Each season at Signature Theatre Company, the members of the Artistic staff contextualize the season plays for the creative team and actors. With materials from the personal collection of the season playwright and the New York Public Library, among other archival resources, we compile comprehensive facts and figures about events and ways of life specific to the plays. For example, we create a glossary of references for use by directors and actors, as well as supplement the glossary with additional suggested reading.
For Charles Fuller’s Zooman and the Sign – which is set in Philadelphia in 1979 but could take place at any time and in any city – much of the research has been drawn from newspaper and magazine articles spanning the 1970s through today about teenage gang violence and the communities it impacts. Also included is information on the music of the time that influenced our production. Please find below a sampling of the research compiled that we hope will enrich your theatre-going experience.
The Return of the Gang
A View from the Inside
Hope Seen for Curbing Youth Violence
A Little Girl Shot, and a Crowd That Didn’t See
A Brief History of Jazz
Old School Rap
For an exclusive interview with Playeright-in-Residence Charles Fuller and information on the original NEC production of Zooman and the Sign, go to http://www.signaturetheatre.org/newsletter.htm and check out the online version of Signature Edition, the official newsletter of Signature Theatre Company. Or pick up a copy when you’re at the theatre!