ARTIST IN RESIDENCE 2020
AFO's Artist In Residence Program provides extraordinary solo artists with support and resources in the process of developing a new solo play. In support of that purpose, AFO provides the AIR with rehearsal space over a period of up to 18 months, and stipends to be used for the services of a director, dramaturg, and/or designers to support the development of their work. AFO provides artistic and administrative support to the creative process, and ensures that the AIR has the freedom and resources to construct their work.
Through this program, the AIR develops an original new work for presentation in the All For One Production Season, whether as a workshop presentation or as a contracted Off Broadway production to be determined by AFO.
STILL LIFE (2020)
There's a whole lotta ways to die nowadays.
Filmed at the crossroads of great existential crises including Covid-19, George Floyd, and the 2020 Presidential Election, STILL LIFE breaks open one man's anxieties about death. As he grieves the loss of his grandmother, Kareem wrestles with what it means to lose those who give our lives context, and to admit that we are not okay. STILL LIFE was developed and produced during Kareem M. Lucas's 2020 AIR residency.
Kareem M. Lucas
Kareem M. Lucas is a Brooklyn-born and Harlem-based Actor/Writer/Producer/Director. His solo pieces include The Maturation of an Inconvenient Negro (or iNEGRO), From Brooklyn With Love, RATED BLACK: An American Requiem, A Boy & His Bow, A Warm Winter, and Black Is Beautiful, But It Ain’t Always Pretty. He has performed his solo work at The Greene Space, Aaron Davis Hall at City College, The Town Hall, Fire This Time Festival, IRT Theater, The Slipper Room, Teatro Circulo, Judson Arts Wednesdays, Hi-ARTS, AFO Theater, JACK, HERE Arts Center, New York Theatre Workshop, The Public Theater, among others. He is currently co-collaborating on the immersive theatrical piece The Black History Museum…According to the United States of America, as a writer/performer with the Smoke & Mirrors Collaborative as a part of their Residency at HERE Arts Center, it will premiere at HERE in November 2019. He most recently was a part of The 2019 Mentor Project at The Cherry Lane Theatre, where his solo show The Maturation of an Inconvenient Negro (or iNEGRO) was mounted. He’s also an inaugural Jerome Hill Artist Fellow and a NYTW 2050 Playwriting Fellow. MFA: NYU Graduate Acting Program.
Kareem on the solo narrative:
"What draws me to the solo form is the immediacy and inherent communal nature of a group of people gathering around one person, who tells a story. It's ancient. It's the Griot around the fire. It's both tribal and familial. And, it's been some of the most thrilling and compelling theater that I've ever experienced. Recently, I've become obsessed with the solo form, because it demands so much from me as a creator, writer, and performer. A true high wire act, with nowhere to hide, you are naked and vulnerable. Firmly planted in the palm of the audience. So, hopefully, they've had a drink or two, they treat you kindly, and maybe even listen long enough that the performer on the stage possibly shifts the way everyone in the audience looks at the world and themselves. Or, you know, maybe they at least don't fall asleep."
Description of the project Kareem will be working on with AFO:
Black Is Beautiful, But It Ain't Always Pretty
In this solo show, Kareem M. Lucas reanimates the memory of a never-ending NYC night — a wild roller coaster ride through alcohol, drugs, sex, joy, loss, and self-discovery. He weaves together his past and present to interrogate our desperate need for significance, in life and after death, and mythologizes the everyday experience of a common Black man in America. Black Is Beautiful, But It Ain’t Always Pretty is an epic poem about fulfilling one’s purpose—if there is any—before time runs out. The clock is ticking.
Excerpts of Past Work: