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Black Spectrum Theatre takes show on the road

The Black Spectrum Theatre, the community-based production company that brings high-quality stage...

By David Satinoff

Trying to get to a musical performance can be a harrowing ordeal. Getting there seems to never be a drive in the park, but there is a nearby alternative.

The Black Spectrum Theatre, the community-based production company that brings high-quality stage productions of some of the most noted, award-winning plays, as well as concerts by well-known international artists, has a new feature that is just the answer to a family that dreams of going to a spectacular show without the hassle of the trip.

Black Spectrum Theatre has introduced the Theatre on Wheels, a fully equipped stage and sound facility that can be transported to any suitable location for concerts, plays or any type of show.

“It’s an exciting new way to reach diverse audiences and bring theater and entertainment to underserved communities,” said Black Spectrum Theatre Executive Director and Founder Carl Clay.

The traveling stage will be home to performances throughout the tri-state area, setting up in malls, parks, campsites, sporting events and city streets, and can be seen at festivals and concerts presenting scintillating entertainment to people who might not otherwise get the chance.

The shows run the gamut of genres and there is something for every age group. There are shows specifically for young children and teens, as well as productions of award-winning Broadway stage plays like August Wilson’s “The Piano Lesson,” which recently headed to North Carolina to participate at the National Black Theatre Festival.

The mobile theatre is set to tour with a production of Clay’s own play, “Clear Vision.” The play, which is being promoted as a “hip-hop musical about a homeboy who gets pregnant,” is a humorous look at the issue of teen pregnancy.

In the story, gender roles are reversed to show a young man how it would feel to be on the young woman’s side of the dilemma. It deploys fantasy to turn the tables on the male lead character, Quest, who (like countless teens in the same predicament) finds himself in the position of dealing with the awesome responsibility of having gotten his girlfriend pregnant. He wants no part of it, until something out of “The Twilight Zone” chills him to the core of his budding manhood, and puts him in his place — and hers.

“Clear Vision” is a morality play on an issue teens are faced with every day as naïve, careless young lovers grapple with their desires and the risks and consequences of their actions. It rings true to its billing of “a comedy nightmare.”

The tour dates and locations are:

Thursday, July 17 at Baisley Park, 7 p.m.

Saturday, July 19 at St. Albans Park, noon.

Thursday, July 24 in Springfield Park, 7 p.m.

Saturday, July 26 at the Church of the Nazarene, 2 p.m.

Thursday, July 31 at Rufus King Park, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 2 at Brookville Park, 6 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 16 at Liberty Park, 12:30 p.m.

The theatre on wheels has reached more than 50,000 people in its four years of operation. The facility can be rented by anyone who wants to put on a show and bring it right to their audience.

The facility is a state-of-the-art modern marvel that hydraulically turns from trailer to full stage in an hour and a half. It has been used by organizations such as Planned Parenthood, Queens Hospital Center, Project Give Back, the Rochdale Mall and the Puerto Rican Day Parade.

The custom trailer has a stage area measuring 32-by-24 feet, has a 24-foot height from ground to its convertible roof, and is elevated five feet from the ground. It boasts a full concert lighting and sound system, a stairway to the stage, a loading ramp, concert dress banners and an impressive 35-foot RV-type vehicle that is suitable as a dressing room or production office.

For any type of show, whether musical review, play, dance recital, fashion show or something that’s never been seen before, Black Spectrum’s Theatre on Wheels full production-capable portable stage is a technical solution for anyone wanting to bring great entertainment right to their audiences doorstep.

For more information, call 718-723-1800.

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