There's nothing new in the criticism that the standard American theater repertoire suffers from an inadequate number of works reflective of the country's cultural diversity. While a plethora of excuses have been offered for the disparity, the fact remains that the average theater season tends to prioritize comfortable favorites over more challenging works told from underrepresented perspectives. Defying the status quo, Pillsbury House Theatre will be premiering the road weeps, the well runs dry, an original new work from poet/playwright Marcus Gardley in collaboration with the Los Angeles Theatre Center, Persevere Theatre (Juneau, Alaska), and the University of South Florida. With limited runs scheduled in each venue, the producers hope to raise awareness of work that falls outside the standard repertoire. Interweaving thought-provoking nuances of folklore and myth-making, the road weeps, the well runs dry centers on the black Seminoles who founded America's first all-black settlement at Wewoka, Oklahoma. Depicting the outside social pressures and the internal conflicts destined to destabilize the group, Gardley's work restores an important though often ignored moment of U.S. history that speaks directly to our contemporary world. Under the direction of Marion McClinton and featuring an 11-person ensemble cast, the road weeps, the well runs dry illuminates a side of American history that deserves inclusion in any repertoire.
Wednesdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Starts: Sept. 27. Continues through Oct. 27, 2013