Dezart Performs, in partnership with Brothers of the Desert are presenting a live staged reading of Speak My Words, Tell My Truth by Lorenz Qatava Sunday in Palm Springs.

The single performance of the two-act play in poetry and verse will be held at 2 PM at the Pearl McManus Theater, 314 South Cahuilla Road. Tickets are $25 and are available at the Dezart Performs website here. Proceeds from the performance will support the work of Brothers of the Desert.

Combining poetry, history, and storytelling, the play focuses on the lives and works of Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, Essex Hemphill, E. Lynn Harris, Tarrell Alvin McCraney, and other seminal Black writers and activists. Through imagined intergenerational dialogues with each other and with a contemporary young Black gay man, audience members learn how their words transformed American culture, race relations, and acceptance of homosexuality.  Previous versions of Speak My Words, Tell My Truth have been performed at Coachella Valley Rep and Portland’s PDX Playwrights.

The seven-actor production is directed by Yvans Jourdain, who along with numerous television credits, has appeared in a recurring role on the popular sitcom Parks and Recreation as Councilman Howser. Jourdain’s last live directorial project was the critically acclaimed performance of Jenelle Lynn Randall in I Wanna Be Evil:  The Eartha Kitt Story, at the LA Fringe Festival, an online version which was presented this past April.

Playwright, novelist, and poet Lorenz Qatava is the author of the gay romance novel Rain After the Fire and a second stage play On the Verge about Black gay men responding to the Black Lives Matter protests.  He occasionally teaches courses on African American poetry and civil rights history at Southern Oregon University and at the California State University San Bernardino.

As an Equity-sanctioned professional theatre, Dezart Performs draws on the rich talent pool both locally and from the surrounding southern California region, making it unique in its ability to cast gifted amateurs alongside experienced professionals.  Brothers of the Desert is a non-profit community organization that provides a network of support for Black gay men and allies in the Coachella Valley.

For the health, safety and well-being of patrons, staff and artists, this event requires attendees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Upon arrival, guests must present a photo ID along with proof that they meet the CDC definition of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19, either in the form of a physical vaccination card or a photo of the card

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