The First Person Festival pays a visit to ‘Liberty City’

“Liberty City” opens Friday as part of the First Person Festival at Christ Church 
(20 N. American St.) at 8 p.m. Additional performances are Saturday (2 and 8 p.m.), Nov. 18 (8 p.m.) and Nov. 19 (2 and 8 p.m.).

April Yvette Thompson, the award-winning actress and playwright, is bubbly but introspective, eager to explain her work, process and the experiences that shaped it. There are shades of her in the young April at the heart of “Liberty City,” although not even this budding activist can fully understand the intricacies and tragedies of 1970s Miami, where poverty, the civil rights movement, law enforcement and immigrants old and new mingled in an explosive brew.

“In many ways, this is the story of many families, not just my family,” says Thompson of “Liberty City,” her one-woman play in which she dynamically portrays her multicultural family — from her fiery intellectual father to her Bahamian grandmother — and their participation in the Black Power Movement. “As a community falls apart, as the movement falls apart, this family falls apart. It’s a sacrifice when you’re a parent to be political — my whole life was organized around my family’s activism. And what a cost that has, but also how great it is to see your parents doing what they believe in every day.”

A gifted, physical and at times hilarious performer, Thompson is as adept at recreating a kitchen perm scene as she is at single-handedly depicting a riot that resulted, to no one’s great concern, in a young black girl losing a limb. As much a product of her family, Thompson is a result of a time, a place and a movement — one that she suspects is something of a lost art. “There are causes now that people get behind, but movements with an organized agenda, we’re just not doing that the same way,” she says. “I think there is a sense of, ‘We got what we got, and what we didn’t we didn’t.’ There was a giving up, in many ways, on the American dream that we once knew we deserved. Now, we have to reorganize and relearn what we learned.”

If you go

   
Now in its 10th year, the First Person Festival is staging performances of documentary and memoir art across Old City through Nov. 20. For ticket and venue info about these and other festival performances, visit www.firstpersonarts.org.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.