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August 18, 2011

Zora Neale Hurston adaptation replaces Toni Morrison-based work at Center Stage

The final piece in Center Stage's 2011-2012 season has been put in place.

Artistic director Kwame Kwei-Armah chose Bonnie Lee Moss Rattner's "Gleam," an adaptation done in the 1980s of the 1937 Zora Neale Hurston novel "Their Eyes Were Watching God," to replace the previously postponed production of another adaptation.

Marion McClinton’s version of Toni Morrison’s "Jazz," originally slated for a Center Stage run Jan. 4 to Feb. 5, was deemed ...

in need of "further script development."

McClinton will direct "Gleam," which tells a Florida-set saga of an African American woman, Janie Crafword, and her emotional roller coaster of a life, with multiple marriages, multiple challenges and a proudly independent streak.

The novel by Hurston, a leading member of the Harlem Renaissance, has inspired other treatments over the years, including a TV movie starring Halle Berry in 2005.

Rattner's play, originally titled "To Gleam It Around, To Show My Shine," premiered at Wayne State University in 1983 and subsequently received several productions. It also received an award from the Kennedy Center's Arts Fund for New American Plays in 1987.


Posted by Tim Smith at 9:43 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Drama Queens

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About Tim Smith
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but develop a keen interest in politics, but music, theater and visual art also proved great attractions. Music became my main focus after high school. I thought about being a cocktail pianist, but I hated taking requests, so I studied music history instead, earning a B.A. in that field from Eisenhower College (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) and an M.A. from Occidental College (Los Angeles). I then landed in journalism. After freelancing for the Washington Post and others, I was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where I also contributed to NPR. I've written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and I'm a longtime contributor to Opera News. My book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.

I joined the Baltimore Sun as classical music critic in 2000 and, in 2009, also became theater critic, giving me the opportunity to annoy a whole new audience. In 2010, my original Clef Notes blog expanded to encompass a theatrical component -- how could I resist calling it Drama Queens? I hope you'll find both sides of this blog coin worth exploring and reacting to; your own comments are always welcome and valued (well, most of them, at least).

Think of this as your open-all-hours, cyber green room, where there's always a performer or performance to discuss, some news to digest, or maybe just a little good gossip to share.
Note: Tim Smith now writes about the fine arts at This blog will be kept in place as an archive for an indefinite period. Please visit the new location to get the latest Mid-Atlantic arts coverage.
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