The York College of Pennsylvania Division of Theatre proudly presents Red Velvet, written by Lolita Chakrabarti and directed by guest director Danielle Drakes, a theatre director and educator from Washington, DC. This multi-award-winning play takes the audience back in time to experience the suffering and triumph of Ira Aldridge who was the first African-American actor to play the role of Othello.
The play takes place during 1833, the year when the British Empire abolished slavery leading to protests and violence throughout London. When famous Shakespearean actor Edmund Kean collapses on stage during a production of Othello, the young, black actor, Ira Aldridge, is hired to take over, becoming the first African-American actor to play the famous role. However, audiences, critics, and even his co-stars have to re-examine their ideas of what acting is and who should have the opportunity to perform certain roles. Lolita Chakrabarti’s dramatic remembrance Red Velvet will have audiences captivated as Ira Aldridge’s, (Craig Babineaux, theatre major, 2019), combination of talent, charisma, and passion for acting fills any room he walks into. The play not only explores his groundbreaking role but also his modern ideas about the craft of acting. Playwright Lolita Chakrabarti believes her play is about prejudice of all sorts: against women, against people of color, against different sexualities. She wrote it to explore what it is like to be the outsider.
The show will run Thursday, March 22 and Friday, March 23 at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, March 24 at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in the Waldner Performing Arts Center at York College of Pennsylvania. Tickets can be reserved now on the Theatre Division webpage at www.ycp.edu/theatre or by calling the box office at 717-600-3868.