Travel back in time and be enthralled by unheard, unseen voices of The Harlem Renaissance as they are brought to life in half-hour radio dramas written by playwrights of color.
ICONS: Harlem Renaissance in Motion is produced by The Classical Theatre of Harlem (CTH) and Venus Radio Theater. This series of incredible stories is provided to you for free in partnership with Broadway Podcast Network.
ICONS was curated by CTH's Director of Literary Programs & Dramaturg Shawn René Graham and Mellon Foundation Playwright-in-Residence Betty Shamieh.
Produced by The Classical Theatre of Harlem and Venus Radio Theatre
Podcasts edited and produced by Eric Emma
Newly arrived in Harlem in the spring of 1920, Mattie Mae is one of the millions of African Americans who formed the Great Migration fleeing southern racial violence and escaping to the north. Mattie’s new black female employer introduces Mattie to a world of insights and opportunities she could never have possibly dreamt of, and she is on her way to becoming a bold new woman of the world.
During a March thunderstorm in 1949, old Hollywood actress Nina Mae McKinney visits her former manager, Jimmy Monroe, in his rundown Harlem apartment. During her visit, McKinney descends into her own storm of joy, desire and deep regret.
After much success as a working artist, Jacob Lawrence is admitted to a mental hospital for depression where he discusses the trials and tribulations of his life and the injustices he witnessed in the world of visual arts.
After isolating herself from the world and her pen, Angelina Weld Grimké has nothing to do but (over)think. In chosen solitude that is finally catching up with her, Angelina is haunted both by her literal reflection in the mirror as well as her reflections on family, writing, the status of Black liberation, and ...her damn skin.
In the afterlife, May Miller reflects on her life as a Black woman and recalls a highlight of her career during the Harlem Renaissance - knowing W.E.B. Dubois. She speaks about her Black life and the tragedies of ‘fallen soldiers’ that transpired, and haunts us with the tragedies of ‘fallen soldiers’ that persist.