, the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding New Play, two Obie Awards and the Oppenheimer Award. He directed the world premieres of Nikkole Salter and Danai Gurira’s In the Continuum, Tarell McCraney’s The Brother/Sister Plays (Part 2), Colman Domingo’s Wild with Happy as well as his own plays, Bootycandy and Insurrection: Holding History. His new plays Zombie: The American and Barbecue world premiered last season at Woolly Mammoth Theater and The Public Theater, respectively.

(as of 4/4/17)

Camille A Brown

Playwrights debut. Broadway: A Streetcar Named Desire, upcoming Once on This Island. Off Broadway: Cabin in the Sky and tick, tick…BOOM! (Encores!); The Fortress of Solitude (The Public, Lortel nomination). Regional: Stagger Lee, The Fortress of Solitude (Dallas Theater Center); The Winter's Tale (Shakespeare, McCarter Theatres). Company: Camille A. Brown & Dancers. Awards: 2016 Princess Grace Statue Award, 2016 Jacob’s Pillow Award, 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship, 2016 Bessie Nomination (BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play), 2015 USA Fellow, 2015 Doris Duke Artist Award, 2015 TED Fellow, 2014 Bessie Award (Mr. TOL E. RAncE). camilleabrown.org.

(as of 5/8/17)

Reviews

Playwrights' Perspectives

Playwright's Perspective: Bella

This musical is the result of something I experienced while coming home to my apartment one bright, sunny day. A young African American couple was ahead of me, walking in the same direction. The woman was short and voluptuous, her most outstanding feature her gloriously shaped Venus Hottentot behind (Google it on your iPhone). As I walked behind the couple, the most amazing thing happened.

Essay

From the Artistic Director: Bella

Not everyone loves musicals. Tell some theater-goers you are doing a musical, and they’ll reply automatically, “I don’t like musicals,” kind of like in La La Land when Emma Stone’s character shrugs, “I don’t like jazz.” I get it.

Essay

The American Voice: Reclaiming the Myth

A very personal search for identity wrapped in traditional musical comedy structure, the piece plays fast and funny, drawing on musical idioms that span the American canon, including musical theater, jazz, and ’60s-infused R&B. Bubbly Black Girl takes to heart the old adage “write what you know.” Kirsten explores just what it means to be a musical theater writer, as well as how her own search for identity might have larger meaning.