071: In Communion with James Baldwin. In Conversation with Tristan André Parks.

Tristan André Parks. Born and raised of and by Nashville, TN. Tristan now holds his MFA in Acting from UNC-Chapel Hill’s Professional Actor Training Program. An art maker, organizer and “social justice front line worker,” Tristan is on his way to creating a home and community in New York City with all of the intentions of creating a home across the Atlantic and back! He loves deeply and without exception. To art. To disruption. To family. To peace. The game is afoot. He seems ready. Are you? And so it IS.

In this episode we focus on Tristan’s original theatre/dance/spiritual performance piece titled “They Do Not Know Harlem: In Communion with James Baldwin”. Contribute to Tristan’s GoFundMe Campaign!

Tristan André Parks.
Photo credit: Miguel Herrera @mheadshots 

Fundraiser performance on Saturday, April 27 at 7pm, Walltown Studio Theatre, 1225 Berkeley Street, Durham, North Carolina 27705, In partnership with Unforgotten Media.

Stay tuned for information about the full-length piece that will be performed as part of a residency at Thomas DeFrantz’s Slippage Lab at Duke University May 10-11. Don’t miss it.

This episode is brought to you by the Soapboxers, the official patrons of the Artist Soapbox. If you like these episodes and want more, get on the Soapbox!  This episode was recorded at the ASBX home studio. Artist Soapbox theme music by Bart Matthews.

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Questions for Tristan André Parks

WHAT

Today we’re focusing on your original dance/theatre/music piece titled They Do Not Know Harlem: In Communion with James Baldwin. How would you describe this piece (in brief)? What can audiences expect to experience? Who are your collaborators in this production?

WHY JAMES BALDWIN?

What about his work and his message captivates you?

On your GoFundMe page you wrote, “It is necessary to continue to redefine the way that Baldwin impacts this new generation of artists so as to explore the relevance and how we all embody his work, his words and his legacy.”

What do you see as his relevance and impact on this new generation of artists (or what would you like it to be)?

HOW

James Baldwin was an activist and generally considered a literary (playwright, novelist) figure. Yet this project began in a movement course…I’d like to share an excerpt of a review from Toshi Reagon on FB that included: “…at the center of it all was the body. The dance invocation took residence in the church on the pulpit and up and down the aisles Tristan in a black suit, white shirt, black tie handled himself through the architecture of the clothes he was wearing. I don’t think I have seen anyone conjure dance Baldwin before last night.”

Why did you choose to  “dance Baldwin”? How do you do that?

How do you weave your own life experience and story into this piece?

MFA

You described this piece as “a catalyst for taking wings into the world” — Say more about that, your experience in the MFA program. Is They Do Not Know Harlem a bridge between these two worlds (before and after grad school) as well?

WHAT’S NEXT

Evolution of the Project

(fundraiser, residency at Duke, beyond)

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