Pioneering Playwright Kathleen Collins Celebrated in Oakland Theater Project’s ‘Begin the Beguine’

at 9:30 AM
Save ArticleSave Article

Failed to save article

Please try again

Kimberly Daniels (left) as A Woman and Dawn L. Troupe (right) as Marguerite Simpson in Oakland Theater Project's production of 'Begin the Beguine: A Quartet of One-Acts' by Kathleen Collins. (Photo credit: Carson French)

When film director, poet and playwright Kathleen Collins passed away in 1988, her work had yet to fully receive its due. Following the efforts of her daughter Nina Lorez Collins, her 1982 film “Losing Ground,” one of the first feature films directed by a Black American woman, received a theatrical release in 2015 — and is presently streaming for free on Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive’s website through July 6. Her books “Whatever Happened to Interracial Love?” and “Notes From a Black Woman’s Diary” were published in the past five years, and her collection of four one-act plays, entitled “Begin the Beguine,” is being performed by Oakland Theater Project via livestream and drive-in through July 3. We’ll talk with Oakland Theater Project co-directors Michael Socrates Moran and Dawn L. Troupe, who also stars in each of the four plays, about “Begin the Beguine” and Collins’ artistic legacy.


Dawn L. Troupe, education director, Oakland Theater Project, and co-director and star, "Begin the Beguine: A Quartet of One Acts"

Michael Socrates Moran, executive & co-artistic director, Oakland Theater Project, and co-director "Begin the Beguine: A Quartet of One Acts"