RIFF Movies Archive

Black Theater Today: 2005

United States, 2005, DV - Color - 73

Thea-Marie Perkins, Reggie Gaskins

Keith David, Ella Joyce, Viola Davis, Thea-Marie Perkins, Harry Lennix, Tonya Pinkins, Glynn Turman, Anika Noni Rose

Thea-Marie Perkins

Pat Charles, Thea-Marie Perkins


Reaching into the past to carve a fresh, exciting future, “Perky Idea’s” Documentary Black Theater Today: 2005 exposes where Black Theater is today, shares where it has been, and offers a serious look at crafting the future for a younger generation. The 90-minute feature documentary, written, directed and produced by Thea-Marie Perkins promises to be as educational as it is entertaining. Is Black Theatre alive and vibrant?Perkins, as the host says, “According to the artist whom I interviewed, Black Theater is “resilient” and family oriented while others say it is “Lost,” and often “Subsidized” in order to survive.” The story is clear: The state of Black Theatre is in trouble. Our theatres are closing, we have few paid actors and even fewer are offered health insurance. Our audiences are slim and seldom Black, and sometimes, even our stories are not our own. In Black Theater Today: 2005, Perkins reveals the silent voice of our history through a creative montage of interviews.

Thea-Marie Perkins is an alumnus from New York University’s Tisch School of Arts. She holds a BFA as a Tisch Dean Service and Chancellor recipient. She is also an MFA from The American Conservatory Theater-ACT. Ms Perkins is the founder and producing artistic director of “Perky Idea’s”, an entertainment company. The NoHo Theater and Arts Festival produced her play, the critically acclaimed 16th Street Church in 2003. The related theme of education through the experience of The Four Little Girls in Birmingham Alabama speaks to Thea-Marie’s passion for an understanding of bridging the educational gap of our history. Ms. Perkins holds a single subject credential in literature and theater with The Los Angeles Unified School District where she was the recipient of Walt Disney Studio’s Creative Classroom grant for 2001. Her training includes Chicago’s Second City Improv and The London Shakespeare Studio at The Globe. Her film credits include Black Starz’, “A State of Mind” and the PAFF best feature winner in 2000, “Metal”. She performed in Joleta and Summer’s In Suffolk, The NAACP Award Winning plays with TST. Ms. Perkins’ favorite leads are Lena Horne at Harlem’s National Black Theater, Laura of Glass Menagerie and Ash of Zooman & The Sign. She was cast as the title role of Safreeta in The Trial of 1 Short Sighted Black Woman vs. Mammy Louise and Safreeta-Mae at San Francisco’s Lorraine Hansberry Theater. Other credits are Dividing The Estate at The McCarter Theater, Three Sisters, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and American (M) aul by Robert O’Hara with ACT. Bill Duke at The Academy of Motion Pictures directed Thea-Marie in the 2003 Bill Cosby Showcase.




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