Sold-Out Shows, Rave Reviews!
Our FringeNYC premiere could not have gone better…
ONAJE sold out all five shows, the performances were riveting, and both audiences and critics were exceedingly positive. Check out these great reviews from onstageblog.com and Theatre is Easy (theasy.com) .
Thanks again to our incredible cast, crew, and creative team — and to everyone whose generous support helped bring ONAJE to life!
FringeNYC a Smashing Success!
We’re honored that ONAJE was selected as an official production of FringeNYC, with five sold-out shows, October 13th — 21st, and great audience and critical acclaim.
It was a thrill to have our fantastic director Pat Golden on board, and our phenomenal producer Sue Conover Marinello. Our talented cast was outstanding: Tinuke Adetunji, Adam Couperthwaite, John Dewey, Curtis M. Jackson, Mary E. Hodges, Sheila Joon Ostadazim, Bristol Pomeroy, Tim Rush, and Jay Ward.
Humbly, I must say it was an incredible honor and opportunity, and it’s all thanks to our generous contributors. Please email me to connect — let me know if you’d like to hear about our next production.)
“ONAJE is a beautifully written, directed, and acted play that left me crying in the theatre by the end. It’s a call for change. It’s a reminder of the past. It’s a play about love and hate. In short, it’s theatre.”
— Christopher Peterson, OnstageBlog.com
“Best bet! The most dramatic, fleshed-out, near cinematic play I have seen at this year’s Fringe. ONAJE is a high-stakes story that shows the power of people standing up to racism.”
— Ed Malin, Theatre is Easy
“ONAJE is such an important piece of theatre. It tells a tragic story of riots, racism, and hate that, although it is set in both 1967 and 1980, is unfortunately still very relevant.”
— Christopher Peterson, OnstageBlog.com
“Bowie’s story belittles the “us versus them” mentality that pits Americans against each other and disgraces those that adhere to it… ONAJE questions how much has changed since the sixties, and what might it take to finally heal.”
This is what change in the theatre is all about… forcing an audience to witness, through the eyes of the play, the trouble that exists in the world every day. ONAJE does it beautifully.”
— Christopher Peterson, OnstageBlog.com
“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…
As I wrote last week, my day job now is to write a “bawdy libretto” for an operetta about the seventh deadly sin: pride. It will be performed in NYC (and hopefully elsewhere) next year. I now have three plays in the works. One was produced in New York last October and remains in development for future professional productions. One I have reworked and is now as fresh as spring time and ready to be sent out. And one I killed by overwriting, but it is on the autopsy table for study.
Right now the future is the libretto for a bawdy operetta. This is what I’ve learned so far:
My bosses and co-collaborators are Christian and Patrick, the founders of Mind the Art Entertainment. Their six previous operettas about the six other deadly sins have either been performed in New York or are in development for performance. This thing is going to happen, baby! These guys are real, and real talented.
But this is what they have taught me: collaboration. They are amazing. They told me to write a libretto. They said they needed 10 songs in the first act and eight songs in the second act. There would be eight actors performing over 35 rolls, it would be entirely sung and it would be a bawdy comedy. Once I wrote the libretto Christian would put music to it. But I had never really understood artistic collaboration before. I kept going to them and saying “is this what you want?” “Is this what you want?” And I kept getting the answer: “Write the libretto you want to write! Make it your voice. Make it your story.”
“How about if it’s totally rhymed?” “How about if I try and do hip-hop?” “How about if I have a singing dog?”
Last Friday I met Patrick at the Opera Center in New York and we were scheduled to work through the first draft that I had provided. It was a corner room with wood floors and perfect acoustics. The sunlight came in through the seventh floor windows. We worked at a central table in the middle of a room, which was much larger than we needed.
I started with my same stubborn questionings: “Is this what you want?” Patrick, almost with an air of irritation, said again: “Write the story that you want. Tell the story that you want. We will collaborate. We will collaborate.” And we did for the rest of that day.
He knew the first draft as if he had written it and just offered ideas for consideration. They were amazing and creative beyond my wildest expectations. I had expected head-banging. I got laughter and collaboration instead. Later on the next night Christian and I went out to dinner at the Algonquin Hotel, the historic home of the round table and Dorothy Parker, and he leaned over and laughed and said, I can write to your words. The rhythms makes sense. And we both laughed. I asked for his thoughts and because I had not brought paper I took notes on both sides of a bar napkin and carefully folded it and put it in my wallet before we left to say good night.
I am now halfway through April and deep into the second draft. This is more fun than I could ever have imagined.
As we closed the bar late that night, Christian said: “Our job is to create art and have fun.”
Thanks to Christian and Patrick, I’m learning that.
The impossible dream continues and maybe even is gathering steam. Sue Marinello, Onaje’s producer and her ever-talented daughter Katie, are marketing Onaje after its spectacular reception at the New York Fringe festival in October. During the preparation for Onaje’s...read more
The beauty of FringeNYC is that it demands creativity from the start at every level. By way of example, I want to introduce you to the creativity and resourcefulness of our director, Pat Golden, and producer, Sue Conover Marinello. ONAJE has set directions that...read more
I am continually humbled by the amazing talents of the people who have come together to help bring ONAJE to life at FringeNYC. Two standouts are our tenacious, indispensable producer, Sue Conover Marinello, and our inspired, insightful director, Pat Golden. I am...read more
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).
“Without the arts, we are a rudderless boat.”
— Robert Bowie, Jr.