Plays written by Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj
THE BALLAD OF TRAYVON MARTIN
HANSBERRY & BALDWIN
The Ballad of Trayvon Martin – (2M 2W) A poetic docudrama with music inspired by events surrounding the death of teenager Trayvon Martin on February 26, 2012, which took place in Sanford, Florida. Martin was shot and killed by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman who was acquitted for murder based on Florida’s highly controversial Stand Your Ground Law. The actors represent “America” and in their choices as an ensemble, should reflect the diverse racial and political landscape of the United States of America.
Hansberry & Baldwin – (2M 1W) A work of historical fiction based on a real-life meeting between Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, James Baldwin, and Lorraine Hansberry. The meeting took place in May 1963 in the middle of the one of the most critical years in American history. To many historians, this was a turning point in the civil rights movement and the future of a young republic. In 1963 the United States seemed on the verge of infrastructural collapse. There was open, violent, and active opposition to the federal government in many regions. Not since the Civil War had so many local and states governments defied the rule of law. Attorney General Robert Kennedy began a series of ‘secret’ meetings with civil rights activists and artists. This fateful gathering turned out to be the last of these meetings for a variety of reasons.
Little Rock – (5M 4W) The true story of The Little Rock Nine–the first blacks to volunteer to integrate Little Rock Central High School, the formerly segregated all-white public school in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1957. Told in memory, Little Rock artfully hurtles between past and present, challenge and triumph, hate and hope. It examines the unintended efforts of nine brave American teenagers forever thrust onto the national stage, unwittingly becoming agents of social change in the process–igniting the passions of a nation in the early dawn of the Civil Rights Movement, forever changing the face of education in America and giving hope to millions around the world in the generations to follow.
Mother Emanuel – (2M 2W) Mother Emanuel is a musical play which presents an interpretation of the events that transpired at Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on June 17, 2015. On that evening at around 8pm, a young white male named Dylann Roof entered the Bible Study which was occurring at the time and sat there until around 9:05pm when at that time he shot nine members of the Bible Study group. As we were not in the church that evening, the interpretation of their Bible Study is an homage to a specific religious experience. In the story telling, the piece travels through the past and present lives of these nine men and women. Mother Emanuel is a 90-minute piece and should be performed in one act with minimal props and costumes.
Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj is an Indo-Caribbean American artist, educator and activist. He was hailed in the New York Times as “one of the most talented directors in New York these days”. He is the Producing Artistic Director of Rebel Theater Company.
New York City selected Directing/Choreography credits include: The Public Theatre (365 Days, Memphis Minnie workshop), Classical Theatre of Harlem (Marat Sade), Lark Play Development Center (Man Measures Man, Breathe), New Federal Theatre (Diss Diss and Diss Dat), Rebel Theater (Othello: The Panther, Black Footnotes, Ghosts), Making Books Sing (Band of Angels, Shelter in my Car, Chachajis Cup), Amas Musical Theatre (Bubbling Brown Sugar, Damn Yankees, Mamma I Want to Sing, Magpie).
Regional selected Directing/Choreography credits include: Passage Theatre (Little Rock – 2015 Barrymore Award for Outstanding Ensemble in a Play), TheatreWorks (Little Rock), Signature Stage (Sweet Tea), Syracuse Stage (Godspell, Putting It Together starring Lillias White and Chuck Cooper),The Goodman Theatre (The Black Nativity) and Portland Stage Company (Master Harold and the Boys).
Selected residences: Freedom Theatre, Alliance Theatre, Kennedy Center, Crossroads Theatre, Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Amas Musical Theatre and Nuyorican Poets Cafe. Selected awards and grants: New Jersey Board of Chosen Freeholders Certificate of Honor, the Woodie King Jr. Award for Outstanding Direction, four Vivian Robinson AUDELCO awards, the Van Lier Directing Fellowship, Brooklyn Arts Council Grant, Winthrop Rockefeller Grant, Doris Duke Charitable Grant, Andrew W. Mellon Grant and Time Warner Diverse Voices Grant. Maharaj is an alumni of Lincoln Center Directors Lab and TCG Young Leaders of Color in the American Theater.
As a playwright, Maharaj has authored several plays, including Little Rock – a historical drama about the Little Rock Nine, Daisy, inspired by the life and legacy of the indomitable Daisy Lee Bates, Grey and Twenty-Five, Hansberry/Baldwin
Other Commissioned work includes: Diss Diss and Dis Dat, a new hip hop musical inspired by the music of the Funkie Natives; Grey and Twenty-Five; Black Footnotes (Sloan Grant/Ensemble Studio Theater); Little Rock (TCG/NEA New Generations Grant); Children of the Dream.
Co. Written and Co. Conceived work: The Ballad of Trayvon Martin (Co-Authored by Thomas J. Soto), The Wanderer (Co-Authored by Adam Mace and Christian Lee Branch),History of the Word, a new spoken word play with music; Exposures, an urban spoken word choreopoem.
Adapted work: Othello: The Panther (Adapted from Othello: The Moore); Ghosts by Ibsen “Jamaican adaptation” ; Abortion by O’Neill “Mississippi Night”; Black Nativity by Langston Hughes “Darfur Nativity”; Straight Outta Denmark (Adapted from Hamlet).
* Please note that some titles are handled by Dramatists Play Service, Samuel French, Dramatic Publishing, Broadway Play Publishing, and Playscripts.com. Please ask if you don’t see a particular play.