2016 is off to a fast start and the pace promises to be brisk. In February for Black History Month the History Theatre in St. Paul will be producing my new play George Bonga: Black Voyageur.
I knew nothing about Minnesota History until I took up research to write this play and what I discovered was a rich, complex, multicultural world of powerful Indian nations, European powers and a new and undercapitalized America in a tense rivalry over the trade in beaver fur. And among all these different races and nations standing almost singular unto himself is the black, mixed blood trader and voyageur George Bonga, a man as legendary as Paul Bunyan, except he was real.
I hope you will take part and join us!
With best wishes,
George Bonga:Black Voyageur
written by Carlyle Brown
directed by Marion McClinton
February 6–February 28, 2016
1837. Trekking for six days and six nights in a blistering cold Minnesota winter, legendary Boundary Waters voyageur George Bonga is tasked with tracking down a fugitive Ojibwe warrior accused of murdering a white man. A multilingual man of mixed blood, Bonga lived on the boundaries of Black, White, and Ojibwe. Is Bonga really tracking down a murderer, or is he chasing his own demons?