Launch of the American Theatre Club

October 17, 2016 - Zoe Dennington

The American Museum in Britain is launching the American Theatre Club, in association with the Theatre Royal in Bath, this autumn. We are pleased to announce our first event, to be held at the Ustinov Theatre on 1 December.

Our first play is Alice Childress’s groundbreaking drama Trouble in Mind, which remains one of the explosive staples of the American theatrical scene. Here is a precis of the play and its director and cast:

Wiletta Mayer is a talented African-American actress who has spent a lifetime building a career in the theatre. Now she is on Broadway, rehearsing Chaos in Belleville, an anti-lynching play with a white director. As rehearsals progress, Wiletta finds it increasingly difficult to relate to the part she is playing. Will she be able to overcome her misgivings and let the show go on? Peppered with knowing humour and richly drawn characters, this vivid depiction of backstage life smartly satirises the white-dominated theatre scene of the fifties.

Tanya Moodie reunites with director Laurence Boswell following the Ustinov Studio’s phenomenal production of Intimate Apparel, for which she was nominated in 2014 for Olivier and Evening Standard Awards. The same year she was nominated for a WhatsonStage Best Actress Award for Fences in which she starred with Lenny Henry. She recently played Gertrude in the RSC’s Hamlet.

Alice Childress was an extraordinary trailblazer in the history of American Theatre, the first African- American woman to win an OBIE award (for her production of Trouble in Mind in 1956), to direct off Broadway and to have a play professionally produced in New York.

Distinguished RSC actor Joseph Marcell is best known for his role in the NBC sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. He starred in Breakfast with Mugabe in the Ustinov Studio in 2008 and recently played the title role in King Lear for Shakespeare’s Globe.

This promises to be an exciting evening of theatre. The details are as follows:

Pre-theatre supper at the Firehouse Rotisserie at 5:30; three courses with wine included.
Best seats in the house, Ustinov Studio, at 7:30; complimentary drinks at the interval.
Discussion of the play following the performance – if you wish to stay.
Cost: £70 per person, payable to the American Museum.

The Museum’s director, Richard Wendorf, has 16 reserved seats, so do reserve as soon as you can. To book, please use our contact form or call Susan Hill on 01225 823010.