The set for Dael Orlandersmith’s production of Forever is beautifully spare. A simple floor. A record turntable. Some photographs. A small stack of records. An equally small stack of books.
In some sense, the books and the records could be the most important objects on the stage. They offer a glimpse into the character’s identity, one she carefully cultivated through music and literature.
The books are also classics. Steinbeck’s East of Eden. Another Country by James Baldwin. Women in Love by D.H. Lawrence. Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast. Black Boy by Richard Wright. Alexander Hamilton by Willard Sterne Randall.
As an artist, Dael’s inspirations are myriad and wide reaching. “I like dark work. I look at stuff like The Piano Teacher or if you read The Bluest Eye or listen to The Velvet Underground. It’s a natural place for me, a natural habitat. It’s where I live,” she said.
For the next several weeks, we’ll be sharing some of Dael’s favorite artists, writers, and music via Facebook and Twitter, offering a fascinating insight into the work of a powerful and unique writer and performer.
— Steve Scarpa