Thursday, February 20, 2014
Cast In A Reading Of Tony Pennino's Play OF PRIVILEGE AND PROPERTY....Reading Set for March 1st
Back in September of 2006, I had a honor of participating in a reading of playwright / director Tony Pennino's play OF PRIVILEGE AND PROPERTY, which dealt with the New York Slave Insurrection, a slave revolt in the British colony of New York in 1741.
Tony's play follows exactly what happened at that time.
Economic tensions were exacerbated by accusations that a series of fires that occurred were due to arson. Immediately after a slave was seen running from the scene, the slaves were accused of the crime. Of course, many people had already believed that the slaves were responsible for the fires, because of the economic tension that existed between them and the slaves; a tension exacerbated by the system of racism in place in the US by which whites are taught to feel universally superior to blacks. The slaves of New York were accused of being part of a conspiracy that they had planned, which was to burn down the city and kill all the white citizens and make themselves the rulers. There were trials that followed the fires. At the end of the trials, many slaves were dead or exiled. The accusations of the fires were a result of the tension that existed between the economic needs of the colony of New York and the whites' resentment for losing their jobs to the slaves.
This is what I said on this blog in 2006 about this play:
Tony has managed to take this story, rife with dramatic and horrifying events, with the real life characters from that time and place...and...in the tradition of the great Paddy Chayefsky's NETWORK (one of the great films of all time, which pokes fun at the television industry) poke fun at the social mores of the time, mainly the subjects of class and race...but, more importantly, to show that we as a country haven't gotten any better regarding the differences between class and race as we continue into the 21st Century. As someone who has been fortunate enough to be involved with a number of Tony's works, it gave me great joy to sit among the cast last evening and read this exquisite work, which I hope is given life. It deserves it!
I am pleased to announce that I will be participating in another reading of this play, on the afternoon of March 1st, at a studio in Manhattan.
It'll be nice to say Tony's words again.