Fund for New American Plays

Homer G. & The Rhapsodies in the Fall of Detroit

Lorraine Hansberry Theater, San Francisco, CA

"The Judgment of Paris" is the first episode in the experimental serial theater work Homer G. & The Rhapsodies in the Fall of Detroit, a hip-hop transformation of the fall of Troy to modern-day Detroit. It seeks to explore the parallels between one of the most enduring myths of social collapse and the crumbling of big-car American civilization. The text blends African and African-American storytelling techniques with traditional theater forms. In "The Judgment of Paris," J.A. Shepherd, a retired bodyguard of Congressman Morgan Nevius, recounts the disastrous wedding of Nevius' daughter to the son of an African dignitary during the height of the oil embargo.

Playwright Ifa Bayeza is a multimedia writer/producer. Most recently, she was coproducer and senior writer in the acclaimed two-hour NBC television news special, "Images and Realities: African-American Men," which was extended to a series and nominated for a Peabody and an Emmy. Other television credits include "You Gotta Pay the Band: The Words, Music, and Life of Abbey Lincoln" (PBS), Fashion Focus for This Week in Black Entertainment (BET), Black Filmmakers' Hall of Fame, and Diff'rent Strokes. Her first play, Drink Water, an urban musical fantasy for children, was produced at the New Federal Theatre. A member of the Writers Guild of America, Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of America, PEN, and Women in Film, Bayeza is a cum laude graduate of Harvard University. She is currently artist-in-residence at the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre in San Francisco.

Director: Clinton Turner Davis
Set Designer: Clay James
Lighting Designer: Jeff Kelly
Costume Designer: Dara Sobel
Sound Designer: George Georges
Choreographer: Robert Moses
Featured Performers: James Brooks, Winifred H. Cabiness, Marcie L. Henderson, Khari Jones, Peter Macon, Toran McGill, Lisa McTiller
Running Dates: February 7-March 10, 1996

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