Playwright Howard L. Craft was tasked with creating a 10-minute play based on a work of art from the Ackland Art Museum’s permanent collection, and he chose Slow Down Freight Train, a painting by Rose Piper.
Actor J. Alphonse Nicholson tore into the script with the help of director Joseph Megel—and when it was over, they all wanted more.
So Craft when back to the page, and expanded a short play about a minstrel into an epic of the African American male across the 20th Century in America. That’s all I can really say to describe it: you’ve just got to see it. Seriously, you really should go see this one. It’s powerful, original theatre, and incredibly performed.
And before you go, listen in to this episode of the podcast as Alphonse, Howard, and Joseph discuss finding connections with characters across a century, old souls, chemistry with your collaborators, basketball metaphors for your team, and finding new things with every new incarnation of your production.
“…you live them. You don’t act them. You live them. And this is a piece that allows me to do that. I tell people all the time, ‘I hate acting. But I love living.'”