Some thoughts on Rex for Auckland.. Part I/28thMay 2018 ..in expressing the intention to create a FB group pg for this upcoming iteration ofAmerica Rex, Dione asked me to feel free to offer some introductory thoughts. Developing my writing skills happened in London, across the heights of the 1990’s. I was immersed in a world of theatre that was itself mutating under peerless quantity of permissions that came from living in a moment of Harold Pinter, Sarah Kane, David Hare, and even Mark Ravenhill. As well as the astonishing Shakespeare, performed by directors who were reconfiguring what could be imagined in a ‘black box’! Multi-media was the ‘being’ brought into use in methods of storytelling, rather than employed as just toy. And I, kinda witless to the enormity of what was going on, was equally engaged in becoming more aware of the audience’s hunger for playwrights and actors to grip sharp new angles of content, and imagination. This sensation, and craft, and trail, and error, and engagement- began to cosset what it was I really, dearly wished to be able to verbalize, with distinction, and in every painful shade of music, language could emit: I wanted to speak about my culture, about its tiers of unspoken –grades of color, race, politics, entitlement, occlusion, religion- but initially about a specific expanding thought: how the chasm of a black generation gap was deepening distance between righteous activism of civil rights impetus, and youth’s squandering as ordinary, permissions they had grown up on, stretching the tether of empathy in comprehending the hard won achievements by their oldsters… That thinking emerged in 2000 in a play called The Orion,which turned out to be the first panel of a quartet of plays that culminate with the dreamscape of America Rex.. ___________ America Rex has gone "live", so to speak - with a "Boosted Funding Campaign", and arc aimed towards a full production in June 2019.
I am especially proud of how this work is being framed: "Written by Tom Minter and directed by Dione Joseph, AMERICA REX boasts a diverse eleven strong New Zealand cast and an indigenous team of creatives descending from Zimbabwe, Caribbean, India, Sri Lanka, USA, UK, Ireland, Samoa and of course, tangata whenua. Located in a te ao Māori context, the work is a call for a return to Indigenous ways of knowing and belonging, in a world crisscrossed by tensions of power, politics and personalities. Drawing upon the combined creativity of visual artist Jimmy James Kouratoras and writer/director, Dione Joseph, JK Productions brings a diverse New Zealand cast to African-American playwright, Tom Minter's, contemporary epic drama."
Further thoughts on the dynamics of Rex shortly!