Dezart Performs in partnership with Brothers of the Desert present a live staged reading of Speak My Words, Tell My Truth by Lorenz Qatava. The single performance of the two-act play in poetry and verse will be held Sunday, November 142pm at the Pearl McManus Theater (314 South Cahuilla Road, Palm Springs). Tickets are $25 and on sale starting Tuesday, October 5 at Proceeds from the performance will support the work of Brothers of the Desert.

Combining poetry, history, and storytelling, the play focuses on the lives and works of Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, Essex Hemphill, E. Lynn Harris, Tarrell Alvin McCraney, and other seminal Black writers and activists. Through imagined intergenerational dialogues with each other and with a contemporary young Black gay man, we learn how their words transformed American culture, race relations, and acceptance of homosexuality.  Previous versions of “Speak My Words, Tell My Truth” have been performed at Coachella Valley Rep and Portland’s PDX Playwrights.

The seven-actor production is directed by Yvans Jourdain, who along with numerous television credits, has appeared in a recurring role on the popular sitcom Parks and Recreation as Councilman Howser.”Jourdain’s last live directorial project was the critically acclaimed performance of Jenelle Lynn Randall in I Wanna Be Evil:  The Eartha Kitt Story,at the LA Fringe Festival, an online version which was presented this past April.

Playwright, novelist, and poet Lorenz Qatava is the author of the gay romance novel Rain After the Fire and a second stage play On the Verge about Black gay men responding to the Black Lives Matter protests.  He occasionally teaches courses on African American poetry and civil rights history at Southern Oregon University and at the California State University San Bernardino.