Southern Methodist University’s (SMU) Meadows School of the Arts and its Division of Theatre has partnered with Dallas native and actress Regina Taylor for her three-part theatrical project the black album. 2020. The Golden Globe-winning director and playwright is also an SMU Distinguished Alumna (1981). Taylor’s project explores and addresses what it means to be Black in 2020. “the black album also addresses how we as artists speak on social justice in our work. The play was written to give a platform for necessary conversations in this racially incendiary climate,” says Taylor.
Part one of the project – the black album. 2020. resistance. – is a 75-minute presentation written and directed by Taylor, and will be performed live at 8 p.m. October 27 and 29 on the SMU Meadows YouTube channel. resistance features seven Meadows undergraduate and graduate acting students, with production from guest artists, theatre design students, alumni and faculty.
“2020 is of historical significance, defined by COVID-19, social protest ignited by the murder of George Floyd and this year’s presidential election process,” Taylor writes. “We are on the brink — re-examining our past and challenging who we believe ourselves to be. How we deal with these events will affect generations to come. the black album is a series of snapshot scenes imagined through the lens of MC 2020, an SMU student who streams from his ‘woke’ mind. The piece captures the varied voices of African Americans questioning identity, social justice, history and fear of erasure in this current climate.”
The second and third parts of the black album. 2020. will be presented in the winter of 2020 and spring of 2021. It will include student collaborations, artists, and roundtables from BIPOC directors and makers.
“The Division is honored to be working with Regina Taylor on this performance piece,” says Gretchen Smith, chair of Meadows’ Theatre Division. “It has been a pleasure to witness the strong artistic collaboration between Regina, our students, our alumni, our production team, and the wonderful guest artists who have joined us on this journey. I can’t wait for audiences to see the black album. 2020. resistance. in performance.”
Admission to the black album. 2020. resistance. is free. To register, please go here.
Actress/director/playwright/educator/activist Regina Taylor is the playwright-in-residence at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, a three-year appointment through the National Playwright Residency Program established by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and HowlRound Theatre Commons. Her play Oo-Bla-Dee is being presented at Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. Taylor is also writing new plays for Audible and for Southern Methodist University (the black album, about what it is to be Black in 2020). Her playwright credits include Bread (Edgerton Award, WaterTower Theatre); Crowns (four Helen Hayes Awards, including Best Director); Oo-Bla-Dee (Steinberg-ATCA award); Drowning Crow (Broadway, Manhattan Theatre Club); The Trinity River Plays (Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award); and stop.reset. (Signature Theatre Residency 5). Taylor received the Denzel Washington Endowed Chair in Theatre at Fordham University at Lincoln Center. An artistic associate of Goodman Theatre, Taylor is its most produced playwright.
For more on SMU Meadows School of the Arts, please go here.