Author Archives: Sandra Seaton

Chicago Trilogy

Chicago Trilogy 

Join us for a Special Reader’s Theatre Event
at the 2015 Atlanta Black Theatre Festival,
Friday, October 9, 2015, 4 – 5:30 pm
at the Ray Charles Performing Arts Center on the Morehouse Campus
Directed by MARDRA THOMAS
With George Shirley, Mardra Thomas , Keith Williams,and Thomasina Clarke

Connect to this event or sign up at www.MRTJazz.com for updates and further details. #‎ChicagoTrilogy
A MRTJazz Production

 In A CHANCE MEETING two former employees of a wealthy white family meet, revealing contrasting attitudes about race and class. In THE LOOKOUT Mildred parks outside a mansion to watch the guests arrive at a luncheon in honor of her college roommate to which she has not been invited.  In BLACK FOR DINNER Anita, unaware her husband is near death, wears a black cocktail dress to her dinner party for the social leaders of the Hyde Park African American community.

National Medal of Arts winner George Shirley will appear in two of the one-act plays in CHICAGO TRILOGY: A CHANCE MEETING and BLACK FOR DINNER. Mr. Shirley received the award this September at a special White House ceremony.

From the Diary of Sally Hemings

To purchase this CD, please click here.

                 To purchase this score, please click here.

From the Diary of Sally Hemings, a song cycle for voice and piano with libretto by Sandra Seaton and music by composer William Bolcom, was written at the request of mezzo soprano Florence Quivar.  The work recreates the thoughts and feelings of Sally Hemings throughout her long relationship with Thomas Jefferson by means of fictional diary entries.  The 18 songs in this imaginary journal provide a surprising yet persuasive interpretation of the relationship between Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings, officially a slave but also the half-sister of Jefferson’s wife, Martha Wayles Jefferson. The songs trace the life of Sally Hemings from her earliest memory, Martha Jefferson dying from complications following childbirth, to her sojourn in Paris with Jefferson and finally her life with Jefferson at Monticello until his death.

Premiered by mezzo soprano Florence Quivar and pianist  J.J. Penna at Coolidge Auditorium, Library of Congress with additional performances at  Kennedy Center, San Francisco Performances, Lied Center,  Rialto, and University Musical Society. Performed by soprano Alyson Cambridge and pianist Lydia Brown at Carnegie Hall, Central Michigan University, Harkness Memorial Chapel in Cleveland and Oberlin Conservatory.  CD available on White Pine.  Score available at Hal Leonard.

Image: From the Diary of Sally Hemings; Music by William Bolcom; Text by Sandra Seaton; Alyson Cambridge, soprano; Lydia Brown, piano; White Pine Music (2010).