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Moonlight Audio Theatre

MOONLIGHT AUDIO THEATRE Is Your Portal To The Very Best In Modern Audio Drama. Featuring Engaging Stories of Mystery, Suspense, Horror, Comedy, Western, Sci-Fi, Old Time Radio and Special Features. Listen 24/7/365 From Anywhere at Anytime. Invoke The Theatre of YOUR Mind!. 950 + FREE SHOWS AND GROWING!
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Now displaying: Page 1
Feb 18, 2023

PROJECT AUDION 39 - Little Ham from Harlem, by Langston Hughes

Project Audion presents a world premiere of an unrealized radio play by the famed Black poet Langston Hughes. What might radio drama's Golden Age of the 1930s, '40s and '50s have sounded like had Black creators been allowed time on the airwaves? Back then, radio was almost exclusively a stage for White entertainers, with only a handful of secondary roles and occasional guest appearances offered to people of color. In 1943, Langston Hughes took the lead characters from a successful theatrical comedy he had written eight years earlier - "Little Ham from Harlem" - and proposed creating a daily soap opera around them. Hamlet Jones of the Singing Shoe Shine Parlor, and Tiny Lee, his "stout but beautiful" lady friend, would have been the main focus of radio's first Black soap opera. It would have taken the radio audience around Harlem life as Hughes knew it, encompassing everything from numbers-running to local night spots. But "Little Ham" would have not been just a soap opera. It was also full of comedy, and each episode was deliberately scripted to feature songs from the cast worked into the action. Langston Hughes wrote the show's first two 15 minute episodes, then shopped his concept to networks, syndicators, and advertising agencies. But in the 1940s, no one would take a chance on such a progressive idea. As Hughes noted some years later, 'My Agents stated flatly "It is just abut impossible to sell a Negro writer to Hollywood or radio, and they use Negro subject matter very rarely."' His two completed scripts for "Little Ham" were filed away, unproduced and unheard. Now Project Audion brings the show to life for the first time.

"Little Ham from Harlem" features the talents of Black actors from across America, and is preceded by an interview with Dr. Vanessa Valdez, Director of City College of New York's annual Langston Hughes festival, who offers insights into Langston Hughes' work and impact.

Our cast features:

LITTLE HAM: Lee J. Green, NE

BUSTER: Robert Stevenson, IN

SHINGLE: Willie Macon, FL

PAPA MACK: Carl Thomas, TX

TINY LEE: Yle Blackburn, CT

SUGAR LOU: Tabetha McNeal, VA

LAWYER / STRANGER: Sean Massey, TX

ANNOUNCER / CUSTOMER: Norval Soleyn, NY

with production and direction by Larry Groebe in Texas

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