Posts tagged with "playwright"

Chef Shimi Stallings back at it via 360 magazine

SHIMI STALLINGS

Listen to Shimi Stallings on 360 MAG Apple/Spotify podcast HERE.

During her formative years, Shimi Stallings began her career as a creative writer. After signing up for a Jet Magazine copywriting essay contest – she won.

In 1994, Stallings transitioned to songwriting with a deal with Zomba Publishing. This was followed by another lucrative contract from a global franchise. Having reached the top of the Billboard pop charts with a smash, she decided to switch gears.

Following the 9/11 attacks, she developed a passion for gastronomy. Shortly afterward, she became a remarkable chef with a list of celebrities, giving birth to the acclaimed, Sshh Catering.

Follow Shimi on Instagram

CREDITS:

Custom Backpack: PurseForThePeople

Sneakers: IVY PARK

Shirt: AllSaints

Slave Play

Slave Play

By Krish Narsinghani

As of late, 360 Magazine joined Center Theatre Group’s grand post-pandemic reopening of LA’s Mark Taper Forum. What better way to kickoff the return of the arts than with the highly acclaimed drama, Slave Play. Featuring moments of explicit content, the play has sparked controversy amongst the theater community. The diverse seven hundred or so person crowd watched as the playwright, Jeremy O. Harris, primed the show sharing how he started his journey in LA as an actor, and how his first finished work at Yale is currently being watched across the nation. This Broadway hit has planted itself in Downtown Los Angeles and is here to stay, stirring heads in the entertainment space as the city continues to expand in theatricals.

Guests experiencing the play for the first time were quickly drawn in with the opening scene set on a plantation field. To have a thickening plot is an understatement. Slave Play is a must-watch for everyone of all colors and backgrounds. A perfect release during Black History Month, this art can be used for pleasure or as an educational tool to celebrate and learn about ones Blackness in a relationship. Overall, the acting and curves in the storyline had the crowd at the edge of their seat and left us in awe. The minimal stage production and use of lighting surprisingly didn’t hinder the story and allowed the acting to shine through. The intimate theater actually improved the atmosphere where attendees could better hear and witness the grit and raw emotions of the leads, Antoinette Crowe-Legacy and Paul Alexander Nolan, without the need for traditional smoke and mirrors. The two played an interracial couple that expressed a wife’s frustration with viewpoints I’d never heard. The profanity did make me feel uncomfortable at times, but it’s needed to fully encapsulate one within the character conflict plus it pushes the script to feel more alive. It’s interesting how subtle some of the dialogue is between characters and still have fans pondering days later. The play is already a hot topic of pop culture conversations amongst Angelenos and it’s only the beginning.

A handful of celebrities attended the opening night including Tracee Ellis Ross, Mara Brock Akil, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Logan Browning, Ashley Blaine Featherson, Samira Wiley, Ashley Park, Sofia Boutella, Patrick Fabian, Wade Allain-Marcus and Malia Obama. The evening finished with a standing ovation and a toast with the Taper team. Slave Play is refreshing in taste and is highly recommended to anyone who enjoys progressive media in general.

More About Slave Play

It’s the most Tony Award®-nominated play in history. It stunned off-Broadway. Then it shocked Broadway. Now, Jeremy O. Harris, “a major new voice in the American theater” (Chicago Tribune), brings his “raw, revelatory, and revolutionary play” (The Daily Beast) to the Taper, in the same production that roiled New York. Directed by two-time NAACP and Obie Award® winner Robert O’Hara, Slave Play is “one of the best and most provocative new works to show up in years” (The New York Times).

At the MacGregor Plantation, nothing is as it seems, and yet everything is as it seems. It’s an antebellum fever-dream as three interracial couples converge to rip open history at the intersection of race, love, and sexuality in 21st-century America. It’s a world where the sex is as raw as the emotions, and the twists as salacious as the truth. Don’t dare shy away from this production that “reimagines the possibilities of what theatre can give us” (The New York Times).

About Jeremy O. Harris

Full-length plays include: Slave Play (Broadway, New York Theatre Workshop, NYT Critics Pick, Winner of the 2018 Kennedy Center Rosa Parks Playwriting Award, the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award, and The Lotos Foundation Prize in the Arts and Sciences), DADDY (Vineyard Theatre/The New Group, Almeida Theatre). In 2018, Jeremy co-wrote A24’s film Zola with director Janicza Bravo. He is the 11th recipient of the Vineyard Theatre’s Paula Vogel Playwrighting Award, a 2016 MacDowell Colony Fellow, an Orchard Project Greenhouse artist, a resident playwright with Colt Coeur, and is under commission from Lincoln Center Theater and Playwrights Horizons. Jeremy is a graduate of the Yale MFA Playwrighting Program. Jeremy is currently developing a pilot with A24 for HBO.

