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FROM THE FOOTLIGHTS
October 2002

Preacher Woman

"Women at the Footlights," our series of plays about women, continues Wednesday, October 2, with "The Amen Corner" (1955), by James Baldwin, "one of the few genuinely indispensable American writers" (Saturday Review). "Witty" (Guardian) & "wise" (Financial Times), "The Amen Corner" tells  the story of Sister Margaret, a charismatic & ferociously pious pastor who can neither forgive her scapegrace jazzman husband nor accept her teenage son's normal adolescent ambitions for companionship & career. When her  husband returns home terminally ill, Sister Margaret faces losing her husband,  her son, & her rebellious congregation. "Fiery" (Los Angeles Times),  "moving" (Newsday), & "profound" (London Daily Telegraph), "The Amen Corner" is "beautifully written" (Nation), with an "angry, sorrowful eloquence" & "moments of revelation and splendor" (New York Times). It's a true "classic" (Times (of London)).

Our meeting will feature two professors from the English Department at Howard University. Eleanor W. Traylor chairs the department. Dr. Traylor earned her B.A. from Spelman College & her Ph.D. from Catholic University. She is the author of "The Humanities and Afro-American Literary Tradition" (1988) & knew James Baldwin well. Professor Yasmin Y. DeGout received her BA. & Ph.D. from Howard University & her M.A. & M.Phil. from Yale. She contributed the chapter on Baldwin & gender to the collection  "Re-Viewing James Baldwin: Things Not Seen" (2000).

We'll meet at Pan Asian Noodles & Grill, 2020 P St., NW (202-872-8889), just west of Dupont Circle. Dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. Our discussion takes place 7:30-9:30. Make reservations by calling 202-898-4825 any time, day or night, or e-mailing gruenberg@footlightsdc.org.  Say "Amen" at Backstage Books, 545 8th St., SE, & for a special Footlights discount at Politics & Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave., NW & Olsson's Books & Records, 1307 19th St., NW & 7647 Old Georgetown Rd., Bethesda. 

On Stage, "Amen"

On Sunday, October 6, we'll attend the 2 p.m. matinee of "The Amen Corner," performed by the African Continuum Theatre Co. at the recently renovated H Street Theater, 1365 H St., NE. Tickets are $15 & include a post-show discussion. We can provide transportation; just ask. Mail your check to Robin Larkin, 5403 Nibud Ct., Rockville, MD 20852 (240-669-6300 & rlarkin@footlightsdc.org). We'll distribute tickets in the lobby just before the performance.

"Women" at the Footlights

On Wednesday, November 6, we'll continue our "Women at the Footlights" series with the "groundbreaking all-female play" (Newsday) "The Women" (1936), by Clare Boothe Luce. "The Women" portrays a group of  malicious New Yorkers motivated almost wholly by their relations with men.  "Hilarious" (New York Post), "deliciously nasty" (New York), "The Women" can also be "touching" (Life), "poignant" (New York Times), "compelling" (Variety),  & even "disturbing" (Washington Post). Our meeting will feature Sylvia Jukes Morris, author of "Rage for Fame: The Ascent of Clare Boothe Luce" (1997). At 8 p.m. Saturday, November 16, the Unitarian-Universalist Church, 4444 Arlington Blvd., Arlington, will host a viewing of the 1939 MGM film version of "The Women." A $2 admission includes refreshments. For reservations & directions, call 703-370-1838 or e-mail gemprodns@aol.com. 

Footlights's Greatest Hits

This season, our popular series "Footlights's Greatest Hits" returns with productions of three more plays we discussed years ago & now have the chance to see on stage. On Sunday, November 10, 3 p.m. at Theater J, DC  Jewish Community Center, 1529 16th St., NW, we'll see a performance of Ariel Dorfman's "Death and the Maiden" (1991), which we discussed in May 2000. Tickets are $22. Then, on Sunday, December 15, 2:30 p.m. at Everyman Theatre, 1727 N. Charles St. in Baltimore, we'll see a performance of  Edward Albee's Pulitzer prize-winning "A Delicate Balance" (1966), which we discussed back in October 1995. Tickets are $16. All tickets include a group discount & a post-show discussion. Watch these newsletters for details about our May trip to see Sam Shepard's "Buried Child" (1978) at the Keegan Theatre. For tickets or more information, contact Robin Larkin, 5403 Nibud Ct., Rockville, MD 20852 (240-669-6300 & rlarkin@footlightsdc.org).

On Monday, September 30, 7:30 p.m., at the DC JCC, Rorschach Theatre and Theater J will present a staged reading of Archibald MacLeish's J.B.  (1958), which we discussed in March 1997. Tickets are $5. For reservations or further information, call 202-777-3229 or e-mail caitlinb@dcjcc.org.

Discussion Meetings

Wed., Oct. 2: "The Amen Corner," Pan Asian Noodles
Wed., Nov. 6: "The Women," Luna Books
Tues., Dec. 3: "Alison's House," Pan Asian Noodles
Mon., Jan. 13: "The Last Seder," location TBA
Thurs., Feb. 13: TBA
Mon., Mar. 3: "Elizabeth the Queen," location TBA

Greatest Hits Series

Sun., Nov. 10: "Death and the Maiden," Theater J
Sun., Dec. 15: "A Delicate Balance," Everyman Theatre

More Information

For more information about Footlights, check our website, www.footlightsdc.org. You can subscribe to our list & receive our monthly e-letter for free by sending any message--even blank--to join@footlightsdc.org