PHILLY INQUIRER: Theater After Pandemic, Wine in the Wilderness

"Born in Charleston, S.C., in 1912, Alice Childress went on to become one of the most celebrated female Black playwrights and novelists of her time with her work particularly focused on the experience of urban Black people.

At EgoPo Classic Theater, Ontaria Kim Wilson plays Tommy, the lead character in Childress’ “Wine in the Wilderness.” Written in 1969, Childress’ play takes place against the backdrop of the 1964 riots in Harlem.

Wilson, who grew up in Philadelphia and will graduate from Temple University in May with a bachelor’s degree in theater, thinks EgoPo’s timing for “Wine in the Wilderness” is significant in light of the protests that broke out around the nation following the May 25, 2020, murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police

Officer Derek Chauvin. “As a Black woman, watching our men just disappear daily for no reason is traumatizing, and as a people, it’s enough to put you up in arms,” Wilson said. “There’s a current that has been running for decades. After a while, that quiet storm will

emerge, and it will be a storm that no one could control.”

Article by Jane M. Von Bergen, For The Inquirer

Pictured L-R is Andre Brown, Ontaria Kim Wilson and Monroe Barrick in rehearsal, Photo by EgoPo classic Theater


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