Playwright, Producer, Director, and Scholar, Kenthedo Robinson, presents another riveting work filled with history and inspiration: The Buffalo Hero of World War I: Based on a True Story.
Ignoring his fears and looking death in the face, armed with the light of his mother’s spirit, Wayne Miner entered history at a time when he was not considered an equal. Robinson’s play is the true tale of Pvt. Wayne Miner, a “Buffalo Soldier,” who valiantly volunteered to take artillery to the front-line during World War I even when fellow soldiers refused. Miner, a son of slaves, took the credo of the Buffalo Soldier to heart: “Deeds Not Words.” Featured in the cast: Chaelene Mulgrave, Darrell Wyatt, Shatique Brown, Ms. D., Timothy Walsh, Bereket Mengistu, Mark Robinson. Lighting Design by Isaac Winston (Lighting Technician: Phillip Iweriebor); Sound Design by Mark Robinson and Mr. Robinson also serves as set designer.
Performances are Thursday, May 9 & 16; Friday, May 10 & 17; all at 7:00 p.m.; Saturday, May 11 & 18 at 2:00 & 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, May 19 at 3:00 p.m. with tickets available on Brownpapertickets.com. Admission is $25 ($20 Teacher/Student Discount Code: STBH; $20 Senior Citizens Discount Code: SCTBH; $20 Veterans Discount Code: VTBH; Special Mother’s Day Brunch Performance, Sunday, May 12: $40 includes brunch from 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. with the performance at 5:00 p.m.). The production will be at The American Theatre of Actors, 314 W. 54th Street, NYC, Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or Kenthedo@gmail.com or 917-523-2823) for further info.
Buffalo Soldiers originally were members of the 10th Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army, formed in 1866. This nickname was given to the Black Cavalry by Native American tribes who fought in the Indian Wars. The term eventually became synonymous with all the African-American regiments formed in 1866. Although several African American regiments were raised during the Civil War as part of the Union Army, the “Buffalo Soldiers” were established by Congress as the first peacetime all-black regiments in the regular U.S. Army.
OuterStage wanted to speak with a couple of the actors creating this play for the stage – including Darrell Wyatt, who has the responsibility of playing the title character.
“My name is Darrell Wyatt & I am playing “Wayne Miner.” I’m an artist that has composed his craft from an eclectic range of life & times. My style comes from every day circumstances of not only my own, but everyone & everything around me. Really, there’s nothing else to work with as an actor when the only tool you possess is yourself. Any role I commit to I feel a strong sense of responsibility; however when dealing with “Wayne Miner” who fell victim to being a “Soldier of Misfortune,” he is quintessentially the epitome of “The American Hero.” His untold story of being the last American to die 3 hours before armistice in WWI, having to carry ammunition to soldiers on the front line, and never receiving the proper firearm training shows honor, loyalty, and bravery. A lot of movies show fictional heroes that win the viewer over given circumstances that aren’t even real. Wayne Miner is more than “The Real McCoy,” he is one of the truest soldiers to die in one of the most legendary wars of all time. He is “The Buffalo Hero.”
We also spoke with actor/writer/producer, Tim Walsh, about his take on this powerful story.
“I am a playwright as well as an actor, and have produced several of my plays Off-Broadway. I earned an MFA in Theatre Performance from Case Western Reserve University and possess regional credits that include the Milwaukee Rep., Great Lakes Shakespeare in Cleveland, OH, and The National Theatre of the Deaf … and a bunch here in NYC.
There is a very strong sense of responsibility when tackling a character/play as [my role of…] Captain Blu in The Buffalo Hero: The Wayne Miner Story. As an Artist, you always want to be believable with your performance. Having a character whose morals, judgement, racial perceptions and ambitions are so far from my own personal convictions, presents an enormous challenge.
As an Artist, I start with the script and the written words. What my character says and his actions as well as what other characters say about the character and how they react to him. On paper, Captain Blu is not a person I would want to give the time of day or any type of acknowledgment. So, I start with trying to find the qualities that I can relate to. Captain Blu is passionate, has a sense of loyalty, loves family, ambitious, wants to please and be a success. These are positive qualities and qualities I share and understand. That is where I start. As an Artist, I feel a responsibility to find compassion for this ‘character’, to dig deeper than what is on the surface and find the inner life. What drives him and why do his words and actions manifest into a perceived ugliness. Will he be liked? Probably not. But, hopefully, the performance can give an insight and understanding to the character…and maybe a little compassion.
The performance, along with the writing, has a responsibility to give the audience a deep insight into the character and the World in which these characters exist. To see the character as more than one dimension.
Also, this being a ‘Period’ piece, based on actual events, actual people, real-life circumstances and locations, there is a necessary responsibility for the actor/artist (this would include setting, sound, lighting and prop designers) to research every aspect of that time period and the views and attitudes of the different Social structures and Social classes of that time. As an Artist, I need to understand how to walk, talk the body language and hope that it’s Captain Blu the audience is seeing and not Timmy from 2019 Brooklyn, NY.”