Call Mr. Robeson: The monodrama, with songs
The University of California, Irvine Program in African American Studies presents Tayo Aluko and Friends in a performance of Call Mr. Robeson: The monodrama, with songs.
Monday, April 07, 2008
8:00 PM - 9:30 PM
Humanities Hall Little Theatre
University of California, Irvine
“They say I’m meddling in the foreign affairs of the United States Government. Now that’s too bad, ‘cause I’m going to have to continue to meddle…” -Paul Robeson
Paul Robeson is a great and famous actor, singer and civil rights campaigner. When over the years he gets progressively too radical and outspoken for the establishment’s liking, he is branded a traitor to his country, harassed, and denied opportunities to perform or travel.
Just as physical, emotional and mental stress threaten to push him over the fine line between genius and madness, he is summoned to appear before the House Un-American Activities Committee, to give the most difficult and important performance of his career.
The play features some of his famous songs, including a dramatic rendition of Ol’ Man River, as well as some of his best-known speeches and highlights how his activism caused him to be disowned and disremembered, even by the leaders and descendants of the Civil Rights Movement.
Call Mr. Robeson is written and performed by Tayo Aluko, accompanied by Michael Conliffe (piano), directed by Olusola Oyeleye, and designed by Phil Newman.
- About Tayo Aluko, from The African American Song Alliance website:
- Tayo Aluko is a Nigerian based in Liverpool, England, where he also works as an architect. He has appeared as guest soloist with a number of orchestras, music societies, choirs and brass bands in the UK, Germany, Ireland, and Nigeria. He has performed lead roles in various operas and stage musicals including Nabucco, Kiss Me Kate and Anything Goes. Tayo is also a writer, having contributed a number of articles to newspapers in the UK, including The Guardian and The North West Enquirer. His new play is about Paul Robeson, titled Call Mr. Robeson.
- Tayo also has an arts production company, Tayo Aluko and Friends, through which he presents events showcasing talents and positive histories of Africa and people of African descent. The company stages performing arts events which promote Africa, African artists and African descendants in a more positive light than the mainstream media typically presents. In 2003 Tayo produced a charity concert at Liverpool’s Philharmonic Hall including classical music by African composers. The concert raised funds for local and international black-focused charities. At the same venue, he was instrumental in recent years in having some works by Duke Ellington and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor performed. Since then he has produced a number of concerts, play readings and initiated a new collection of short plays by Black writers called The Amber Chronicles, which sold out the Unity Theatre in Liverpool in October 2007.
- For more info about Tayo Aluko and Friends, visit www.tayoalukoandfriends.com
For directions to the theatre, see http://www.arts.uci.edu/article.php?a_id=985
For directions, transportation options to UCI, visit http://www.uci.edu/campusmaps.shtml
For more info, contact Jennifer Tucker at African American Studies, 300B Krieger Hall, UCI or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 949-824-2376.
Cost: Free and open to the public; parking is available for $7 in the Mesa Parking Structure.
Park in the Mesa Parking Structure on Mesa Road next to the Bren Events Center. Patrons may park on any level. Take the elevator or stairs to level 3 to the handicapped-accessible arts bridge. Cross the arts bridge and turn right in front of the Arts, Culture, and Technology Building (727). The walkway leads to the Arts Plaza. Cross the bridge on the other side of the plaza. Continue past the Humanities Instructional Building on the left and take the stairs that lead down to the Humanities Hall Building across from Krieger Hall. The Little Theatre is on the right.
For more information please contact
Jennifer Tucker, UCI African American Studies Program
Sponsor(s): University of California, Irvine Student Affairs, the International Center for Writing and Translation, Department of Music, and Department of Drama. Information about non-ASC events is posted for informational purposes and does not necessarily reflect opinions of or endorsements by African Studies personnel.