The beautiful Hamlet of Bloomfield has certainly had a treasure-trove of talent walk the halls of its schools – everyone from Tony Award Winner Actress/Singer Anika Noni Rose to Pro Football player and Super Bowl Champ Dwight Freeney (both originally from Bloomfield)– today we add to these illustrious BHS alumni – their current BHS Principal and Bloomfield resident- Jesse White III. Mr. White along with the following fellow cast of fathers – Abdul-Rahmann I. Muhammad, Demetrius Chamblee, and Malik S. Champlain will be on stage participating in a four-performance engagement of the “Fatherhood Manologues,” a storytelling event featuring four fathers celebrating and navigating the challenges of modern fatherhood. The show will be performed Saturday, March 11 and Sunday, March 12 at 2pm and 7:30pm both days at HartBeat Ensemble’s Carriage House Theater (360 Farmington Avenue) in Hartford, CT.
“One of the lines in my Manologue states “the mark of a great father is that his children want to transcend his work.” – You’ll have to see the production to make sense of why I say that”
remarks Mr. White who has three daughters, Savannah, Sarah and Sadie. When asked why it was important to be part of this production and the writing process – Mr. White further remarked, “I am humbled and elated to be a part of this production for several reasons. The camaraderie among the cast members is phenomenal. I learn something from each rehearsal. I truly believe that the message about the importance of fatherhood is one that needs to be shared clearly and consistently. This is a production with a purpose. Each member of the writing team and production team has a mission to make this project the most impactful that it can be”.
In sharing a special memory of his own father, Jesse provides this heartwarming remembrance – “There are so many memories to share, but I’ll share this one because of the impact it had on my life today. I remember learning to drive and earning my license. One day, my father sat in the passenger seat as I drove to my basketball game. This was prior to GPS on cellular phones (or before either of us had a cellular phone for that matter). In my eagerness to get to my destination and my lack of focus on the road, I hit the curb and popped the tire. My father said “welp, it’s time to get out and change the tire.” I was amazed at his calm demeanor as he showed me how to change a tire. Today, after school dismissal, I was informed that a car in the parking lot had a flat tire. I made an announcement over the intercom. One of my teachers exited the building in disbelief that her tire was flat. I told her that I’d help her to change the tire. When she made sure that her children were picked up from the bus stop, her son was able to get a ride to the school with a spare tire. I was able to teach her son to change a tire. It was such a proud moment for me and a special moment for him”.
Fatherhood Manologues is conceived by My People Community Services Executive Director and Founder Abdul-Rahmann I. Muhammad and will be directed by HartBeat Ensemble Artistic Director Godfrey L. Simmons, Jr. The cast of four storytellers and fathers — Mr. Muhammad, Demetrius Chamblee, Malik S. Champlain and Jesse White III — all developed their stories through participation in My People Community Services’ The Manhood Tree Program. Technical direction will be provided by Jon-Paul LaRocco.
Fatherhood Manologues is an exhilarating collection of stories written and performed by fathers from our community. Whether touching on being a father, being fathered, the role of a father in the family, absent fathers, or the expectations fathers face, each story is touching, insightful, funny and emotional. Join HartBeat Ensemble and My People Community Services as they celebrate fatherhood and urge you to reconnect, repair broken relationships, or reflect on the fathers in your life.
Fatherhood Manologues runs Saturday, March 11 and Sunday, March 12 with performances at 2pm and 7:30pm both days. General Admission tickets are $25; Student and Seniors are $20. No one turned away for lack of funds. Tickets, information and COVID safety measures can be found at HartBeatEnsemble.org.
Howard Steven Frydman is General Manager and Executive Director of BATV – Channels 5, 95 & 96 and a member of the CCC. Please feel free to contact Mr. Frydman with your thoughts and ideas at TheHoward24@gmail.com.