The Kentucky Shakespeare Festival performances are free and begin at 8:30 p.m. July 19-24 in Central Park, 1340 S. Fourth St., in Old Louisville.
AATP Director Lundeana Thomas said the adaptation provides audiences with a fresh look at the 13th century Chinese classic drama, calling it the Chinese ‘Hamlet’ as seen through the eyes of African Americans. The story introduces elements of hip-hop and Yoruba themes of color, music and movement.” The Yoruba culture of West Africa is known for its distinctive traditions involving drumming and dance.
“We will take a play from its Yuan Dynasty China setting to an ecosphere dome surrounded by a toxic wasteland of biological and electronic waste,” Thomas said. “It is a story about family, sacrifice, loyalty, murder and redemption.”
“The play has evolved from the earlier performances at UofL,” Thomas said.
“The audience will see a greater focus on the power of a mother’s love for her child that reaches from the grave.”
Thomas and a cast of 13 players, mostly students, then will take to the road to perform at the National Black Theatre Festival as a featured original production at 3 p.m. Aug. 2 in Winston-Salem, N.C., and 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Aug. 3 at Winston-Salem State University’s Anderson Center.
The AATP is part of the university’s theatre arts department.