The Magic Negro & Other Blackness by Mark Kendall

Midtown Direct Rep (MDR) is delighted to present its third reading of its 2017-2018 staged reading series, Theater at The Woodland, with a presentation of THE MAGIC NEGRO AND OTHER BLACKNESS, written and directed by Mark Kendall. This event will be performed for one night onlyon Sunday, January 14th at 7:00pm at The Woodland (60 Woodland Rd. Maplewood, NJ), where MDR is the resident theater company. The reading is $20 (advance purchase), $25 (if purchased at the door) and open to the public. Student/Senior discounts are also available. Tickets can be purchased online through Eventbrite by clicking the link HERE.

Why do we laugh at the things that we do, and why are we sometimes a little wary laughing at others? Well, maybe it’s time to take a closer look. Mark Kendall uses a series of comedic sketches to examine the representation of black males in the media in his critically acclaimed one-man show. By dissecting common themes in representations of the African-American experience, from race cards to white flight, and Aunt Jemima to Black Jesus, Kendall will make you laugh until you cry and cry until you laugh.

And if you have ever pondered the idea that Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham might be racially charged, or whether it is possible to skip and listen to hip-hop at the same time, or for that matter, whether black people actually carry around race cards, then come laugh out loud and hear the Magic Negro lay down some comedic wisdom!

Originally created and produced at Dad’s Garage Theatre in Atlanta.

About the play – a statement from the author

When I first wrote and performed “The Magic Negro and Other Blackity Blackness” back in 2014, I wanted to use comedy to explore how stereotypes can limit how we see black men in every day life. But after performing the material for a couple years, I began to wonder, are people understanding the satire, or am I just giving them an opportunity to laugh at stereotypes? This was something that I struggled with for a bit, and after a few revisions, I tried to address that inner-questioning more in the work. I wanted to point out that stereotypes are ridiculous, but why do they stick in the first place? And for me, when I see an audience start to question their own laughter, that’s when the real comedy can start.”



About the playwright – Mark Kendall

Mark Kendall first got into comedy while studying film at Northwestern University. He had a chance to work at Comedy Central through the Chris Rock Summer School Program for up and coming comedy writers of color. During his time at Comedy Central, Kendall got to pitch jokes to the writing staffs of “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report.” Mark performs comedy in Atlanta at Dad’s Garage Theatre Company and Highwire Comedy, and also teaches improv and sketch writing. He is currently touring with his one man show “The Magic Negro and Other Blackity Blackness”, a sketch show that examines the depiction of black men in the media. For his work with the show, Kendall was named “Best Professional Funny Man” by Creative Loafing Atlanta.