Feed Your Mind: THE HAMPTON YEARS by Jacqueline E. Lawton

“…a seminal moment in the lives of two trailblazing African-American artists: the celebrated muralist John Biggers and the printmaker and art historian Samella Lewis”—American Theatre

“filled with life and surprises and still-unanswered questions…the kind of theatre that we really want to see.”—Shirley Serotsky, Theatre J, Washington DC

        Feed Your Mind: THE HAMPTON YEARS by Jacqueline E. Lawton                            

Saturday, April 16, 2016 @ 8pm | Sunday, April 17, 2016 @ 2pm
at the Ethnic Cultural Theatre

Featured: Elena Flory-Barnes, Ron Hippe, Corey Spruill, Jon Stutzman, and Ayo Tushinde.

THE HAMPTON YEARS cast: Elena Flory-Barnes, Ron Hippe, Corey Spruill, Jon Stutzman, and Ayo Tushinde
Set in the 1940s in Virginia, The Hampton Years follows the development of African-American artists John Biggers and Samella Lewis in a still segregated society under the tutelage of Jewish painter and educator Viktor Lowenfeld, who fled Austria in 1939. Named curator of the distinguished collection of Black African Art in 1945, Lowenfeld’s passion, determination and talents introduced African-American Art to the United States. The Hampton Years celebrates how together, these passionate and brilliant artists rose above all that was standing in their way to create beautiful, poignant, and lasting works of art.

Mirror Stage’s innovative Feed Your Mind series of staged readings examines topical issues from different perspectives. Presented without costumes or sets, the emphasis on the text encourages audiences to create their own imagined world inhabited by the play’s characters. Following every performance, a moderated discussion with the audience and artists explores the issues raised in more depth. The Hampton Years examines African-American art, segregation, African American and Jewish relations, art history and art education.

To read the Nov 29, 2015 New York Times article
“Black Artists and the March Into the Museum,” click here.

Mirror Stage gratefully acknowledges the support of 4Culture,
the City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, and the Posner-Wallace Foundation.


Jacqueline E. Lawton was named one of 30 of the nation’s leading black playwrights by Arena Stage’s American Voices New Play Institute. Her plays include: Anna K; Blood-bound and Tongue-tied; Deep Belly Beautiful; The Devil’s Sweet Water; The Hampton Years; Ira Aldridge: the African Roscius; Lions of Industry, Mothers of Invention; Love Brothers Serenade (2013 semi-finalist for the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference); Mad Breed; Our Man Beverly Snow; and Noms de Guerre. Lawton received her M.F.A. in playwriting from the University of Texas at Austin where she was a James A. Michener Fellow. She is a 2012 TCG Young Leaders of Color award recipient and a National New Play Network (NNPN) Playwright alumna. A member of Arena Stage’s Playwrights’ Arena and the Dramatist Guild of America, Lawton currently is an assistant professor in the Department of Dramatic Art at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.