Vernel Bagneris is a playwright, actor, and dancer. He wrote, directed, and acts in the musical "One Mo' Time," now playing in Philadelphia. The musical is set in 1920s' New Orleans and draws heavily on the jazz from that time and place. It centers around a touring group of vaudevillians performing at the segregated Lyric Theater. Bagneris describes it as a "piece on Black theater history." He joins the show to discuss the musical, the black vaudeville circuit, black face, and the benefits of live performance.
The married couple joins Fresh Air's Terry Gross to discuss their experiences a black actors, the need for strong African American writers for theater and television, and their work to promote new works by and about marginalized groups.
Actor, director, and choreographer Maurice Hines comes from the famous tap-dancing family. He is the founder of the company Ballet Tap U. S. A. Hines appears in the film "Cotton Club." Hines joins the show to discuss working as a child with his father and brother, Gregory, touring Europe, learning ballet at the age of 30, the difference between "up-in-the-air," and "close-to-the-floor" tap dance, break-dancing, and the great dancers of film.
Television actor Dorian Harewood is known for roles in Roots, Strike Force, and Trauma Center. He stars in a new miniseries as groundbreaking athlete Jesse Owens. Harewood joins Fresh Air's Danny Miller to talk about the making of the program, as well as Owens' career.
Actor Danny Glover. He stared with Mel Gibson in "Lethal Weapon," and appeared in "Places in the Heart" and "The Color Purple." He stared over the summer in the Broadway presentation of Athol Fugard's "Master Harold and the Boys." He can been seen on television this Sunday night in "Mandela," an HBO presentation.
Wayans wrote, directed, and starred in the new movie I'm Gonna Git You, Sucka, which is both a parody of and homage to the blaxploitation movies of the 1970s. He says those films were notable for creating more complex roles for African American men.
Martin Bauml Duberman was personally selected by Robeson's son to write about the legendary African American actor and activist. Duberman says he brought to bear own experiences in the theater and as a gay man while working on the book. He joins Fresh Air to discuss his research, as well Robeson's political activity and the effect government surveillance had on his mental health.
Winfield won an Academy Award for his role in Sounders, and is a featured actor in the television show Wiseguy. He joins Fresh Air to talk about his career to date, and his involvement with black arts and civil rights movements.
Actor AVERY BROOKS. He reached stardom with his TV portrayal of "Hawk," the strong, almost silent partner in the detective series "Spenser for Hire." He took that character into its own series last season. Brooks brings to his TV work the same concern for African-American culture that has marked his stage career and his life. He won acclaim for his reinterpretation of the Harriet Beecher-Stowe character "Uncle Tom" in a production on the Showtime cable channel, and for his stage portrayal of Paul Robeson.