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Taper Legacy Readings

This Bright Wilderness

Celebrating the Legacy of Black Theatre at the Mark Taper Forum and Los Angeles

Saturday, June 15, 2024 at 8pm

Mark Taper Forum
Off Sale

This Bright Wilderness

Off Sale

This Bright Wilderness: Celebrating the Legacy of Black Theatre at the Mark Taper Forum and Los Angeles is the second in a series of Taper Legacy Readings, which is part of the CTG:FWD initiative, directed by Andi Chapman (Associate Artistic Director, The Ebony Repertory Theatre) and curated by CLASSIX, which was created by Awoye Timpo (last seen at CTG as the director of Amal’s Wish) to explode the classical canon through an exploration of Black performance history and dramatic works by Black writers. 

The evening of readings will include scenes from The Celebration by Bill Gunn, Lackawanna Blues by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Father Comes Home from the Wars by Suzan-Lori Parks, House Arrest and Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 by Anna Deavere Smith, Dream on Monkey Mountain by Derek Walcott, Neat by Charlayne Woodard, and August Wilson's Gem of the Ocean, which is part of The American Century Cycle. The program also includes songs from the musicals Jelly's Last Jam, with book by George C. Wolfe, music by Jelly Roll Morton, and lyrics Susan Birkenhead, and Don’t Bother Me I Can’t Cope by Micki Grant.

At this event, CTG continues to dig into its archives, this time uncovering the legacy of Black Theatre at the Mark Taper Forum over the the past 57 years. That history intersects with the vibrant Black history of the entire city of Los Angeles. Pulled from texts produced through readings, workshops, and full productions, This Bright Wilderness is a ride through exuberant performance styles, virtuosic writing, award-winning music, and the triumph of the Black storytelling tradition in Los Angeles, throughout the country, and around the world. The event will conclude with a post-show conversation about the legacy of these playwrights in Los Angeles.  

This Bright Wilderness is the title of a song from Suzan-Lori Parks’ Father Comes Home From the Wars (Part 1, 2 & 3), which had its West Coast Premiere at the Taper in 2016. 

As part of CTG:FWD, an initiative committed to special events, community gatherings, and legacy projects, established last fall by CTG's Artistic Director Snehal Desai, the Taper Legacy Readings were created to honor CTG’s past and share readings from the Taper vault, while also welcoming a new era for the organization.

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Directed by Andi Chapman
Curated by CLASSIX


CTG:FWD was created by Center Theatre Group Artistic Director Snehal Desai to provide greater opportunities for community gatherings and conversations, can’t-miss special events, legacy projects, and ways to help center Los Angeles-based artists and the arts community. It also provides a unique opportunity to open the doors of the Mark Taper Forum—which announced a pause in subscription programming for the 2023/24 Season—and welcome members of the community back into that space for some of these special events and programs.

These events are the first formally announced under a new initiative created by Artistic Director Snehal Desai called CTG:FWD

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2024 CTG:FWD programming at the Mark Taper Forum is made possible through the generous support of the S. Mark Taper Foundation. Additional funding is provided by gifts to the Artistic Director Discretionary Fund.

Venue Information

Mark Taper Forum is located at 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles CA 90012.

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All tickets are $30.