A local theatre repertory seeks to find out.
(Palm Springs, CA) April 28, 2021: Brothers of The Desert is a relatively new non-profit organization "empowering black gay men and [their] allies in the Coachella Valley or the CV as it is often referred. The CV is just outside of Los Angeles and home to the largest LGBT population in the U.S. by the municipality. Their latest effort includes producing a performance piece titled "Speak My Words, Tell My Truth" which uses the words and personas of black gay historical figures to explore the plight of black gay men in America.
"Speak My Words, Tell My Truth" was written by Brothers of The Desert member Lorenz Qatava and directed by Yvans Jourdain also a BOD member and actor in his own right. The cast consists of a mix of theatre veterans and newbies. Veterans (pictured below) include Charles Reese, Allan Louis, and John Lathan. Together they well over 50 years of thespian experience. Celebrity Chef Andre Carthen, Poet Robert Ramirez, and Rapper/Entrepreneur Anye Elite round out the cast. Carthen although mostly known for his successful culinary career has appeared on Broadway in The Kiss of the Spiderwoman, and in regional theater productions and tours of Randy Newman’s Faust, Dreamgirls, La Cage Aux Folles, Sweet Charity, Sophisticated Ladies, and Ragtime.
As "Speak My Words, Tell My Truth"'s synopsis reads the performance piece will explore " the legacy of black gay contribution to the literary arts is explored by six characters who present the lives and works of Langston Hughes, Essex Hemphill, E. Lynn Harris, Tarell Alvin McCraney, and James Baldwin. Baldwin is of particular inspiration to the cast as Charles Reese is noted for playing the role off-broadway. Elite wrote a song titled "Ode To Baldwin" which is included on his 2017 debut album "No Faux" and recently recorded a visual for Black History Month (see below)
In addition to Brothers of The Desert, the Coachella Valley Repertory company is co-producing the event and hosting a Q&A with the cast, writer, and director this Thursday at 7pm pacific 10 pm eastern time. The performance is online and free to the public. Register here: https://bit.ly/3dXfh1H
Will James Baldwin read E. Lynne Harris for filth or will Langston Hughes try and put the moves on Essex Hemphill?
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