By Eagle Newswire
Theatre North will present “The Griifins,” written and directed by Dr. Rodney L. Clark at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center (TPAC) on Friday, May 31 at 8 p.m., Saturday, June 1 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, June 2 at 3 p.m.
It is a hot summer in 1921. Alex and Mattie Griffin are successful entrepreneurs on Black Wall Street, a bustling African American business district in Tulsa, Okla. The planned lynching of a black 19-year-old (Dick Rowland) for allegedly raping a white teen (Sarah Page) in an elevator sparks one of the worst incidents of racial violence in U.S. history. This play relates the true events of that time from the perspective of the fictional Griffin family.
“Theatre North is proud to produce Clark’s original play ‘The Griffins.’ This play says a lot about how a family dealt with the Tulsa Race Riot in 1921,” said Maybelle Wallace, Executive Director of Theatre North.
SynCeerae Robbins plays the part of Mrs. Mattie Griffin, a mother of eight children, married, with both her and her husband owning flourishing businesses on Greenwood district during 1921. She owns a seamstress shop, and her husband, Mr. Alex Griffin (John Davis), a shoe shop. According to Robbins, “This play depicts the events and emotions that transpire on the day of the 1921 Tulsa Massacre. It revolves around true facts and how it has affected Tulsa history.”
Brittni Logan who plays the role of the eldest Griffin daughter said, “This play opened my eyes to actually embracing the emotions of what lead up to the Tulsa Race Riot/ Massacre from a family point of view. It’s been a challenge embodying this role but a great experience. It gives me a chance to learn Tulsa’s black history in a different way; a way that makes you ‘feel’ the history, aside from reading or hearing about it.”
Playwright Rodney Clark has written several plays. He is most noted for the gospel musical comedy “Reverend I’m Available.” Clark has a B.A. in Theatre from the University of Washington, a M.F.A. in Film from Howard University and an Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration from Oklahoma State University. Clark says, “the play is educational and enjoyable for the entire family.”
The cast also includes: Dion Berryhill, Taylor Horner, Earnest Kellum, Ken’ Lisha Page, Terreal Galloway, Kendell Page and Eva Turner.
The production is made possible by the Arts & Humanities Council, the Allied Arts of Tulsa and the John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation.
For tickets contact www.tulsapac.com or call 918-596-7111.
This article originally appeared in the Oklahoma Eagle.