For info on tickets to the Slave Play, head to the Center Theatre Group’s website.

Slave Play Actors
Photo credit: Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging
Slave Play Actors Opening Night
Photo credit: Craig Schwartz Photography
Kae Thompson via Wolfgang Tillmans for use by 360 Magazine

Kae Tempest × Kevin Abstract – More Pressure

British spoken word artist, rapper, poet, novelist, and playwright Kae Tempest revealed their new single “More Pressure” with Kevin Abstract. The song is from their upcoming album The Line Is a Curve set for release on April 8th via American Recordings/Republic Records. It is the fourth album from the Lewisham-based artist and has been produced by long-term collaborator Dan Carey alongside executive production by Rick Rubin.

The Line Is a Curve follows Tempest’s widely adored 2019 album The Book of Traps & Lessons, which received praise from the likes of NPR, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Guardian, and many more, and saw Kae perform live on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Late Night with Seth Meyers. Tempest and Abstract’s shared friend and collaborator Rick Rubin played The Book of Traps & Lessons in his studio, and they had reached out to Kae afterward to thank them for the inspiration, leading to the exciting collaboration on “More Pressure.” The Line Is A Curve also follows Tempest’s critically acclaimed 2021 play Paradise, which premiered at the National Theatre in London last year. 

About The Album

After the experience of touring The Book of Traps & Lessons around the U.S., U.K., and Europe, Tempest realized that they wanted The Line Is a Curve to be a communicative record. The concept manifested itself both in the contributions of other artists—including the aforementioned Kevin Abstract, Lianne La Havas, Grian Chatten of Fontaines DC, ássia, and Confucius MC—and during the recording process, when Tempest decided to do three vocal takes in one day, to three different generations of people; “a man of 78 who I’d never met, a woman of 29, the poet Bridget Minamore, who is a good friend of mine, and then to three young fans of 12, 15, and 16 who had responded to a social media post.”

Featuring artwork shot by renowned photographer Wolfgang Tillmans (Frank Oceans’ blond), the album is best described by Tempest themselves:

“‘The Line Is a Curve’ is about letting go. Of shame, anxiety, isolation, and falling instead into surrender. Embracing the cyclical nature of time, growth, love. This “letting go” can hopefully be felt across the record. In the musicality, the instrumentation, the lyricism, the delivery, the cover art. In the way it ends where it begins and begins where it ends. I knew I wanted my face on the sleeve. Throughout the duration of my creative life, I have been hungry for the spotlight and desperately uncomfortable in it. For the last couple of records, I wanted to disappear completely from the album covers, the videos, the front-facing aspects of this industry. A lot of that was about my shame but I masked it behind a genuine desire for my work to speak for itself, without me up front, commodifying what felt so rare to me and sacred. I was, at times, annoyed that in order to put the work out, I had to put myself out. But this time around, I understand it differently. I want people to feel welcomed into this record, by me, the person who made it, and I have let go of some of my airier concerns. I feel more grounded in what I’m trying to do, who I am as an artist and as a person and what I have to offer. I feel less shame in my body because I am not hiding from the world anymore. I wanted to show my face, and I dreamed of it being Wolfgang Tillmans who took the portrait.” 

About Kae Thompson

With four studio albums, a novel, their first work of non-fiction (On Connection), three plays, and five collections of poetry to their name, Kae Tempest has firmly established themselves as one of the most unique, thought-provoking, and critically acclaimed voices of their generation. With the release of The Line Is a Curve in 2022, that reputation is only set to grow exponentially. 

Album Tracklist

  1. “Priority Boredom”
  2. “I Saw Light” with Grian Chatten
  3. “Nothing To Prove”
  4. “No Prizes” with Lianne La Havas
  5. “Salt Coast”
  6. “Don’t You Ever”
  7. “These Are the Days”
  8. “Smoking” with Confucius MC
  9. “Water In the Rain”
  10. “Move”
  11. “More Pressure” with Kevin Abstract
  12. “Grace”

Rare Glimpse of Tennessee Williams Paintings

At the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU in Miami Beach

On view now through October 7th

From the Collection of David Wolkowsky,

Scion of Pioneer Jewish Family that Settled Key West in the 1800s and Contributed to the History

of Jews in the State Florida

Long known as “Mr. Key West,” David Wolkowsky, the famed scion of Florida’s pioneer Jewish family that helped to settle Key West in the 1800s, has loaned his paintings by close friend Tennessee Williams to the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU for their premiere in Miami Beach.

