Juliette Fairley rehearsing with Charles Burnett.
During a break from rehearsing with his actress protégé Juliette Fairley, award-winning filmmaker Charles Burnett said it was the subject matter that attracted him to the controversial theatrical production “Mulatto: A Never Ending Saga”.
“I’ve not seen a movie or play deal with mixed marriages and bi-racial offspring in this way,” said Burnett. “It’s an inside look into what transpires over time in a marriage between a white woman and black man and with the President of the United States being bi-racial, the show is timely.”
Mulatto has its world premiere on Thursday, August 12, as part of the Whitefire Theatre’s Annual Solofest at 13500 Ventura Blvd in Sherman Oaks. The 7:30pm show continues beyond the solo fest with performances on September 12, October 3 and November 7. Next year’s show dates have not yet been announced.
Fairley, who wrote the one woman show, drew on her life experience of having interracial parents and performs all characters. It is her third one-woman show. Her first one-woman show, “Mulatto’s Dilemma”, won the African American Playwright’s Exchange Award in 2008. Miss Fairley’s second one-woman show, “The Making of a Mulatto”, was reviewed in the New York Times and was featured in the Beverly Hills Hollywood NAACP Theatre Festival in 2009.
“My parents have an interesting love story. They met in the aftermath of World War II and have been together ever since”, said Miss Fairley. “They are lovely, glamorous parents, however it’s been difficult for me romantically because of the dilemma of having one black parent and one white parent to please. That is what the second half of the play is about.”
Burnett is best known for directing Lynn Redgrave in the “Annihilation of Fish”, Halle Berry in “The Wedding” and Danny Glover in “Namibia”. Fairley played a co-star role in Spike Lee’s TV pilot “MONY” for NBC and studied with the legendary acting teachers Wynn Handman at Carnegie Hall and with Susan Batson in New York.