"An Echo in the Bone," Written by Dennis Scott
The Pan-African Theatre Ensemble at Kent State University will perform the 1974 Caribbean classic, a Jamaican play, An Echo in the Bone by Dennis Scott, directed by D. Amy-Rose Forbes-Erickson, Ph.D., in the African Community Theatre opening on Thursday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m. The African Community Theatre is located in Room 230 of Ritchie Hall, located at 225 Terrace Drive in Kent. A post-show discussion with members of the cast is scheduled following the performance and will stream on Facebook Live.
An Echo in the Bone is about a poor farming family in rural Jamaica in 1937 – with a father, Crew; mother, Rachel; two sons, Jacko and Son Son; and Jacko’s wife, “Bridget” – all descendants of enslaved Africans who continue to live and work on a sugar plantation in abject poverty after slavery ended in 1834. The play takes place during a nine-night ceremony, a traditional African-Jamaican ritual to usher departed loved ones to the afterlife. In the play, Mas’ Charlie is dead. Everyone suspects that Crew killed Mas’ Charlie, ran away and disappeared for nine days. His wife, Rachel, believes that her husband, Crew, is dead, and she decides to have a nine-night ritual in his honor. In the play, the nine-night ceremony explores what happened to Crew and to all the African ancestors through ritual spirit possession. Crew and the ancestors return to speak through the living from a 1792 capture on a slave ship off the coast of West Africa to Crew’s existence on a Jamaican sugar plantation in 1937.
An Echo in the Bone examines the burden of the greater crime: the crime of Crew killing the white plantation owner or the crime of slavery against enslaved peoples that led to Crew killing Mas’ Charlie in defense of his family’s survival.
Tickets are free for Kent State students, faculty and staff who show a valid Kent State ID. General audiences will be admitted for $10. Group reservations are by special arrangements and on a first-come, first-served basis. For group reservations, contact Dr. Forbes-Erickson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-672-0082.
Tickets can be purchased by visiting the African Community Theatre website or by contacting the Department of Pan-African Studies at 330-672-2300 or in person at the Pan-African Studies main office in Room 127 of Ritchie Hall, located at 225 Terrace Drive, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The box office opens at 6:30 p.m. the night of the show.
For more information about upcoming performances, visit www.kent.edu/pas/act.