Tag Archives: MPAACT

Ten Square: play that portrays ‘a different world’

ten square

In class recently, I played a piece of audio by Damali Ayo called “Living Flag” in which Ms. Ayo attempts to Panhandle for Reparations: collecting from whites, distributing her change to fellow Blacks.  You can listen to the piece here.

 At the culmination of the piece, I tried to convince my teenage students that the idea of Reparations for the Descendants of Slaves is not boring and really does effect them (as does the Lingering Scars of Slavery).  All but one are Black, all but two descendants of slaves.  Maybe I should take them on a fieldtrip…. 

In the world of Shepsu Aakhu’s play entitled “Ten Square” (showing now at Truman College), a grassroots Reparations Movement was ultimately successful, resulting in checks written to the descendants of slaves and the seeds for a new America were sown. Ten Square is one of the cities (the land located South of Roosevelt Road in present-day Chicago, walled off from greener North Chicago) that emerged in “New America”.  In the play, what develops is a Berlin Wall-style scenario, from which more than a few African-Americans have plotted their escape.  What follows is an oft-violent tale of one man trying to balance a boatload of obligations in a new gritty world.

“Ten Square” will be performed as a coproduction of the Pegasus Players and MPAACT Theatre Companies.  The show will go on at Truman College on Wilson Ave. (in view of the Wilson Stop on the CTA Red Line).

Truman College- O’Rourke Theatre
1145 West Wilson Avenue Chicago

Now Thru – Nov 22, 2009

Thurs-Saturday, showtime at 8pm, Sunday showtime is 3pm. Ticket Price ranges from $20–$25 

Tickets are available at: www.pegasusplayers.org or www.mpaact.org

more about Damali Ayo’s Living Flag

A woman sits cimagesCA75SKDIross-legged, panhandling on a busy city sidewalk. She takes money only from white folks, and gives it to blacks who pass by. Her sign reads: “200 Years of Slavery in the United States. Reparation payments accepted here.” damali ayo is a street performance artist. “I offer people a convenient opportunity to pay for the unpaid labor of African Americans,” she quips. The piece is part of her “living flag.”

Tofu Chitlin Circuit Presents: A La Carte, Watermelon Edition (What’s the Funny)


This installment explores comedy through the lens of Stand-up comics & Improv/Sketch groups.

Join Tofu Chitlin Circuit at their monthly forum discussion on performance arts issues and controversies.  The Bronzeville-based Theatre Conservatory has put together a panel featuring Chicago Improv Festival producer Jonathan Pitts, comedian Meechie Hall, female Asian comic  Leah Eva, ‘King of Bronzeville’ Brian Babylon, Cameron Esposito, & Mpaact Theater Company.

When: Monday, August 31, 2009
Where: The Digital Youth Network
1050 E 47th Street
Chicago, IL 60653
Time: 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Donation: $3

Stage Black at MPAACT

Stage Black, MPAACT 2009

Written by Lydia R. Diamond

Directed by Mignon McPherson Nance

In Stage Black a well-respected but under-produced African-American playwright, attempts to write the “perfect producible black play”. As the writer attempts to script the black play that falls within the comfort zones of white and black audiences, her subconscious leaps to the fore and her characters rebel. The rest… well, you’ll just have to see it to believe it.

according to Kerry Reid of the Chicago Tribune,

“Playwright Lydia Diamond’s sharp self-deprecating broadside against the worn-out tropes of African-American theater features a saintlike, albeit catatonic, black matriarch on a couch. This dig at the theatrical images of long-suffering black women, such as those found in Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun,” isn’t completely original with Diamond. George C. Wolfe covered similar territory in 1986’s hit comedy revue “The Colored Museum” with his biting sketch, “The Last-Mama-on-the-Couch Play.” But Diamond brings her own unique spin to exploding the stereotypes.”


Thursdays & Fridays @ 8:30pm
Saturdays @ 7:30pm
Sundays @  3:30pm

through March 1st

The Greenhouse Theatre – 2257 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL

about MPAACT:

“MPAACT exists to develop, nurture, and sustain Afrikan Centered Theatre (ACT), an artistic expression grounded in the many cultures and traditions of the Afrikan continent and its Diaspora” — The MPAACT website