University of Pittsburgh
March 29, 2010

Pitt's Kuntu Repertory Theatre Presents Two One-Act Plays April 1-17, "The Electronic Negro" and "Sister Son/ji"


Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH-Pitt's Kuntu Repertory Theatre continues its season with two one-act plays-"The Electronic Negro" and "Sister Son/ji"-that will run from April 1 to 17 in the seventh-floor Auditorium of Alumni Hall, 4227 Fifth Ave., Oakland. Both productions will be directed by Vernell A. Lillie, Kuntu founder and producing artistic director and professor emeritus of Africana Studies.

Kuntu is presenting productions this season by playwrights who influenced the late Rob Penny, Kuntu's playwright-in-residence for many years and an associate professor of Africana Studies.

"The Electronic Negro," by Ed Bullins, is set in a writing class at a junior college in Southern California. The lead character is a pretentious older student who monopolizes the classroom discussion. In this play, Bullins lampoons the pseudo-objective rhetoric of the social sciences and the conventional, unexamined rhetoric of the humanities, neither which deal well with being Black in America. New York actor Anton Floyd plays the part of the student; Chad Smith (A&S '08) plays the role of the teacher; and longtime Kuntu community actor Barbara Alexander plays another student.

"Sister Son/ji," by Sonia Sanchez, is one of the most significant portrayals of the Black Power Movement of the 1960s. In it, the lead character explores different phases of her life, including a painful experience at a White college where the instructor refused to learn her name; her activism and work toward freeing Blacks from injustice; her personal struggle to keep her home life intact; and, as she reaches her 50s, her wondering if young Blacks will pick up the fight and dare to demand a new day. The role of Sister Son/ji will be shared by Salome Mergia, a graduating Pitt senior, and Tonita Davidson, who was last seen in Kuntu's production of "Raisin" that ran from Jan. 21 through Feb. 6, 2010.

Performances of "The Electronic Negro" and "Sister Son/ji" are Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 4 p.m. Matinees are scheduled for 1 p.m. April 10 and 11 a.m. April 15.

Admission is $20 for adults; $14 for Pitt faculty and staff; $13 for senior citizens, students, and children ages 4-18; and $5 for all students with a valid ID. Groups of 10 or more receive a discount. Tickets are available at the box office of the William Pitt Union,

3959 Fifth Ave., Oakland; through ProArts at 412-394-3353 or; or at Dorsey's Record Shop, 7614 Frankstown Ave., Homewood.

For more information, call 412-624-7298 or visit