It has been 40 years since George Houston Bass, founder of Rites and Reason Theatre in the Africana Studies Department arrived in Providence to share his know-how as a visionary playwright, teacher and community developer with all of those who had the pleasure and privilege to know him and be guided in some way by his connectedness to Africana cultural ways of life and its applications to exploring and expanding New World thinking and doing.
Ramona Wilkins Bass Kolobe, “The Watermelon Lady” (George’s surviving spouse and a founding member of Rites and Reason- Class of 1972; Master of Arts in Teaching English, 1983; Doctoral studies – Anthropology) has embarked on a research to performance endeavor collecting stories, photographs and other memorabilia from alums, teaching colleagues, scholars, performers, costume and set designers, technical production staff, administrators, community folks, etc. who would like to contribute to the creation of some of the history of Rites and Reason Theatre. Miss Ramona, lead investigator, writer and production producer-performer, invites everyone with a story to share about their work with Rites and Reason Theatre and how it has made an impact on their life’s work to contact her at the following email address: email@example.com.
The initial research phase of this multi-year effort will include Miss Ramona traveling to places outside of Providence where George Houston Bass developed his work with writers, scholars and everyday community people to create the Research to Performance (RPM) methodology in tandem with his beloved friend and colleague, the late Rhett S. Jones. Please include any stories you would like to share about working with Professor Jones as part of the scholarly work that is an essential part of the Rites and Reason approach to sharing story. Look out for news about a “MEMBER ME?!” Memory Party for gatherings of alum who may live in the “to be announced” places where Miss Ramona will visit in the summer of 2012 to gather up the stories in person. The working title for this endeavor is “RITES AND REASON THEATRE: ROOTS, ROADS AND HORIZONS OF AN AFRICAN DIASPORA THEATRE, Africana Studies Department-Brown University.
Miss Ramona’s work with Rites and Reason Theatre was instrumental in her developing a career as a storyteller and educational consultant. Valerie Tutson also continues in the footsteps of Rites and Reason Theatre parlaying her Brown undergraduate degree that she self-designed around storytelling and her Masters in theater into a career as a storyteller-educator. Fifteen years ago Valerie Tutson and Miss Ramona co-founded a Black storytelling organization based in Providence: Rhode Island Black Storytellers ( RIBS). Go to the website: ribsfest.org for more information.
Miss Ramona looks forward to hearing from ALL THE ” MUDDY -BUDDIES” OF RITES AND REASON THEATRE!