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Singing the B.D. Blues:

LangstonHughes

Queer Women of the Harlem Renaissance

FESTIVAL of NEW PLAYS

“Where she went, I don’t know. I mean to follow everywhere she goes; Folks say I’m crooked. I didn’t know where she took it. I want the whole world to know.”

—FROM “PROVE IT ON ME,” MA RAINEY (1928)

“I need a little sugar in my bowl. I need a little hot dog between my rolls. You gettin’ different, I’ve been told. Move your finger, drop something in my bowl.” —FROM “NEED A LITTLE SUGAR IN MY BOWL,” BESSIE SMITH (1930)

“Comin’ a time, B.D. women they ain’t gonna need no men. Comin’ a time, B.D. women they ain’t gonna need no men. Oh the way they treat us is a lowdown and dirty sin.” —FROM “B.D. WOMAN’S BLUES,” LUCILLE BOGAN (1935)

Many black female recording artists of the Harlem Renaissance were queer or bisexual, and their lyrics are full of this content. The most explicit lyricist of them all, Lucille Bogan (1897–1948) mostly recorded under her pseudonym “Bessie Jackson” and was one of the first American singer-songwriters to be recorded. Her lyrics have been some of the most sexually explicit in the history of the blues. She began recording lesbian-themed songs like “B.D. Woman’s Blues” (B.D. standing for “bull dyke”) later in her career. Inspired by this underappreciated artist, our play takes place on the night Lucille Turner prepares to perform her most explicitly sexual song yet—but before she performs this song, she must squelch resistance from her white manager, the voyeurism of her white audiences, and even members of the NAACP. Will Lucille bow to pressure or will she sing her blues?

blues for miss lucille

—ALEX VERMILLION, PRODUCTION DRAMATURG ISEMAN THEATER, 1156 CHAPEL STREET November 29 & December 3 at 8PM December 1 & 5 at 4PM

2018–19 SEASON


YALE SCHOOL OF DRAMA James Bundy, Dean Victoria Nolan, Deputy Dean Chantal Rodriguez, Associate Dean Kelvin Dinkins, Jr., Assistant Dean

Artistic Staff Production Stage Manager

ABIGAIL GANDY Makeup Advisor

ALEX VERMILLION

PRESENTS

BY CHRISTOPHER AUDLEY PUGLISI DIRECTED BY LOGAN ELLIS

EMILY DUNCAN WILSON Production Dramaturg

ALEX VERMILLION Stage Manager

AMANDA LUKE

blues for miss lucille is performed without an intermission.

Special Thanks

Production Staff Associate Production Manager

ALEX WORTHINGTON Properties Supervisor

DAVID PHELPS Run Crew

JULIA BATES RUO-QIAO LI YUNZHU ZENG

Sound Designer and Original Music

1929. A backstage dressing room.

Ti Ames, Jennifer Archibald, Meg Powers

blues for miss lucille Creative Team

Setting

Cast

in alphabetical order

Administration Associate Managing Director

Mr. Schulman

JOHN R. COLLEY Mr. Clarke

ERRON CRAWFORD Lucille

MOSES INGRAM The Boy

MANU NEFTA HEYWOT KUMASI Hattie

CIARA MONIQUE MCMILLIAN

SUPPORTED BY THE BENJAMIN MORDECAI III PRODUCTION FUND

CAITLIN CROMBLEHOLME Assistant Managing Director

The Studio Series productions are designed to be learning experiences that complement classroom work, providing a medium for students at Yale School of Drama to combine their individual talents and energies toward the staging of collaboratively created works. THE BENJAMIN MORDECAI III PRODUCTION FUND, established by a graduate of the School, honors the memory of the Tony Award-winning producer who served as Managing Director of Yale Repertory Theatre, 1982–1993, and as Associate Dean and Chair of the Theater Management Department from 1993 until his death in 2005.

LAURIE ORTEGA-MURPHY Management Assistant

ESTEFANI CASTRO House Manager

EMMA PERRIN Yale School of Drama productions are supported by the work of more than 200 faculty and staff members throughout the year.

LANGSTON HUGHES FESTIVAL OF NEW PLAYS Nov 29 Nov 29 Nov 30 Nov 30 Dec 1 Dec 1 Dec 3

4PM 8PM 4PM 8PM 4PM 8PM 4PM

Shoot Her, Shooter blues for miss lucille Rock Egg Spoon Shoot Her, Shooter blues for miss lucille Rock Egg Spoon Shoot Her, Shooter

Dec 3 Dec 4 Dec 4 Dec 5 Dec 5

8PM 4PM 8PM 4PM 8PM

blues for miss lucille Rock Egg Spoon Shoot Her, Shooter blues for miss lucille Rock Egg Spoon

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BLUES FOR MISS LUCILLE  

BLUES FOR MISS LUCILLE  

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