NYU Black Renaissance Noire Winter 2014 - Page 154

Gypsy & the Bully Door By NINA ANGELA MERCER ORIGINAL COPYRIGHT BY NINA ANGELA MERCER MAY 2011 RENEWED COPYRIGHT BY NINA ANGELA MERCER SEPTEMBER 2012, OCTOBER 2013 AND APRIL 2014 Characters sara josephine james — aka — Destiny Rose: black woman, late twenties to mid-thirties; a dancer. roy peoples — aka — Blue: black man, late twenties to mid-thirties. khadija freeman — aka — Rachel: black woman, mid-twenties. nikki bledsoe: black woman, late twenties to mid-thirties. the mayor/Lead Talker in the pocket roll call* — aka — John Grossman, The Anchorman and Mr. Littlejohn, The Property Manager, and The Subway Conductor: black man, late thirties to mid-forties; a guitar/bass player; a woman could play this character as well (playwright encourages this consideration). the woman in yellow/Vocals in the pocket roll call** — aka — ms. legendare: black woman, late thirties to mid-forties; a dancer. The Pocket Roll Call Band & Show: All percussion — all available cast members; between 1 actor (min) and 4 actors (max) with The Mayor as Lead Talker and The Woman in Yellow — aka — Ms. Legendare as lead accompanying vocalist. The Dance: Full cast the door 152 “Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open?” — Rumi Music Note: GoGo music is the sound and the space in this play. GoGo is music that can integrate any music form into its body and move. So, in this play, each song has a different texture. Each is connected to some form of music borne from the African Diaspora. It is all Black Music in conversation with itself at the GoGo, as a communion, a communal transformation, a ritual performance. It is rock or blues or dance hall reggae. Sometimes it may be dissonant. In this musically inspired play, GoGo holds the center with its percussive rhythms. Growing up, we used to beat on tables with our hands to make that home-grown rhythm. In this play, the cast will become the band. the mayor is our bassist, our lead talker. The GoGo is a space of ritual transformation. So, the play begins with a Ring Shout at the GoGo. *The “lead talker” in the pocket roll call sings the songs and often engages cast or audience in conversation. The lead talker’s reach is expansive. The lead talker should break the fourth wall. ** “Vocals” in the pocket roll call should be performed by the woman in yellow — aka — ms. legendare. Her reach is as expansive as the lead talker — aka — the mayor. She should break the fourth wall. the pocket roll call Percussion: Because we are relying on cast members for percussion, actors with skills like beat boxing, “Hand Bone” or “Hand Jive,” as well as a strong ability to perform/ co-create polyrhythms with voice and body are crucial to reaching the musicality of the play. Very necessary: a music director who plays GoGo in DC as a percussionist from time to time. And, if that’s not possible, you need a music director who has played GoGo in DC. Your music director will need to guide the cast in playing rhythms on the body as the pocket roll call. See music references at end of play