Blues In My Coffee by Ted Lange
Two Black guys are sitting enjoying their coffees at Starbucks, when in walk the women of their dreams: Susie a classical musician and a quintessential vanilla blonde and Daphne a teacher at NYU and an intellectual dark roast. Comedy and romance ensue, but they also taste complex realities as they experience soulful blues and ethnic differences.
Ted Lange, a graduate of London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, has won numerous awards for acting, directing, and writing during his prolific 50-year career. Perhaps best known for his role as Isaac Washington the bartender in television's The Love Boat, Lange's true love is theater. He's earned many stage awards, including the Renaissance Man Theatre Award from the NAACP and the Paul Robeson Award from the American Film Institute.
Lange has written 25 plays including Blues in My Coffee which he will direct during the PNMC festival. It's a relationship comedy/drama about the political issues surrounding Black Lives Matter.
Lange's quest is to weave African American experiences into stories that entertain and educate by using current events as themes. He wrote Four Queens - No Trump in reponse to a colleague's challenge to write a play for Black actresses over 40. He wrote in his Author's Notes, "I started hearing the voices of women in my life speak ... ethnically centered, bodacious, brazen, and bawdy."
Lange, who wrote The Footnote Historian, specializes in researching little known historical facts and bringing alive lost moments of Black history; for example, George Washington’s Boy, the story of George Washington’s favorite slave, Billy Lee.
Lange's understanding of the transcendent relevance of Shakespeare inspired his play, written in verse, The Cause, My Soul, the Prequel to Othello, which won the NAACP Theatre Best Play of 2017. Lange also wrote, directed, and produced Born a Unicorn, a rock ‘n roll musical depicting the life of Black Shakespearean actor, Ira Aldridge.
Here is some wisdom Lange likes to share: “The duty of the Artist is to find his muse, then let her rip.”
Saturday 19th August
CELEBRITY READING: Blues in My Coffee
Writer: Ted Lange
Blues In My Coffee is a romantic comedy with robust edges and a surprise at the end of the drink. Two black guys have just ordered their favorite coffees in Starbucks. Walker is a comic book geek and desires all things blonde including his Blonde Vanilla Lattee, a vanilla creation through and through. Alonzo T. Sterling is only a few credits shy of his degree, wants to be a chef, and prefers a two shot of Dark Roast Expresso.
Thursday 17th August
PANEL DISCUSSION: Celebrating our Icons Together: Trailblazers from the Past Impacting Our Present and Future
PANEL DISCUSSION: Celebrating our Icons Together: Trailblazers from the Past Impacting Our Present and Future in the Roosevelt room.
Artists of Color (AOC) have always been a part of American theater, film and television. Despite limited opportunities, these panelists prevailed and created a powerful and inspirational legacy.
This panel will bring together living legends who will share their stories and knowledge with current and emerging artists of the future.
Allie Woods, Sr., original founder of the Negro Ensemble Company; veteran theatre artist with 200 direction/performance/academic appointments in the U.S. and Internationally
Ted Lange, prolific author, educator, director, and actor of stage and screen
Starletta DuPois, veteran character actress
Regina Taylor, veteran actress, director, playwright, educator, and activist
Professor Vera J. Katz, director and professor emerita from Howard University Department of Theatre Arts; faculty the Duke Ellington School of the Arts
Phillip Bernard Smith, veteran stage actor