It's 1901. Lynch mobs swarm the South; Emma Goldman’s anarchist movement hits the streets; and WEB DuBois’ NAACP is on the horizon. All set the stage for the spectacular Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. "At Buffalo" is a new musical in development that will take you on a haunting and evocative musical journey through the turbulent discoveries and performances of race in post-Civil War America. During their Fall 2017 CAI residency, the Creative Team of "At Buffalo" will conduct site-specific rehearsals and concert readings of At Buffalo and work with the Buffalo Museum of Science, and Torn Space Theatre.
Race was on display at the 1901 World Pan American Exposition at Buffalo, New York. In exhibits like “Darkest Africa”, “Old Plantation”, and “The American Negro Exhibit”, concessionaires presented unique, and often conflicting, visions of blackness in America at the turn of the twentieth century. These exhibits left behind a fragmented archive of descriptions, newspaper articles, photographs, and film clips that sheds new light on a critical moment in the construction of modern black and American identity. At Buffalo, a landmark new musical, brings this archive to life—performing it virtually verbatim, making present an experience of the past when definitions of race were literally written, directed, choreographed, and performed in order to reconstruct the American character in the wake of national crisis.