Featured: Their Eyes Were Watching God
Monday, March 05, 2012
Above is the first half of the two hour broadcast of the radio drama, "Their Eyes Were Watching God." Aired Sept. 14th 2012 on 93.9FM.
Download part two here.
Commemorating the 75th anniversary of the original publication and to herald its place as a seminal work in the American literary tradition, The Greene Space at WNYC and WQXR has been presenting a multiplatform exploration of the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God.
The most noted two events among this series is the radio drama adaptation of Hurston's 1937 novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, performed on February 29th and March 1st, both sold out shows. Set in the 1920s, Their Eyes Were Watching God is the story of Janie Crawford -- free-spirited and in search of life and her authentic self -- as she undertakes an unexpected journey that includes marriages to three different men, challenging the morals and social expectations of the small Southern town that serves as the narrative backdrop.
The play, which can be watched on thegreenspace.org, is directed by Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson and adapted by award-winning writer Arthur Yorinks, who has written and directed for theater, opera, film dance and radio. The exceptional cast included the first African American woman to receive a Tony Award for "Best Performance by a Lead Actress in a Play," Phylicia Rashad. The performance also stars Tony Award Winners Leslie Uggams (Hallelujah, Baby!; Thoroughly Modern Millie) as Grandmother and Chuck Cooper (The Life; Caroline, or Change) as Joe Starks, Roslyn Ruff as Janie, and Brandon Dirden as Tea Cake. The presentation also features original composition by blues master Bill Sims, Jr., with sound design by Ricardo Fernandez and lighting design by Jeannette Yew.
The radio play, which The New York Times notes as a "presentation of Their Eyes Were Watching God that American audiences have never heard or seen before," is highlighted in cross-cultural sources throughout the web including: The New Yorker, The Root, The Millions, Urban Radio Nation, Harlem Views, Playbill and Cherchez la Curl.
Rashad discuss her role in the adaptation in her interview on CNN's Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien.
LISTEN to Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Seven Guitars, Stick Fly), director of the radio play, discuss on The Leonard Lopate Show how teaming up with cultural driving forces such as Indira Etwaroo, Executive Producer at The Greene Space, became a blessing for artists like himself and Zora Neale Hurston, delivering to them a "platform" to produce their creative message.
As part of the series, The Greene Space team produced "A Journey to Eatonville" that explores the Florida town that Zora Neale Hurston called home. There the team unearthed the history of Jim Crowe laws and the lives of African Americans in the deep South. Explore with The Greene Space as they interview the people of Eatonville who helped reveal stories of Hurston's legacy.
LEARN from the brains behind the project how the Zora Neale Hurston 75th anniversary commemoration developed from an idea into a multidimensional celebration. All on Their Eyes Were Watching God video page.
WOMEN WRITERS ON THE HORIZON with Alice Walker, Sonia Sanchez and Ruby Dee. Moderated by Zora’s niece, Lucy Anne Hurston.
Wednesday, March 28 at 7pm
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
The 75th Anniversary of Zora Neale Hurston’s
THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD