By Paul Dobbs
Hoping to set up what Steve Barboza called “a mirror in front of black people,” about 35 students established the BU Black Drama Collective Monday night, in a meeting at the George Sherman Union.
The group intends to regularly produce plays relevant to the black community. Unfunded at the moment, the collective will register with the University’s Program Resource Office in hopes of obtaining some sort of
financial support, Barboza said. The group will also investigate tapping other financial sources inside the University, he said.
“The purpose of the collective is to see what we have, what we can offer to each other as blacks,” said Barboza. “We’d like to act as a semi-spokesman for black people on campus and to integrate social and academic life for them.”
Immediate plans call for workshops in writing, sensitivity, method, acting, improvisation, and dicton. The collective is seeking stage directors, typists, photographers, artists and a publicity staff, as well as actors and playwrights.
Functioning as a true collective, the members will rotate from one workshop to the next, contributing talents in one, learning skills in another, Barboza said. The group hopes to utilize the specialized skills of blacks at SPC and SFAA. Films or dance
presentations could be possible outshoots of work done in the acting and body movement workshops, one collective member noted.
If the collective is successful, Barboza envisions it going on the road with popular productions, perhaps to prisons or other schools or in-town theathers, performing and absorbing talents and ideas from outside BU. “We can create what we want to create … realistic, abstract plays, satires, it’s up to the black community. All we need is work,” he said.
Barboza acknowledged the success of UMOJA and Akili Ni
Mali, BU’s major black organizations, but said he felt that a powerful black organization was lacking. “We would like to support the black community in a totally different way. We’d like to stimulate it, invigorate blacks’ lives with their own lives, their own activity and their minds.”
Undergraduate playwright, Tony Martin summed up the hopes of the collectives’ first meeting, “We can be the smoker of the campus, but we’ve got to be unified.”