By Donovyn Bookman
Official Dates- November 11-14 and 18-21
Location- Olllington Smith Playhouse
For as long as African Americans have graced this earth, we have dealt with mental illnesses that come from complicated lifestyles and situations that traumatize us and continue to impact our growth in the environment we are nurtured in. Thomas Meloncon, who is the Associate professor of theater at Houston's very own HBCU Texas Southern University, plans to highlight just how hard it can be when faced with these types of circumstances and what it does to our culture mentally and physically in his highly acclaimed play "Drum's of Sweetwater" written by himself in 1997.
Based upon a made-up segregated mental institution located in Sweetwater, Texas. "Drums of Sweetwater" is based around three main characters by the names of Fred, who has psychologically been abused by his parents and has a physical nervous disorder that has been misdiagnosed, Rufus Mayberry, who possesses a unique 3rd eye psych ability that allows him to predict the death date/time of the late great Dr. Martin Luther King, and lastly Monroe aka "Monkeyman" who suffers from acute psych problems from being in the war in Vietnam. Put into an institution where their kind is not properly looked after, these three characters embark upon a journey that will have the audience on the edge of their seats.
With this play, Mr. Meloncon looked for a way to incorporate people into a 1st person point of view that shows what it's like being an African American in America and the struggles it comes with firsthand. With a cast full of young, ambitious talent who either major or minor in theatre, this play will be nothing short of amazing. He states, "I love this cast, this is a stellar cast, and I have so much confidence that they will do a great job." Coming from a man with such high praise in the theatre industry, Mr. Meloncon can't wait to see things full circle as the opening day steadily approaches.
Showing on November 11-14 and 18-21 in the Ollington Smith Playhouse, you won't want to miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience life and see what it was like in the year 1960 when our people were lost in a world that was full of hate.