Local play to depict the struggles of African-American sanitation workers reflected through the life of the Barnes Family. The play invites the audience to America in 1968, during the apex of social unrest from an antagonistic Vietnam War and the continued push for the equal rights of black Americans. Tears of the Soul illustrates this polemic struggle of trying to live through change while remaining connected as a family. A dynamic cast accurately reflects the times as the play follows the impact of this movement on each family member. It depicts the complexity involved with creating change in society while also remaining united. Fred Barnes is the family patriarch and sanitation worker who joins the protests to improve the working conditions of sanitation workers in Memphis Tennessee. His wife, Vivian, struggles to keep the family together as social stresses push them toward their limit with a sudden tragedy that forces them to reevaluate their ideologies.
The play, written and directed by Angela Wilson, accurately reflects American society’s struggle with equality after the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It is a chaotic setting plagued with racism and violence as a norm that continues through the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Wilson commands a powerful cast in a play that conveys a deep, and timeless message that needs to be heard today. As the founder of the Angel Wing Project (AWP), this is her 3rd time directing a play at the Chesapeake Arts Center. Wilson’s production is another well-directed effort to support the performing arts in the local community. Tears of the Soul seeks to transport the audience back to a troubled time with a cast and story that accurately reflects the distress and turmoil of that era. “The cast brings the play to life in a way that tells a story of struggle that I know audience members will take home with them. They are telling the story behind the story” Angela states, “This is an inspiring production that will stimulate much needed conversations.”
AWP is a grass roots theatre production company aimed at inspiring the local community with original productions and published plays. They tell stories of real people and real events outside the worn-down narratives found in history books by presenting documentary style theatre aimed at creating productions illustrating the dynamic aspects of a vast American culture. These plays take the audience on a journey that lasts long after the curtains close. Their hope is to positively impact their audience by exciting them, leaving them in awe, and helping motivate them to take action after the applause comes to an end.
The play will be performed at the Chesapeake Arts Center in Brooklyn Park, MD on the 28th and 29th of April 2018 with 3 shows: the 28th at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. and April 29 at 4:00 p.m. Following the play will be a discussion by civil rights activist, Mr. Cleophus Smith who will talk about his experiences in Memphis in the 60s as well as answer questions from the audience. Tickets cost $25 and the run time is approximately 105 minutes.
For more information on the event, visit the website at www.theangelwingproject.org/tickets.html
AWP is the theater in residence at the Chesapeake Arts Center and has been awarded a Community Arts Grant by the Arts Council of Anne Arundel County.