The production was a collaboration of The Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation Center for Arts & Culture and Dove, LLC. with the 501 ©3 non-for-profit support of the Concerned Women of Brooklyn and a citation from the Office of Brooklyn Borough President, Eric L. Adams. The children’s play featured a visionary director, Abdel Salaam. Mr. Salaam is world renowned and a preeminent NYC artistic director. His Harlem-based dance company is called Forces of Nature and he does projects with many community-based organizations including the Harlem Children’s Zone to meet and train tomorrow’s artists and educators.
Abdel is well-known for his appetite for excellence. He has the rare ability to authentically tell the stories of the human family with extraordinary cultural and spiritual significance. He is ‘at least’ a local and contemporary — Walt Disney-type-of-mind when it comes to setting-up fabulous environments which introduce fantasy.
Without exaggeration…this artistic-genius-brother took, Aduke Aremu’s words, muse, humor, fantasy, literacy play and urban adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s bedtime story, Alice In Wonderland and some selected, Mother Goose characters to new and exciting music, dance, cultural and literary heights. And…the Billie Holiday Theatre was packed baby…wall-to-wall for two shows with Tri-state area producers, media, teachers, parents and their children ages 2 to 21 at each show.
Backgrounder on “Alice in Wonderland”…
Charles Dodson and minister and scholar was the author of Alice in Wonderland. He wrote under the name of Lewis Carroll. He created the story in 1863 when asked by three young girls to, “tell them a story”. He did so while he paddled them along the Thames River in Europe one Sunday afternoon. Alice in Wonderland is today part of oral and literary history. It teaches the power of the imagination and the ability of reading to take one out-side of one’s self. Mother Goose is traditionally known to have many authors. It introduces Universal Pre K and elementary school children to reading with a purpose. To reading out loud to hear the author’s voice to strange and funny characters and new sounds, riddles and to “phonic awareness”.
Both Alice in Wonderland and Mother Goose to the credits of Aduke and Abdel are also subjects for continued studies for the allegory, alliterations and metaphors well into high school and college for their literary merits related to era politics and sophisticated semantic values.
The Alice in Wonderland reading and Mother Goose character metaphors for conceptually understanding human beings “falling down rabbit hole dimensions” and seeing through a looking glass at worlds opposite our realities and expectations” helps young people to transition an understanding of life when good and bad people bombard them in “out-of-comfort-zone experiences”.
It also helps them to be…literate by reading with understanding the greatest literature in the world like The Bible’s, Book of Job and other literature like, Dr.Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letters From A Birmingham Jail; and to better understand the visual arts and scripts where the “concept of alternative realities” is explored in Spike Lee’s movie, School Daze.
Viewing, listening, thinking, writing, reading, and speaking and is very serious business and that is why it has enduring significance to people of every generation whether enslaved, empowered, marginalized or materialized people have to continue to tell the human stories to demonstrate generational freedoms and to contribute to the “world of ideas” and to the finest treasuries of literature!
Urban Alice in the “Liberation of Mother Goose” …
This Alice and this, wonderland came from the personal background of Aduke Aremu. She grew up Gwen Holmes (aka Aduke Aremu) in Brooklyn ‘s public housing and went to Brooklyn public schools. Gwen was raised by a divorced parents who took their girls to Manhattan to see movies, and plays “in white gloves” after going to church. The story goes…Gwen a book worm and budding writer met a “fairy godmother” named Vivian J. Bright (and family) from Berean Baptist Church. Vivian, Berean and members of Zeta Phi Beta supported Gwen in her growth and development from cotillion to supporting Aduke’s her writing and education at Hunter College and NYU. Fairy godmother et tal – “in-the-real” and in rare Brooklyn style… also even financed and encouraged her gifted daughter’s 50-performing kids and company staff in Aremu’s now internationally famous company called the Harlem Children’s Theatre Company sending them to do their things… in Europe, the Caribbean and in Africa. On one of those trips, Aduke was given her Nigerian name after her children performed. The name means “one who is loved by all”.
The Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration, the Billie Holiday Theatre and Joseph Papp himself also supported the young female artist, Aduke decades ago. It helped the Brooklyn resident to introduce this work the “Liberation of Mother Goose” and others when the emerging director/producer had gender-politic difficulties in Manhattan.
The artist, educator, Aduke Aremu (678)739-6674, firstname.lastname@example.org was also presented to the U.S. Congress in 2010 for commendation by her long-time mentor and friend, Hon. Ed Towns (http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CREC-2010-03-21/html/CREC-2010-03-21-pt1-PgE429-4.htm).
The Liberation of Mother Goose, written by Aduke Aremu adapts Charles Dodson’s (Lewis Carroll’s) Alice In Wonderland and Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes specifically for inner-city introductions to the classic works. It is pure fun for the whole family with primers for phonics and a high level introduction to generational storytelling that has characters and ideas that are staples in every English Language Arts school-based curriculum across America and the global village.
The comprehensive education project has stage, television and educational workbook components. The workbook designed by W. Calvin Anderson, M.Ed uses The Liberation of Mother Goose children’s play to introduce youth and parents to Common Core and New York State English Language Arts Learning Standards. The end-in-view is for the Bedstuy Restoration Youth Arts Academy and other youth across the nation to learn to teach others about the literary works that they perform. Kids in cross-age tutorial can help out at home and in schools with enriched reading experiences with their peers and younger children (each-one-teach-one) about phonics, storytelling, acting and literary genre using the many jewels related to this play.
|AUDELCO (Audience Development Committee, Inc.) Established and incorporated in 1973 by the late Vivian Robinson, to stimulate interest in, and support of performing arts in black communities. AUDELCO coordinates an average of one to two theatre events monthly, bringing approximately 50-75 people to each event.
Networking – Contacting and developing relationships with individuals, local groups, churches, and other organizations to introduce new audiences to non-profit performing arts.
AUDELCO Recognition Awards – The annual Vivian Robinson/AUDELCO Recognition, “The VIV”Awards are the only formally established awards presented to the black theatre community. Every third Monday in November the nominees are awarded in various categories.Theatre for the Future:Young Audiences Series – Addresses the need for positive cultural experiences for children between the ages of 10-17. This series provides entertainment and cultural experience for the youth. This series provides entertainment and cultural enrichment in non-academic settings such as: outdoor activities during Harlem Week; Saturday matinees during Black Arts Festival; Holiday celebrations in December, and performances during Black History Month.
Black Arts Festival– A citywide festival of the arts, creating a showcase for outstanding work of black artists. The Black Arts Festival introduces new audiences to the fun, excitement and vitality of the visual and performing arts throughout the metropolitan area.Black Theatre Archives- A collection of books, tapes, original scripts, costumes and set designs, photographs, playbills and extensive clippings on current theatre groups and activities.
Publications-“INTERMISSION“, AUDELCO’s newsletter is published quarterly to stimulate interest in the performing arts. The “OVERTURE“, a black theatre magazine that is published to document exciting work done by Black theatre artists.
Seminars, Lectures, and Forums– Addresses the general awareness about the contributions of Blacks in the cultural and socio-economic environment.