Currently Seeking Production Possibilities
Dr. Weems is currently seeking production possibilities for At Last, MEAT (which won the Cap Prize award for a staged reading at the 2011 National Black Theatre Festival), Monster Under the Bed and youth play, Africans in America: Gulla! Contact Dr. Weems...
Weems' plays and/or excerpts have been published or produced since 1997. Her longest-running play, Move to the Back of the Bus, a 45-minute overview of the Civil Rights Movement, was produced by Young Audiences from 1998 through 2007. Her plays have been produced in Greater Cleveland by Ensemble Theatre and Karamu House, the oldest African-American theater in the United States. Her plays have also been produced at colleges and universities including the University of Alabama, Washington State University, and Ohio University. For production rights, contact Dr. Weems.
SYNOPSIS: At Last is a play by Dr. Mary Weems, conceived by Dr. Elaine Richardson. Characters: Etta James, Bessie Smith, Mahalia Jackson, Billie Holiday, Zora Neal Hurston, Josephine Baker, Nina Simone, Phyllis Hyman, June Jordan, Queen Latifah and Michelle Obama.
PRODUCTION HISTORY: Performances include Ensemble Theatre (Cleveland Heights, OH), 2019. Director: Tony Sias, MFA. Producer and Writer: Mary E. Weems. Conceived By: Dr. Elaine Richarson. Cast: Christina Johnson, Sherrie Tolliver, Sha'ton La'Tique, ALL, Corin B. Self and India Pierre-Ingram. Select excerpts and readings have also been performed; details here (pdf).
SYNOPSIS: Original Negro Spirituals were composed of only the Black keys on a piano. Some say it was to echo the sounds coming from the bowels of slave ships. Black Notes begins by returning to the past, then moving forward through contemporary moments both lived and imagined. In this one-woman performance piece, Weems uses autoethnography and poetic and narrative inquiry to investigate the Black experience through a cultural lens which shifts from the personal to the political.
PRODUCTION HISTORY: Performances include St. Timothy’s Church (Cleveland, OH), 2015. University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, AL), 2015. Washington State University (Pullman, WA), 2015. Ohio University (Athens, OH), 2015. University of Illinois (Urbana, IL), 2015. Directed by Jeanne Madison. Cast: Mary E. Weems.
SYNOPSIS: Purses is a 3-character, one-act play about the trials and tribulations of African American women from different generations living in the same urban neighborhood. It explores complex social issues including love, alcoholism, domestic violence, male/female relationships and the importance of taking time to come together for support on what Hattie the lead character calls “Talkin’s Sundays” which happen at her house right after church.
PRODUCTION HISTORY: Performances include Karamu House (Cleveland, OH), 2015. Director: Ashley Wheadon. Cast: Christal Christian, Keeya Chapman-Langford, Tanielle Latrice, Prophet Seay, and Darryl Tatum.
SYNOPSIS: In Hats, six Black men from different generations tell the stories of their lives as they prepare to honor a member of their group who has just died.
PRODUCTION HISTORY: Performances include Ensemble Theatre (Cleveland Heights, OH), 2015. Director: Mary E. Weems. Cast: Peter Lawson Jones, Cornell Calhoun III, Jimmie Woody, LaShawn Little, Kyle Carthens, Kenny Parker, and Ashley Aquilla.
SYNOPSIS: Blink is based on the stories of faculty, staff, and students and their experiences with racism, sexism, homophobia, and religious intolerance at a private college. The play prompts critical dialogues leading audiences toward greater empathy, acceptance and interculturalism are as we move toward becoming a more unified society in the 21st Century.
PRODUCTION HISTORY: Performances include John Carroll University (University Heights, OH), Spring 2013, Fall 2013 and Fall 2014. Directors: Dr. Karen Gygli and Michael Oatman. Choreographer: Kevin D. Marr II. Managing Director/Stage Manager: Keith Nagy. Stage Manager: Andre Brown. Cast: Students of John Carroll University.
SYNOPSIS: Meat takes a surreal look at the serial killings of eleven Black Cleveland women through the lens of Tone, the accused murderer. Combining fiction with facts from the case of Cleveland serial killer, Anthony Sowell, the tragedy begins with an up close and personal look into the mind of Tone and ends with a community having its say.
PRODUCTION HISTORY: Staged reading at the National Black Theatre Festival (Winston-Salem, NC), 2011. Staged reading at the New Africa Theatre (Cleveland OH), 2013. Director: Michael Oatman.
SYNOPSIS: Closure was originally produced with an ensemble of four women and two men who played all of the objects. In this choreopoem, which was inspired by Ntozake Shange’s For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow is Enuf, the actors become the objects while telling stories of loss, betrayal, and what happens when bankers, employees of a corrupt mortgage system, and others prey on the poor.
PRODUCTION HISTORY: Karamu House (Cleveland, OH), 2010. Director: Terrence Spivey. Choreographer: Dianne McIntyre. Cast: Rodney Freeman, Cameron Dashiell, Amanda Lanier, Saidah Mitchell, Shambrion Treadwell, and Kyle Carthens.