Witness as Langston Hughes meets on stage Jesse B. Simple, his fictional construction of the “Everyman” of the 1920’s Harlem, and engages in a series of humorous and soulful conversations on life, love, race, and landladies. Experience the Harlem Renaissance through Hughes' creative genius and brilliant imagination; this literary journey shines with prose, poetry, vignettes and toe-tapping music.
As a writer living in Harlem New York between the years of 1920 to 1960, Hughes was fascinated by its sights and sounds, and spent hours studying the people and culture. It became a huge and ongoing celebration, with literature, art, music dance and social commentary beginning to flourish for Black America. When faced with racism, Hughes chose to deal with it through writing, resulting in an array of lively and spirited poetry and prose.
Three-time Emmy award winning storyteller Bobby Norfolk brings to life the uproariously funny Jesse B. Simple, joined on stage by nationally known comedian and singer David Graham playing Langston Hughes with great humility, wisdom, and charm, with a few surprises thrown into the mix! Download a flyer.
Admission is free and includes a talk back and refreshments. Don't miss it! Information: 314-968-2606
Bobby has been a professional entertainer since 1971. His natural talent combined with a background in theatre and comedy has made him one of the top storytellers in the country today.
As Bobby says:
We all share the exact same character traits, despite color, race or religion. I tell stories to see the happiness and joy that can be shared through the oral tradition. No fancy electronics, just teller and listener. The human brain is hard-wired for story. Once you know a person’s story, it is easier to understand and relate to them.
Bobby promotes character education traits such as: respect, responsibility, honesty, teamwork, cooperation, compassion, and self esteem. He has developed the technique of sprinkling common core curriculum lessons into his stories in a seamless flow of theatre arts in his program called: The Moral of the Story.
Additionally, he has storytelling programs emphasizing cultural diversity, literacy & nature. Favorites include Folktales from around the World, Back to the Books, Monsters, Dragons and Ogres, and the ever popular Anansi Tales.
Audiences of all ages delight in his first person living history programs that range from; Through The Eyes Of York — The Lewis & Clark Expedition, to Henry Box Brown and Other Tales of The Underground Railroad, Lincoln and The Civil War, to the poetry and prose of the Harlem Renaissance and Jazz, Jive Jam: A Celebration of the Poetry & Prose of Langston Hughes!.
Bobby’s musical programs highlight the life and music of great artists such as Scott Joplin; The Ragtime King and Swinging With The Duke; The Duke Ellington Story, while The Voices and Music of Africa! and The Storytelling Express combine story, music, dance, and audience participation. He introduces audiences to the rich traditions which underlie much of America's musical landscape. These special two person programs feature Bobby with a professional musician.
Bobby’s keynotes on overcoming adversity and the importance of discipline, persistence focus, and concentration are favorites among educators and corporations. These workshops are also very popular with festivals and conferences where people want to learn how to research, learn, and tell stories.