Knock Me a Kiss walks away with nine AUDELCO Awards including Best Dramatic Play. Awardees include André De Shields, Marie Thomas, Charles Smith and Chuck Smith.
On Monday, November 14, 2011, Woodie King Jr.’s New Federal Theatre and Legacy Creative Arts Co.’s production of Charles Smith’s Knock Me a Kiss was the toast of the 39th Annual AUDELCO “VIV” Awards, given in recognition of Black Excellence in Theatre, at Harlem Stages within Aaron Davis Hall, located at the Marion Anderson Theatre, on 133th Street and Convent Avenue in New York City.
In addition to top honors for Best Dramatic Play, Knock Me a Kiss won 9 of the 13 categories for which was it was nominated: Charles Smith (Playwright), Chuck Smith (Director-Dramatic), André De Shields (Lead Actor), Marie Thomas (Supporting Actress), Shirley Prendergast (Lighting), Ali Turns (Costumes), Anthony Davidson (Set Design), Bill Toles (Sound Design).
Knock Me a Kiss is a fictional account inspired by the actual events surrounding the 1928 marriage of W.E.B. Du Bois’ (Andre De Shields) daughter Yolande (Erin Cherry) to one of Harlem’s great poets, Countee Cullen (Sean Phillips). The marriage marked the height of the Harlem Renaissance and was viewed as the perfect union of Negro talent and beauty. It united the daughter of America’s foremost Black intellectual, cofounder of the NAACP and publisher of Crisis Magazine, with a young poet whose work was considered to be one of the flagships for the New Negro movement. The marriage is a triumph of pomp and pageantry but failed to be a union of man and woman.
Black Theatre Radio interviewed the producer Woodie King Jr., along with members of the cast during the AUDELCO Award ceremony. To view excerpts from this interview, follow the video link.