FringeNYC in October!
Great news! ONAJE has been accepted as an official production of FringeNYC coming this October. More news soon as we finalize production details but, humbly, I must say it’s a great honor, and we’re going to need all the help we can get to make it happen. (If you can help us get there by contributing I’d be deeply grateful. Or email me to connect — let me know if you’d like advance tickets.)
Staged Reading in L.A. a great success
Onaje received a new staged reading at Theatre 40 in Beverly Hills on April 15th, directed by Adrian Cohen and featuring an amazing cast: Travon McCall, Annalee Scott, Cathy Tomlin, David Hunt Stafford, David Welsby, Shaun Savage, Stephanie James, Frederick Dawson, Eric Keitel, and Patrick Hallahan.
About the Play
ONAJE is about the pleasure and horror of vindication, the exile caused by American racism, and a mistake that could steal forever a hero’s soul, his humanity, and his journey toward redemption. Set in two worlds, Maryland 1980, and the civil rights riots in the Eastern shore in 1967, Onaje features a trio of characters inextricably linked through long-buried secrets of their past and forced to return to everything they escaped.
The Cambridge riot of 1967 was one of 159 race riots that swept cities in the United States during the “Long Hot Summer of 1967.” This riot occurred on July 24, 1967 in Cambridge, Maryland, a small town on the Eastern Shore. Check out the award-winning video below, created by high school students of the Eastern Shore.
“The Naked House Painting Society”
“Easily the festival’s best. Riveting drama with genuine humor and intense relationships. Mystical in nature, the play turns on incisive philosophical dialogue.” — Winifred Walsh, The Baltimore Sun
“Slavery,” a play in one act
Ownership is the issue as two associates draft a patent at a huge law firm in Robert Bowie, Jr’s one‑act play “Slavery.”
“Crash & Burn PA”
“It’s pretty damned refreshing. Tightly woven, with comic prowess and a nicely fast pace. If you want a carefree night of fun and laughs, this is your ticket.” — Pandora Locks
“Witchcraft,” a play in one act
“‘Witchcraft’ offers the suspenseful flavor of Alfred Hitchcock show. The drama unfolds with many unanticipated twists and turns…” — Janet Stidman Evleth
More plays by Robert Bowie, Jr…
On May 24, 2018, at 3:25 pm I received an email from the New York Fringe Festival (FringeNYC.org) telling me that my play, Onaje, was accepted for production in New York in October.
At the heart of the play is the Civil Rights riots and burning of Cambridge, Maryland in 1967 —still sadly relevant 50 years later with civil disobedience in Charlottesville Virginia, but this time the President says “there are good people on both sides.” We are still “a house divided.”
I lived on the Eastern shore of Maryland as a boy that summer. I had grown up in liberal Massachusetts and had never experienced firsthand racism or the terror of being an outsider and the range of psychological damage which occurs from it.
My first day visiting the Eastern shore I was invited to go to a country club to go swimming in the club pool. I was not a hippie. My hair was long enough to go over the top of my ears but not over the back of my collar. As I approached the gate to the fence that ran around the edge of the swimming pool I saw the lifeguard looking at me as he descended from his tower to confront me before I entered.
When he stopped me at the gate he told me because of my hair I would have to wear a woman’s bathing cap. Swimming stopped and parents and children looked at me. All the men had short crew cuts and all the women had long hair but were not wearing bathing caps. That was in early June the riots occurred in late July.
I will continue writing in this blog about the production of the play up until I’m through its final performance in October in New York. I don’t know how it will land. This is the story of the first production of my play. Come and share with me the ride.
(We need help to keep the wheels on. If you can manage it, please donate.)
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“Without the arts, we are a rudderless boat.”
— Robert Bowie, Jr.
About Robert Bowie, Jr.
Playwright and Poet Robert Bowie, Jr. of Baltimore, Maryland has had nine plays produced, including “There Ain’t No Wyoming” and “Naked House Painting Society” through The Baltimore Playwrights Festival, and has several more scripts in development. Bowie’s political farce “Crash & Burn P.A.” was the only submission selected by the 2016 Festival Committee for a full production at Theatrical Mining Company, Baltimore. Bowie’s plays are focused on social justice and span a broad spectrum between drama and comedy. His subject matter ranges from plays about racial prejudice and civil rights to political farce. Bowie is a graduate of Harvard University and is the Poet Laureate of The Harvard Alumni Association (HAA).