From the Productions Program:
Blessings, and welcome to this special presentation of
Blossom in the Whirlwind
Pictured from Left: Eric Quander, Dr. Joanne Gabbin, Daniel Bryant & Thomas Houchens
Photo by JMU Media Services
The concept of this production came initially from former teacher, founder of the Furious Flower Conference, mentor and friend, Dr. Joanne Gabbin. Having seen the AATE's production of HOME during the Commonwealth Performance Festival in 2003, Dr. Gabbin presented me the with challenge of developing a piece that demonstrated the relationship between the William "the Bard" Shakespeare and "the Great and Unknown Bards" of the African-American oral tradition. The work you are about to see is the manifestation of that challenge.
I give special thanks to Dr. Gabbin whose energy and vision inspire me; to the entire cast for "Declaring War" on themselves to see the project thru; and to my dedicated team of AATE co-workers who continue to help me manifest my vision that the AATE produce truthful, dynamic cutting-edge theater, and for their willingness to sacrifice for the sake of creativity and art. As House, our Production Coordinator says, "it ain't easy being trend-setters, pioneers and trailblazers, but it's worth it."
This work is dedicated to my Grandfather, Frank McMillan Johnson Sr., who taught me that "the strong men keep comin'…the stronger men get stronger."
~ Eric Quander, September '04
Working on Blossom in the Whirlwind has been wonderfully challenging journey of creativity, faith and self-discovery and I give thanks to ALL who have been apart of it. To the entire cast, THANK YOU so much for the gift that you have given of yourselves and of your time. Know that I am inspired by your fearlessness and your willingness to exploring the unknown. Thank you for being open and trusting yourselves and me in the process. A special thanks to Dr. Gabbin for the opportunity and for entrusting me with your vision. Honor to the Ancestors for your continued love and guidance.
~ Daniel Bryant, September '04
Photo by C.B. Claiborne
To read more about Blossom in the Whirlwind click HERE.