Streaming Production Concept by Joe Morton
Video Design and Editing by Jared Mezzocchi
Vineyard Theatre Artistic Directors Douglas Aibel and Sarah Stern announce the company’s second original cast benefit reading, reuniting renowned actors Joe Morton (“Scandal”) and Sally Murphy (August: Osage County) for Oppenheimer Award-winning playwright and poet Cornelius Eady’s (Vineyard’s You Don’t Miss The Water) play, Brutal Imagination. Directed by Joe Morton, this digitally staged reading includes video design by Jared Mezzocchi and is available for on demand streaming from May 20 – June 3.
Twenty years after first premiering at The Vineyard in 2001, Brutal Imagination remains a potent examination of racial attitudes in America. The play is based on Eady’s poem cycle which explores the notorious 1994 incident in which Susan Smith, a white woman from South Carolina, claimed that a Black man had kidnapped her children. The FBI searched for the man until Smith confessed that she had invented him and had in fact drowned her children. Brutal Imagination, two voices inside one consciousness, brings this invented man to life.
Joe Morton shares, “One of the things that sparked coming back to Brutal Imagination was the Amy Cooper incident when she was using race and the police department as a weapon against a man who was actually doing her no harm. It reminded Cornelius and I about what this play is about.”
“We hope this play will be part of discussions about how we imagine or try to imagine what a future, a multicultural future, looks like,” says Cornelius Eady. “That to me is the heart of the struggle. This is part of the push that is going on. And the arts are part of this push… you have to imagine it before you can walk into it.”
The original Vineyard Theatre world-premiere production was directed by Diane Paulus, with original music by Diedre L. Murray.
Proceeds from this original cast reading will support the artists and programs in The Vineyard’s 2020-2021 Season. Tickets are available with a minimum donation of $25 and are available for purchase at www.vineyardtheatre.org/brutal-imagination-2/. The third and final reading of this series will be announced soon.