From steamy nightclub noir, to sword and sorcery on the high seas, to imaginative science fiction exploring DNA technology and implanted memories . . . the new play readings at Unleashed will celebrate the hidden imaginations and unfettered creativity of diverse playwrights of color!
We’ll be highlighting our writers over the next month so you can learn more about their work and what makes them tick. This week, meet Lamar Legend and Celeste Mari Williams!
Lamar Legend is a native New Yorker and began his theatrical training at The High School for the Performing Arts (The “Fame” School/LAG Arts) as an actor. He tuned his dancing technique at The Alvin Ailey Dance School. But it wasn’t until he moved to Chicago that he married his love of Shakespeare with Physical Theatre under the title of Director. Since then, Lamar has written and adapted seven plays, produced, directed, and starred in over forty theatrical works in four US cities, as well as abroad in Tuscany, Rome, Milan, Prague, and Mexico. He’s performed at The MET, The Steppenwolf Theater, The Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Teatro Franco Parenti, and was honored with The Rising Star Award by The League of American Theaters & Producers.
At first glance, a benign 1950s Tupperware party. But soon we find ourselves peeking upon a secret coven of witches from our favorite fairy tales. What ensues is an entertaining look at feminism, racism, and classicism with a Twilight Zone twist, all arising from the appearance of a vacuum.
What is your favorite genre to see onstage? Classical Theatre, Shakespeare.
What kind of theatre excites you? Physical Theatre and dance.
What or who inspires you? Epic themes. Gods, monsters, heroes, villains, and underdogs.
Celeste Mari Williams (My Samurai)
Celeste is a Seattle playwright who has written for SIS Productions as part of Revealed, Insatiable, and LAAFF Fest. She is also a member of Parley, which has produced workshops of her plays Amelia’s Wall, A Fine Line, and most recently, Best Friend. Celeste is excited to be part of UNLEASHED!
About My Samurai
Trying to meet the right romantic partner is challenging enough when Wanda’s Samurai ancestor infiltrates her dating life and helps her unleash the warrior within. Wanda must learn what truly makes her powerful in this fantastical world of dreams, battles, Bushido, and wine bars.
What inspired you to write this play?
My own Samurai ancestor from the 16th century, Oni Kojima Yataro. My cousin’s husband, local and well known artist, Chris Hopkins, created a beautiful and haunting painting of him. The painting inspired me to want to learn more about this part of my heritage and infuse that into a dark comedy of a modern woman struggling in her dating life.
What kind of theatre excites you?
Stories that are unique, dark, daring, and funny. Stories that engage my mind and soul: make me care, laugh, connect, and feel.