Harris’ intention is two fold; first, to collaborate with two of Detroit’s finest artists, Reverend Robert Jones (a master blues historian and guitarist) and Aku Kadogo (an innovative stage director). Harris also wants to explore two possibilities of the theatrical experience: simple and complex.
Have Mercy is a demonstration of theater at its most basic, in the tradition of Homer and African djelis, or griots. In it, Bill Harris reads a one-act monologue accompanied by Reverend Robert Jones. It is a tale of an old blues musician recalling a transitional moment when he was faced with a life threatening temptation.
Excerpt from Booker T. & Them is an example of theater transferred from the page to the stage, taking advantage of the technical possibilities of the craft. Aku Kadogo is directing an excerpt taken from Booker T. & Them: A Blues, Harris’ book on the era of Booker T. Washington. Based on the myth of John Henry, that steel driving man, this passage presents an imagined life-threatening confrontation between Booker T. and his arch nemesis, Jim Crow.
Learn more about Bill Harris @ www.kresgeartsindetroit.org