Diverse, Classic, Original. Theater that makes you think.
Why the Orange Box Theater? Why diverse casting? Why black classics? Why mind body soul training? Why interactive social experiences? The simple answer is why not! The deeper answer is because authentic storytelling is a great equalizer.
Why diverse conscious casting? Because when we permit ourselves to accept that star crossed love is not gender-specific or the fine line between fantasy and reality has nothing to do with race or that one’s ability to communicate has less to do with your position in society and more to do with your ability to see people for who they are; we find that well written, well-produced stories transcend most isms and whisper, speak, and even scream at the heart of who we are…unique individuals navigating similar journey’s. Diverse casting is a tangible reminder that although our approach to life may be colored by culture, preferences, and a host of our factors the situations are universal.
And yet there is a time and place for everything. Where many stories are universal there are experiences that are unique to race, gender, religion, origin, age, or sexual orientation. The “black” experience is one of those experiences. Blacks in America arrived not as immigrants but as property and because of our unique origin story our tales are unlike those of any other group. Our best playwrights have used the details of our arrival; our subsequent treatment as objects and later second class citizens to pseudo citizens to finally “probable” Americans to pen plays that depict despair, confusion, chaos, resilience, joy, and triumph. Whether a heritage play that exposes the atrocities of slavery or a domestic drama that conveys a black man’s struggle to find his place in society Black classical theater invites us to witness an American tale from a person of color perspective. It is here that we invite audiences to put aside their own viewpoints and consider alternative thoughts and ideas.
And then there are bold new works. Award-winning playwrights were once newcomers with a fresh if not controversial approach to a subject matter. We welcome fresh ways of telling familiar stories, truth wielders, and unorthodox storytelling. We are open to writers who are ready to do the work needed to create their own realities. It is our privilege to present and promote new playwrights, experimental theater, and unexpected collaborations. Our flexible platform allows playwrights and those that support the craft to develop their voices, refine their vision, and build their confidence. Stage It Live Atlanta (A Playwrights Competition) and the Creative Association of Playwrights and Producers (An Artists Development Incubator) are the resources we use to facilitate and raise the production value for new works.
Artistry in any form is easily consumed and rarely acknowledged. The work that creatives do; the risks that they take; the triumphs and the setbacks are taxing. There are many avenues available to hone your technical skills whether you are a playwright, actor, producer or anyone of the professionals amazing us behind the scenes. But who tends to the novice, amateur or professional when they don’t get the role they’ve worked for months on; when they are told they don’t have the right look; you are talented but you are too old or when the people who profess to love you turn a deaf ear when you attempt to explain how deep your love for the craft goes? We have created holistic training and workshops to address the mind, body, soul connections needed to successfully navigate this industry.
And then there is just pure fun. Our interactive creative social events allow everyday people to explore their personal artistic expressions. Our Stroke & Glow paint parties are unique glow in the dark paint parties where everybody is the canvas. This amotsphere encourages lifting boundaries in order to heighten your senses. Our Poet for the Night initiative encourages the audience to help create the poems that are performed and participate in a round of Poetry Kareoke where they explore their own spoken word performance voice. We believe that given the right tools and gentle encouragement everyone is an artist.