Asolo Rep Presents Dancing in the Blue Light

Categories: Stories of Impact, BELONGING AND CULTURE: Cultural Development & the Arts, Belonging and Culture,

Asolo Repertory Theatre’s new work development program, Ground Floor, will present a free staged reading of the play, Dancing in the Blue Light, conceived by Tomé Cousin and Monteze Freeland and written by Monteze Freeland on Friday, May 26, at 2:00 p.m., in the Asolo Rep Rehearsal Hall. This performance is free.

In this sexy, sultry play with music and dance, Cousin and Freeland capture the beating heart of a moment in time that needs to be remembered.

As the records spin in an underground club in 1960s Baltimore, a close-knit group of Black, same-gender-loving men and women meet once a week to drink, flirt and dance. In this small bubble, they are seemingly free of the pressures of the larger world, but past and present traumas haunt them, limiting their abilities to truly connect. With the streets above becoming increasingly unsafe, this small community must decide how far they will go to ensure their own survival.

Cousin, who will direct the reading, is a renowned director, choreographer and author who has won numerous awards and commissions for his work in musical theater, ballet, film and art installations. He has received recognition from organizations such as the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

The writer of the play, Freeland, is a Baltimore-based multidisciplinary artist who excels in acting, directing,writing, producing and teaching. He is the current Co-Artistic Director of City Theatre Company, was named Person of the Year for Theatre in 2021 by City Paper and Performer of the Year in 2017 by the Post-Gazette. Freeland’s directing credits include various productions at City Theatre, Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company, Prime Stage Theater, CLO Summer Academy and Pittsburgh Public Theater.

This reading is the second event in Ground Floor’s new Muriel O’Neil American Heritage Commission Series, which is set to commission three plays by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) playwrights and directors over the next three years, made possible by a generous $75,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Sarasota County.