The St. Louis Black Repertory Company has a knack for dramatically creating the life of the African-American Everywoman -- which is the subject of Pearl Cleage's plays. Cleage (pictured) is known not only for her plays but her other writings, including the novel What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day and the essay collection Mad at Miles: A Black Woman's Guide to Truth (in which she threatens to destroy all of her Miles Davis recordings after discovering his history of domestic abuse and battery). Last year, the Black Rep produced Cleage's Blues for an Alabama Sky, a story involving the Harlem Renaissance, which received reviews overflowing with jubilation and praise. The selection of Cleage's work chosen by the Black Rep this year is Bourbon at the Border, a more contemporary piece. Featuring five-time Woody Award winner Linda Kennedy, the play tells the story of a couple haunted by their roles in the civil-rights movement of the '60s.
-- James A. Duffy