The time has come, friends: Penumbra Theatre is back in action! On Thursday, March 14, the company reopens its temporarily shuttered doors with Spunk, George C. Wolfe’s adaptation of three short stories by Zora Neale Hurston: Sweat, Story in Harlem Slang, and The Gilded Six Bits.
Per Wolfe’s description of the play’s setting, it takes place “round about long ‘go” in a place that’s “way down nearby.” In other words: it takes place anywhere and everywhere, anytime and always.
This ambiguity is possible because of the play’s central themes of love, money, and survival—tangible issues to which anyone can relate. Four Penumbra regulars—T. Mychael Rambo, Dennis Spears, Jevetta Steele, and Austene Van—join newcomers Mikell Sapp and Keith Jamal Downing to tell the tales of abuse, betrayal, love, and desire in early 20th century America. Their tools: narration, dramatization, dance, and music—specifically, the blues.
To really get a feel for how the pieces of Spunk tie together the past and present, memories and dreams, check out these videos of behind-the-scenes interviews with the actors and directors of the show. Then, go see for yourself how Spunk will move you.
March 14–April 7
Penumbra Theatre, 270 N. Kent St., St. Paul