Golden Globe-winning actress, director and playwright Regina Taylor is partnering with SMU Meadows School of the Arts and its Division of Theatre in a three-part theatrical project titled the black album. 2020. Conceived by SMU Distinguished Alumna Taylor, who earned a theatre degree from Meadows in 1981, the project explores and addresses the question of what it is to be Black in 2020.
“2020 is of historical significance, defined by COVID-19, social protest ignited by the murder of George Floyd and this year’s presidential election process,” said Taylor, a Dallas native. “We are on the brink – re-examining our past and challenging who we believe ourselves to be. How we deal with these events will affect generations to come.”
The first part of the project – the black album. 2020. resistance. – features a 75-minute presentation, written and directed by Taylor.
“the black album is a series of snapshot scenes imagined through the lens of MC 2020, an SMU student who streams from his ‘woke’ mind,” said Taylor. “The piece captures the varied voices of African Americans questioning identity, social justice, history and fear of erasure in this current climate.”
The show will be performed live at 8 p.m. Oct. 27 and 29 on the SMU Meadows YouTube channel by seven Meadows undergraduate and graduate acting students. Sets, costumes, lighting, and sound will be created by Meadows theatre design students, alumni, and faculty in collaboration with guest artists. Admission is free; to register to attend, visit https://blog.smu.edu/meadows/theblackalbum/.
Taylor developed the project “to address questions about how we continue to teach and create theater in this time of COVID-19,” she says. “the black album also addresses how we as artists speak on social justice in our work. The play was written to give a platform for necessary conversations in this racially incendiary climate.”
“The Division is honored to be working with Regina Taylor on this performance piece,” said Gretchen Smith, chair of Meadows’ theatre division. “It has been a pleasure to witness the strong artistic collaboration between Regina, our students, our alumni, our production team, and the wonderful guest artists who have joined us on this journey. I can’t wait for audiences to see the black album. 2020. resistance. in performance.”Two additional parts of the black album. 2020., including a collaboration with students and artists from SMU and institutions around the globe, and a roundtable presentation of noted BIPOC artistic directors and theater makers, are in the planning stages and will debut this winter and spring.