Storytales: John Edgar Wideman With an Inglish Beat

Ford Amphitheatre

“I have a belly brain,” says WordTheatre artistic director Cedering Fox, “and when I’m really connecting to something my belly goes nuts.” Fox is explaining her passion for what she does over the phone. It’s contagious. My tummy begins to flutter. She cherishes the spoken word and the way universal stories share what it is to be human. So she creates theater from actors reading contemporary short stories.

“I get these wonderful writers and their stories, and I cast great actors doing the reading,” she explains. “I direct the actors, and they bring the stories to life so it is the most magical, simplest, purest form of theater — just storytelling.”

On Saturday, October 6, at the Ford Amphitheatre, WordTheatre presents Storytales, featuring the latest work of John Edgar Wideman, recited by a list of aurally recognizable talent, including Keith David, Dennis Haysbert, Marla Gibbs, Roger Guenveur Smith, and Lynn Whitfield.

Fox started WordTheatre 10 years ago. The nonprofit is dedicated to keeping language and literature alive. “And we do that by getting the best writers of short stories in the English-speaking world,” declares Fox.

Wideman is a one-time Rhodes scholar, recipient of a MacArthur genius grant and the first writer to earn the PEN/Faulkner fiction award twice. He is also a tenured English professor at Brown University and now a dear friend to Fox.

Fox had her first brush with Wideman in New York in 2009, when she directed Lynn Whitfield reading one of his stories. …

Read full article at LA Stage Times

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