Classic Literary Treasury: “The Creation” by James Weldon Jonson

 

 

James Weldon Johnson photo

James Weldon Johnson, 18711928
And God stepped out on space,
And he looked around and said:
I’m lonely—
I’ll make me a world.

And far as the eye of God could see
Darkness covered everything,
Blacker than a hundred midnights
Down in a cypress swamp.

Then God smiled,
And the light broke,
And the darkness rolled up on one side,
And the light stood shining on the other,
And God said: That’s good!

Then God reached out and took the light in his hands,
And God rolled the light around in his hands
Until he made the sun;
And he set that sun a-blazing in the heavens.
And the light that was left from making the sun
God gathered it up in a shining ball
And flung it against the darkness,
Spangling the night with the moon and stars.
Then down between
The darkness and the light
He hurled the world;
And God said: That’s good!

Then God himself stepped down—
And the sun was on his right hand,
And the moon was on his left;
The stars were clustered about his head,
And the earth was under his feet.
And God walked, and where he trod
His footsteps hollowed the valleys out
And bulged the mountains up.

Then he stopped and looked and saw
That the earth was hot and barren.
So God stepped over to the edge of the world
And he spat out the seven seas—
He batted his eyes, and the lightnings flashed—
He clapped his hands, and the thunders rolled—
And the waters above the earth came down,
The cooling waters came down.

Then the green grass sprouted,
And the little red flowers blossomed,
The pine tree pointed his finger to the sky,
And the oak spread out his arms,
The lakes cuddled down in the hollows of the ground,
And the rivers ran down to the sea;
And God smiled again, 
And the rainbow appeared,
And curled itself around his shoulder.

Then God raised his arm and he waved his hand
Over the sea and over the land,
And he said: Bring forth! Bring forth!
And quicker than God could drop his hand,
Fishes and fowls
And beasts and birds
Swam the rivers and the seas,
Roamed the forests and the woods,
And split the air with their wings.
And God said: That’s good!

Then God walked around,
And God looked around
On all that he had made.
He looked at his sun, 
And he looked at his moon,
And he looked at his little stars;
He looked on his world
With all its living things,
And God said: I’m lonely still.

Then God sat down—
On the side of a hill where he could think;
By a deep, wide river he sat down;
With his head in his hands,
God thought and thought,
Till he thought: I’ll make me a man!

Up from the bed of the river
God scooped the clay;
And by the bank of the river
He kneeled him down;
And there the great God Almighty
Who lit the sun and fixed it in the sky, 
Who flung the stars to the most far corner of the night,
Who rounded the earth in the middle of his hand;
This great God,
Like a mammy bending over her baby,
Kneeled down in the dust
Toiling over a lump of clay
Till he shaped it in is his own image;

Then into it he blew the breath of life,
And man became a living soul.
Amen.      Amen.

From God’s Trombones by James Weldon Johnson. Copyright © 1927 The Viking Press, Inc., renewed 1955 by Grace Nail Johnson. Used by permission of Viking Penguin, a division of Penguin Books USA Inc.

Read more about from Emory University

http://www.jamesweldonjohnson.emory.edu/sub-james.htm

L.A. : World Premiere of “The Magnificent Dunbar Hotel” Until Dec. 21st

The Mag Dunbar Hotel graphicRobey logoPresented by The Robey Theatre Company in association with the Los Angeles Theatre Center

Written by Levy Lee Simon

Directed by Ben Guillory

Los Angeles 1930-60’s dangerous times for people of color…

Looking for shelter? Welcome to The Magnificent Dunbar Hotel.

Come with us back to the 30s and 40s on Central Avenue in L.A., where jazz was the music of the day. Sunshine and palm trees, cruising on Central Avenue with ease, where The Duke, The Count, Dorothy Dandridge, Lena Horne performed your favorite songs, and intellectuals debated the politics going on, and where everyday folk felt right at home. Where was this place you might ask, this place to be, that had all that pizzazz, all that jazz? Well, do tell, do tell. Come with us back to The Magnificent Dunbar Hotel!!!

Previews: November 20 & 21, 8pm

Opening Night (with Reception): Sat., November 22, 8pm

Show Dates November 22 – December 21, 2014 (Thurs.-Sat. at 8pm; Sun. at 3pm)

Special Thanksgiving Offer: “Dessert at the Dunbar,” join us for our Thanksgiving night performance and enjoy complementary coffee and pie at intermission.

Runtime: 150 min, with intermission

Cast (In Alphabetical Order)

Jovan Adepo, Vanoy Burnough, Tiffany Coty, Cydney Davis, Eddie Goines, Julio Hanson, Tommy Hicks*, Doug Jewell*, Melvin Ishmael Johnson, Elizabeth June*, Kyle Connor McDuffie, Jason Mimms, Ashlee Olivia, Dwain A. Perry*, Vanja Renee, Kem Saunders*, Jah Shams, Petal d’Avril Walker, Sammie Wayne IV*, Rhonda Stubbins White*

*Actors appear courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association

See more…

http://thelatc.org/upcoming-shows/the-magnificent-dunbar/

Do You Want to Learn From the Best Theatre-Arts Project in the Nation?

 

woodie logo cutNEW FEDERAL THEATRE WORKSHOP

October 7, 2013 thru December 16, 2013

New Federal Theatre is offering a great and exciting approach to theatrical classes!

workshop instructor strip photosBack to Basics
A class designed to connect actors with their instrument and a study of different acting techniques.
Instructors: Roselyn Coleman, Nora Cole and Charles Turner

Monologues and Scene Study taught by the Masters.
Several theatrical Masters share their knowledge with hands on training.
Instructors: Alice Spivak, Arthur French, and Trezana Beverley

The Playwright’s Lab
This is an intensive study of playwriting with the creation of a full length work by the end of the second semester.
Instructors: Cassandra Medley, Michael Dinwiddie and P.J. Gibson

Our tuition is $150.00 per semester. Register early, each class size is limited.

Classes are held on Mondays from 6:30 to 9:30 pm

All of our students’ projects will be showcased and viewed by professional theatre producers, casting directors and agents. Register now!!!

For more information contact Ajene D. Washington/Workshop Coordinator
Phone 212-3531176/Fax212-353-1088
Website: newfederaltheatre.com
E-mail: newfederal@aol.com
E-mail: a.newfedajene@yahoo.com
New Federal Theatre

GET YOURSELF INTO THE NEXT WORKSHOP SERIES !!!!

Poem: Black Nativity 2014

Essentially

all

is the

corporate

body/mind

of

God

splendidly

individuated.

 

Our mission

is threatening

greed, and ignorant

contempt

enemies of

children and

compassion. We

undergird

miracle-making

intercession

and sealing situations

with heaven and

earth.

 

Our bodies

the dust

from

star bursts

and

cooled clays

shaped

with loving hands.

Our minds

the force

spiraling to join

itself

an

eternal return

from

disingenuous

dark rooms

and

physical

chaos

without

His

decision

and

light.

 

Nativity is drama

action

choral

romantic

and

Immaculate.

 

Man is not

a dirty

conception he has

the substance,

character

and complexion

Imago dei

His likeness

from the inside out..

 

The

world

is not

a vacant

manger.

There are

rooms in the

Inn today

and more people

present

with

the

Wise

and well traveled.