This is one of the few times they have been exhibited outside of Key West. The exhibition Tennessee Williams: Playwright and Painter is an intimate showing of nine exquisitely rare paintings by one of America’s greatest playwrights, created by Williams in Key West during the 1970s. One of his closest friends was David Wolkowsky, the Key West developer who owned a private island called Ballast Key (nine miles from Key West), and the Pier House Resort.

Both idyllic locations were the scene of many glamorous gatherings hosted by David and Tennessee, including parties for Hollywood luminaries, heads of state, and society’s crème-de-la-crème.

If these paintings could talk, oh the stories they’d tell . . .

Subject matter includes the writer’s famous cohorts during the 1970s in Key West (including a portrait of a very young Michael York), and personifications from Williams’ own poetry, short stories, and characters from his plays.

Billie Holiday songs played in the background while Williams captured different images on his canvas.

Some of the paintings by Williams feature gay themes. An “open secret” throughout his fabled career, the playwright struggled with societal prejudices from a young age, and the taboos surrounding homosexuality during his lifetime manifested in a number of Williams’ paintings.

His artwork remains widely popular among collectors, most of these sought-after paintings from the last years of his life are in private hands and rarely seen.

These precious gems are the pride of the Key West Art & Historical Society, and the Miami Beach exhibition (on view through October 7 at the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU) is an uncommon opportunity to see in person how Williams expressed through painting his feelings about sexuality, loneliness and being gay.

Most of these sought-after paintings from the last years of his life are in private hands and rarely seen.

David Wolkowsky, who still lives in Key West and is almost 100, is from one of the earliest Jewish Families of Florida, and their history is documented as part of the Jewish Museum of Florida’s permanent collection about the history of Jews in the State of Florida. Wolkowsky is revered as a Key West original with a “campy sense of style, whose name every local knows.”

Williams was often found at Wolkowsky’s private, celeb-drenched affairs. Guests included the likes of Truman Capote, British Prime Minister Edward Heath, and members of the Rockefeller, Vanderbilt and Mellon families. According to Key West lore, Wolkowsky was notorious for serving plain hot dogs, white wine and potato chips to his famous guests, while Tennessee painted and drank red wine.

“The story behind these paintings, and the close friendship between Wolkowsky and Williams, is just one example of the many unexpected treasures in the rich history of Jewish culture in the State of Florida, spanning four centuries,” said Susan Gladstone, the Executive Director of the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU.

“The fact that Williams painted, much less that he painted in Key West, is a surprise to many and his paintings have mostly remained outside of the public eye. We are honored to have these works here at the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU, and to be one of the few museums that David Wolkowsky has selected to exhibit these works outside of their Key West home,” adds Gladstone.

Read more about the life of David Wolkowsky and his contributions to the history of Florida, in “This Man Is An Island,” written by Michael Adno – bittersoutherner.com/this-man-is-an-island-david-wolkowsky-key-west/

More about Tennessee Williams:

Tennessee Williams’ plays during the 1940s and 1950s were innovative, confrontational, and presented audiences with controversial subject matter such as deep, dark family secrets, Southern Gothic themes, and other taboos that had never been seen on the stage before.

His Southern dramas, The Glass Menagerie, A Street Car Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof were blockbusters that were adapted into iconic films.

Williams single-handedly introduced Marlon Brando to the American theater, and some of his other leading stars included Vivien Leigh, Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Tallulah Bankhead and Bette Davis.

For more than 30 years, Williams lived part-time and wrote in a small cottage on Duncan Street in Key West, and took up oil painting in the 1960s. On his patio, he would sketch friends, acquaintances, various literary characters and authors. Guests would often visit his home on Duncan street and purchase his recently created paintings.

By the beginning of the 1960s, American theater shifted, and Williams’ new plays were not as popular. In 1963, his lifetime partner Frank Merlo died of lung cancer in Key West. The years following Merlo’s death were difficult for Williams although he continued to write until his own death in 1983. His literary career includes plays, short stories and novels. As a writer, Williams was persistent and tireless. His later plays strove towards innovation and bold experimentation and continue to be revived and performed today.

Like most writers, William’s life was fraught with hardships and struggles.

Upon viewing these paintings, it is clear that painting provided solace and refuge for one of America’s most celebrated playwrights.

In this exhibition, Williams pays homage to his own literary works (including his first novel, The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone), writers he admired (Jean Genet, Arthur Rimbaud and Wallace Stevens), and a portrait of a very young Michael York, who starred in the 1973 production of Williams’ Out Cry. Of significance is the fact these works were created during the 1970s, a progressive era for artists, activists, and forward thinking, with the notion of liberation being key.

These rare paintings now on view in Miami Beach at the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU through October 7 capture the essence of a strong and independent artist living in a particular time and place.