GEM OF THE OCEAN
By August Wilson
Directed by Daniel Alexander Jones, Dramaturged by Omi Osun Joni L. Jones
Marin Theatre Company, January 13-February 14, 2016
The Gem of the Ocean Resource Page I curated at MarinTheatre.org. It features primary sources from playwright August Wilson and dramaturg Omi Osun Joni L. Jones, a glossary and timeline, context for Wilson’s complete Century Cycle, and more. I also led numerous talkbacks for the production.
I had the privilege and honor to work with production dramaturg Omi Osun Joni L. Jones on creating a fully immersive lobby experience, designed to complement director Daniel Alexander Jones’ theatrical jazz aesthetic. This meant honoring the element of collage, which was artist Romare Bearden’s primary medium, and a tremendous influence on Wilson’s writing and Jones’ production design.
Highlights of this display include:
- The altar to Yemaya, the mother spirit in the Yoruba religion that was so crucial to the production’s spiritual heritage
- The video sculpture Sandy Speaks: An Ode to Sandra Bland, created by Gem of the Ocean‘s scenic designer Kimberlee Koym-Murteira
- The collage wall, where audience members could respond to the prompt “What does freedom mean to you?”