Unless you’re one of those poltroons who quiver in your panic room due to fear of critical race theory or even the suggestion that much of modern culture was created by people of color, think you’ll be thrilled with these five recommendations that feature work by and/or about African American artists.
Ground floor theatre: Point
Colman Domingo’s twisted comedy relentlessly tackles aging parents, midlife crises and the heart of a West Philly neighborhood, all brought to vibrant stage life in this new Ground Floor Theater production. Directed by Lisa B. Thompson, starring Melody Fullylove as Dotty, starring Michelle Alexander, Patti Neff-Tiven, Jeremy Rashad Brown, Grayson Hunt and Oktavea LaToi. Until May 28. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m. Ground Floor Theater, 979 Springdale #122, 512/840-1804. $20. groundfloortheatre.org. Read our review at austinchronicle.com/arts.
KMFA: Lara Downes as Quinn Mason
KMFA Classical 89.5FM announces the first of three commissioned works by Dallas-based composer Quinn Mason, the first commissioned composer from the Draylen Mason Composer-in-Residence Program. This new piece for solo piano will be premiered by pianist Lara Downes. Fri. May 27, 7 p.m. Draylen Mason Studio, 41 Navasota, 512/527-4739. $25. kmfa.org
Pen America Austin: Who’s Afraid of Black Books?
Moderated by Jennifer M. Wilks and featuring two contributors to the 1619 Project (acclaimed author ZZ Packer and award-winning poet Danez Smith), this conversation will focus on recent book bans and the power of literature to spur important cultural conversation. Thu. June 2, 7 p.m. Central Library, 710 W. Cesar Chavez, 512/974-7400. Free, but RSVP. austinlibrary.org
ICOSA Gallery: I believe in things I cannot see
An exhibition that features the collaborative work of Tammie Rubin and Darcie Book? Our recommendation is high for this exhibition in which the artists explore how to transform their collective space into an object – where awareness of body and movement becomes essential – with large sculptural forms of paper creating a spatial dichotomy, offering the possibility of traveling between two separate kingdoms. Until June 25. Opening: Friday May 27, 7-10 p.m. 916 Springdale #102, 512/920-2062. Free. icosacollective.com
Penfold Theatre: War of the Worlds
In Jarret King’s reimagining of a multimedia classic, Orson Welles and his radio troupe, the Mercury Theater, are a group of black performers fighting to keep their place in the CBS radio studio. “Hoping to secure critical corporate sponsorship, Welles orchestrates a final ratings stunt that causes national panic and secures their undeniable – albeit infamous – place in media history.” Directed by Marcus McQuirter and starring actors Marc Pouhé, John Christopher, Kenah Benefield, Yunina Barbour-Payne, Dane Parker, Judd Farris, Zac Carr and Sarah Byington. June 2-18. Thu-Sat, 7.30pm; Sun., 5 p.m. Ground Floor Theater, 979 Springdale #122, 512/850-4849. $16 and up. penfoldtheatre.org