For the post-show party for young audience members, I created an interactive board. I sectioned a bulletin board into a grid, with each section labeled with the title of one of The Colored Museum’s ‘exhibits’ and a production photo for reference. Below were print-outs of research photos. We invited party-goers to match the images to the exhibit each most resonated with; by the end of the evening, they had communally created an installation of their experiences of the show.
While other staffers and I were on hand to explain the board to attendees and discuss their responses, I also provided the following wall text:
The Colored Museum “had the form of archetypes or the form of reclaiming, what I like to call reclaiming silhouettes, or reexamining the silhouette. We have such a knee-jerk response to the silhouette, that if it's a fat black woman with a bandanna on her head, we say ‘Offensive? Road block! Don't think! Don't hear what the character's saying, don't deal with it.’ Because so much of the imagery of the archetype has been co-opted by white culture-and turned into a stereotype so that we end up throwing out certain symbols and imagery that have a tremendous amount of power.”
- George C. Wolfe
Be the Curator: A dramaturg’s job is to help frame theatrical productions with contextual research – usually in the form of a packet full of articles, definitions, and words, words, words. But The Colored Museum speaks in images. These are some of the images we gathered and shared with the actors and production team – to inspire and ground their rehearsal process. We invite you to engage with these images, to continue the difficult and imperative conversation the play catalyzes, and to “be the curator”!