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SEASON 22 - 2015

April 29-May 3, 2015

Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South

By E. Patrick Johnson

Director: Joseph Megel

Producer and Creative Advisor/Collaborator: Jane M. Saks


This presentation is co-produced by TST and Project& in association with Stella Adler Theatre/LA.

Based on his award-winning book, E. Patrick Johnson stars in this new one-man exploration into the southern, black gay community. A fascinating, validating oral history inspired by the author's personal journey, SWEET TEA explores these men's perceptions, joys, experiences, angst, triumphs and vulnerabilities. With passion and insight, Johnson reinforces the spoken-word tradition while challenging stereotypes -- and finding humor, humanity and hope within.

Stella Adler Theatre, 6773 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90028

Project& is an arts entity focused on cultural production with social impact. We believe that art and culture have the unique ability to address critical issues facing the global community and influences how we understand, respond, challenge and engage. Leveraging innovative participatory models, we collaborate with artists, original voices and partners across multiple fields of expertise and experiences to create, support and amplify work that inspires and drives social impact. We work in all medium and platforms in three program areas: Fellowships, Global Dialogues and Innovative Studios.

E. Patrick Johnson is the Carlos Montezuma Professor of Performance Studies and African American Studies at Northwestern University. A scholar, artist, and activist, Johnson has performed nationally and internationally and has published widely in the area of race, gender, sexuality and performance.


Johnson is a Project& artist, prolific performer and scholar, and an inspiring teacher, whose research and artistry has greatly impacted African American studies, performance studies, and sexuality studies.  He has written two award-winning books, Appropriating Blackness:  Performance and the Politics of Authenticity (Duke UP, 2003), which won the Lilla A. Heston Award, the Errol Hill Book Award, and was a finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South—An Oral History (University of North Carolina UP, 2008), which was recognized as a Stonewall Book Award Honor Book by the LGBT Round Table of the American Library Association. He co-edited Black Queer Studies—A Critical Anthology (Duke UP, 2005). He is the editor of Cultural Struggles: Performance, Ethnography, Praxis by Dwight Conquergood (Michigan UP, 2013) and co-editor (with Mae G. Henderson) of Black Queer Studies—A Critical Anthology (Duke UP, 2005) and (with Ramon Rivera-Servera) of solo/black/woman: scripts, interviews, and essays (Northwestern UP, 2013). He is currently at work on the companion text to Sweet Tea, entitled, Honeypot: Black Southern Women Who Love Women—An Oral History and a co-edited volume with Ramon Rivera-Servera entitled, Blaktino Queer Performance. Project& will partner with Johnson on the development and production of Honeypot as a theatrical experience. His essays have appeared in Text and Performance Quarterly, Callaloo, Theater Journal, Biography and the Journal of Homosexuality, among others.


Johnson’s performance work dovetails with his written work. His staged reading, “Pouring Tea: Black Gay Men of the South Tell Their Tales” is based on his book, Sweet Tea, and has toured to over 100 college campuses from 2006 to the present. In 2009, he translated the staged reading into a full-length stage play, Sweet Tea—The Play, which was co-produced by About Face Theater and the Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media at Columbia College, Chicago. The show premiered in April 2010 and a month run to rave reviews. He won a Black Theatre Alliance Award for Best Solo Performance for the show. In fall 2011, the show had a four-week run at Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia and a two-week run at the Durham Arts Council in Feb 2014.


In 2010, he was awarded the Leslie Irene Coger Award for Outstanding Contributions to Performance by the National Communication Association, the Randy Majors Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to LGBT Scholarship in Communication, and inducted into the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame. In 2014 he received the Rene Castillo Otto Award for Political Theater.

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