On Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m., “Raisin’ Cane: A Harlem Renaissance Odyssey” will be showing at the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts at Northeast State Community College, Blountville, Tennessee.
Actress, singer and dancer Jasmine Guy and her bassist/composer, Avery Sharpe, have created an incredible tribute to Harlem’s glory days inspired by the 1923 novel, “Cane” by Jean Toomer the works of Renaissance authors, including Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston.
The performance is set in Harlem, New York, and is based on the rise of African-American art, which was emerging for sometime and with the African American WWI soldiers returning, the Harlem Renaissance had risen.
“The Harlem Renaissance is a period of the arts and artwork that I have always found to be very powerful,” said Anita DeAngelis, director of the Mary B. Martin School of the Arts. “There’s a little bit in this performance for a lot of different audiences. It will be a total immersion in that unique time in America.”
Guy guides the audience through the Harlem Renaissance as a storyteller.
“I love doing this show,” Guy said in a recent D.C. Metro Theatre Arts interview. “It’s so much fun. It’s clear and it gives you a lot of information and in a very entertaining way. You just kind of get lost in the times and what it felt like to be alive back then, ‘a new negro.’”
The “new negro” is a term used to describe how African Americans were moving into the big city and changing their lives.
The show is overflowing with poetry, music and imagery.
Guy has a beautiful presence on stage in the show, as well as in other productions she’s starred in, such as “The Vampire Dairies”, stage work in “Chicago”, “Grease” and “The Wiz.”
She also starred in “A Different World,” for which she won six consecutive NAACP Image Awards, and since then has written and directed numerous projects.
Tickets for “Raisin’ Cane: A Harlem Renaissance Odyssey” are $5 for students of all ages with ID, $20 for seniors 60 and over and $25 for general admission.
For information about “Raisin’ Cane: A Harlem Renaissance Odyssey” or Mary B. Martin School of the Arts, call 4398587 or visit www.etsu.edu/martin.