poster for Black BoyFROM BOOK TO STAGE: BLACK BOY

The UAlbany Performing Arts Center, operating under the auspices of the College of Arts and Sciences and in conjunction with the New York State Writers Institute with support provided by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Office of Intercultural Student Engagement, University Auxiliary Services and the Holiday Inn Express, is pleased to present American Place Theatre in a performance of Black Boy on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 7:30pm. The show is directed by Wynn Handman, the company’s Artistic Director, and performed by Tarantino Smith. The evening will begin at 7pm with a pre-performance discussion led by a member of American Place Theatre and will conclude with a post-performance discussion immediately following the show.

The production of Black Boy is a one-person theatrical adaptation of the first half of the classic American autobiographical work. Premiered in 2005 at the Kennedy Center, the show dramatizes Richard Wright's journey from childhood innocence to adulthood in the Jim Crow South. Actor Tarantino Smith plays upwards of fifteen characters from this epic novel whose issues still resonate in today's cultural dialogue.

The history of American Place Theatre (APT) is rich and varied with a consistent commitment to nurturing the talents of American authors, playwrights and actors.  Its Literature to Life series offers professionally staged theatrical adaptations of significant American literary works. The series has been featured at the UAlbany Performing Arts Center since 2008 with performances of Sherman Alexie’s Flight, Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees, Frank McCourt’s Teacher Man, Greg Mortenson’s Three Cups of Tea, Jeannette Walls’ The Glass Castle,Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner, Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried and Lois Lowry’s The Giver.  APT, having received over 30 Obies and 16 Audelcos, is critically acclaimed as a birthing place for artistic endeavors at the crossroad of literature and live performance for 50 years.

Actors for whom APT has been a launching pad include Mary Alice, Ellen Barkin, Roscoe Lee Browne, Kathleen Chalfont, Michael Douglas, Faye Dunaway, Sandy Duncan, Morgan Freeman, Richard Gere, Joel Grey, Dustin Hoffman, Frank Langella, Mary MacDonnell, Zakes Mokae, Howard Rollins, John Spencer, Ralph Waite, Sam Waterson and Sigourney Weaver.

Recently, APT became a program of Young Audiences New York (YANY), one of New York City’s oldest and most well-respected arts education organizations. YANY programs connect highly skilled teaching artists with schools and communities throughout the country.

Advance tickets are $15 for the general public and $10 for students, seniors and UAlbany faculty-staff.  Tickets purchased on the day of the show are $20 for the general public and $15 for students, seniors and UAlbany faculty-staff.  For reservations and further information, contact the Box Office at (518) 442-3997.

There will also be a special morning matinee performance of Black Boy for high school groups on the next day at 10am. This performance is sold out.