Crumbs from the Table of Joy
Nov. 7-17, 2013
Directed by Lou Bellamy
About the play:
Recently widowed Godfrey and his daughters Ernestine and Ermina move from Florida to Brooklyn for a better life. Not knowing how to parent,
Godfrey turns to religion, and especially to Father Divine, for answers. The girls absorb their new surroundings, but not necessarily religion.
As the racial and social issues of the late 1950s escalate, personal issues between Godfrey and Lily, his sister-in-law, explode.
Ernestine Crump (Gabrielle Chavers) begins the story of her family,
seated on the front steps of their home.
Godfrey Crump (Reginald D. Haney) sits with his daughters, Ernestine
(Gabrielle Chavers, left) and Ermina (Kristin Marie Ambrose).
Ernestine (Gabrielle Chavers) dances with their aunt Lily (Carnetha Anthony)
while Ernestine's sister, Ermina (Kristin Marie Ambrose, looks disgusted.
On the train, Godrey (Reginald D. Haney) meets Gerte Schulte (Kendra Verhage).
When Godrey announces that he and Gerte have married, the girls are shocked.
Gerte dances on the table...or at least that's what
Ernestine wishes had happened.
Lily (Carnetha Anthony) and Gerte (Kendra Verhage) dance...or is it in Ernestine's imagination?
Lou Bellamy speaks about his life and this show on "On Stage"
The director was also featured in a piece written for the President's Commission on Diversity
About the playwright:
Born in 1964, Brooklyn based playwright Lynn Nottage established a relationship with both the art of narrating a story and political commitment
– the two driving forces behind her work – early in life. Her grandmother, an extraordinary storyteller, and her mother, a political activist who
participated in the Civil Rights and the Feminist movements, had a large impact on who Nottage is today: A politically engaged playwright.
After Nottage received a Master of Fine Arts from the Yale University School of Drama, she worked as a press officer for Amnesty International
for four years until she started writing plays. Although her plays deal with very different subject matters and take place in different settings, they
all have one similarity: In each of them we find a strong woman – a “Warrior Woman.”
Her Pulitzer Prize-winning play Ruined premiered at Manhattan Theatre Club and Goodman Theatre (OBIE, Lucille Lortel, New York Drama
Critics’ Circle, Audelco, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Play). It subsequently toured widely throughout US regional theatres
and premiered internationally at the Almeida Theatre in London. The play has since been produced throughout the world, including Cambodia, Chad,
The Caribbean, The Democratic Republic of Congo, and Germany. Her other plays include Intimate Apparel (American Theatre Critics and New York
Drama Critics’ Circle Awards for Best Play); Fabulation, or The Re-Education of Undine (OBIE Award); Crumbs from the Table of Joy; Las Meninas;
Mud, River, Stone; Por’knockers and POOF!.
Lou Bellamy (far left) works on her delivery with Gabrielle Chavers (seated) who plays Ernestine, through whose
eyes the show is seen. In the foreground are Godfrey (Reginald D. Haney) and Ermina (Kristin Marie Ambrose).
Nottage is the recipient of the 2010 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award, the Dramatists Guild Hull-Warriner Award, the inaugural Horton Foote
Prize for Outstanding New American Play (Ruined), Helen Hayes Award (Ruined), the Lee Reynolds Award, and the Jewish World Watch iWitness Award.
Her other honors include the 2007 MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant,” the National Black Theatre Festival’s August Wilson Playwriting Award, the
2005 Guggenheim Grant for Playwriting, the 2004 PEN/Laura Pels Award for Drama, as well as fellowships from the Lucille Lortel Foundation, Manhattan
Theatre Club, New Dramatists and New York Foundation for the Arts. She is a graduate of Brown University and the Yale School of Drama, where she is
currently a visiting lecturer. She is a co-founder and producer at Market Road Films LLC, a film production company.
Read more about Lynn Nottage at her website: http://www.lynnnottage.com/index.html
Read an interview with Nottage here: http://www.guernicamag.com/interviews/history-of-omission/
View an interview with Nottage here: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/art/blog/2009/06/extended-interview-lynn-nottage.html
Lou Bellamy and Lynn Nottage
About the director:
Lou Bellamy (a Minnesota State Mankato alum) is the founder and artistic director of Penumbra Theatre. During his 35-year tenure, Penumbra has
evolved into one of America’s premier theaters dedicated to dramatic exploration of the African American experience. Under his leadership, Penumbra
has grown to be the largest theater of its kind in America and has produced 35 world premieres, including August Wilson’s first professional production.
Penumbra is proud to have produced more of Mr. Wilson’s plays than any theater in the world. Bellamy is an OBIE Award-winning director, an accomplished
actor, and for 38 years was appointed as an Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota in the Department of Theatre Arts and Dance. Select
directing credits include Penumbra’s co-production of A Raisin in the Sun with Cleveland Playhouse and Arizona Theatre Company, Radio Golf and Jitney
at Kansas City Repertory, Penumbra’s production of Gem of the Ocean presented at the Guthrie, Radio Golf, Fences, Seven Guitars and The Piano Lesson
at Penumbra, Two Trains Running at the Signature Theatre in New York and Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Fences at Denver Center for the Performing Arts,
and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom at the Kennedy Center. Most recently, Mr. Bellamy directed Two Trains Running at Penumbra, the Penumbra and Arizona
Theatre Company co-production of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom staged in Phoenix, Tucson and the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the world
premiere of I Wish You Love by Dominic Taylor staged at Penumbra Theatre, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and Hartford Stage.
Select awards include the 2006 McKinght Distinguished Artist Award, the first IVEY Life-time Achievement Award, Doctor of Arts Hamline University,
The W. Harry Davis Foundation Award for Leadership in Afrocentric Education, and the Minnesota Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award.
Penumbra Theatre Official Website: http://www.penumbratheatre.org/
Read an interview with Lou Bellamy: http://www.decorahnewspapers.com/main.asp?SectionID=10&SubSectionID=37&ArticleID=21706