Theater in the X is staging two plays in Malcolm X Park

Theater in the X co-founders Walter DeShields, LaNeshe Miller-White and Carlo Campbell in front of the Malcolm and Betty mural in Malcolm X Park.
Theater in the X co-founders Walter DeShields, LaNeshe Miller-White and Carlo Campbell in front of the Malcolm and Betty mural in Malcolm X Park.

When LaNeshe Miller-White met her friend Carlo in his favorite skateboarding spot, she knew right away where she would stage her first theater production: Malcolm X Park. The 6-acre square between 51st and 52nd streets is a longtime cultural hub of West Philly.

“It had such beautiful murals and nature and people and energy, and I just immediately visualized really charged theater happening there,” says White, who has worked for a number of small theater companies in Philadelphia since graduating from Temple University in 2008.

White’s vision is to bring challenging African-American voices into the open air of X Park. Using funding from a modest grant by the Leeway Foundation, she has selected two pieces that fit that bill to a T: Nilaja Sun’s “No Child…” and Amiri Baraka’s “Black Mass.”

“We’ve been very clear with the actors from the beginning: This is going to be an expect-the-unexpected type of performance,” says White. “We’re coming into their space, so we can’t expect the whole park to shut down and pay attention to just us.”

Directed by Andre G. Brown, the outdoor production of “No Child…” will adapt Sun’s 2006 one-woman show into a multi-character play. The text is based on Sun’s experience as a teaching artist in some of the most violent and underfunded schools in New York.

Director Christina May will have a far more experimental play to work with: “A Black Mass” is a rarely performed 1968 script by legendary African-American poet Amiri Baraka. The play explores the origins of skin color through the lens of Nation of Islam doctrines.

“We wanted to pair the classic with the new: plays that spoke to both the past and present of the community, “ says White. “We wanted to make it a unique experience. You definitely don’t see these plays being done all over the place.”

Theater in the X
Malcolm X Park
52nd and Pine streets
‘No Child…’ Aug. 18, 6 p.m.
‘A Black Mass’ Aug. 25, 6 p.m.
Free
www.malcolmxpark.org



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
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.

Local

De Blasio, Bratton defend city's efforts after Eric…

Mayor Bill de Blasio justified the city's response to the death of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who died while in police custody earlier this month.

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.

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.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

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.