Published : Friday, June 21, 2019 | 5:10 PM
Sterling North, the new Black director of the Morris Foundation precipitates turmoil when he insists that the Foundation museum display its stored artworks of African origin with greater prominence and in greater quantity, dismissing those who oppose him as racist. He is even prepared to go to court to challenge the will of the museum’s founder, Alfred Morris, to pursue the objective of promoting the exposure of North’s beloved African artists.
Nothing is as simple as it looks. Was Morris a racist? Who decides who should see art? Who decides what we can see? Who has that right? Can a museum itself be a unified work of art? Should the last will and testament of a private collector be sacrosanct?
Permanent Collection poses a lot of questions without simple answers in this thought-provoking play, suggested by events at Philadelphia’s Barnes Foundation.
Thomas Gibbons is the playwright. He resides in Devon, PA, a suburb of Philadelphia. He is playwright-in-residence at Philadelphia’s Interact Theatre. His works include Bee-luther-hatchee (produced by Sierra Madre Playhouse in 2017), A House with No Walls, 6221, Black Russian, Uncanny Valley and more. Permanent Collection debuted in Philadelphia in 2003 and was subsequently produced in Chicago and Los Angeles (in 2005).
Barbara Schofield directs. At Sierra Madre Playhouse, she directed productions of Incident at Vichy (L.A. Times Critic’s Pick), Proof, Arcadia and The Fantasticks. She is director-in-residence and Literary Manager at Open Fist Theatre Company, for whom she will helm Dancing at Lughnasa this summer. Dr. Schofield received her Ph.D. in Theatre from Tufts University.
The Off the Page series is produced by Sierra Madre Playhouse Assistant Director Christian Lebano and coordinated by Roxanne Barker.
Permanent Collection, staged reading of a play, written by Thomas Gibbons and directed by Barbara Schofield will be performed on Monday, July 29, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. at Sierra Madre Playhouse (87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre). Suggested donation: Five dollars. Website: www.sierramadreplayhouse.org . Phone: (626) 355-4318.
Sierra Madre is just east of Pasadena. Parking is available on the street and in free lots behind the Playhouse and across the street.