SAVAGE!…a chamber theater piece, by Tony Walsh, based in part on the life and times of Green Cove Springs born, Augusta Savage, will be presented as part of the CalaVida Festival of the Arts in Green Cove Springs, Florida.
Augusta Savage, who achieved international fame and recognition as an artist of the Harlem Renaissance, was born ( 1892) and lived in Green Cove Springs with her mother, father and siblings in the early part of the twentieth century and first discovered her love of shaping and sculpting objects out of the red clay in her family’s front yard. In spite of her God given talent and creativity, Savage’s recognition as an international artist was not without its setbacks and racial adversities. Being an African American woman and an artist in the early twentieth century she eventually found support and recognition at the time of the great Harlem Renaissance. Still faced with racial inequities and prejudices, she persevered as both an artist and an educator, and was later responsible for training and mentoring in her Harlem studio, new generation of African American artists as she grew older. She died in 1962.
Still in development, the piece will be feature several songs of popular African American female singers and will be presented at the CalaVida festival in chamber theatre style, similar to Walsh’s “Southern Stories” successfully presented at CalaVida in September 2015.
Performing as “The Historian”, a role created especially for her by Walsh, will be Davenia McFadden. “With Broadway, Hollywood and television credits to her name, Ms. McFadden is thrilled to be part of the next CalaVida Festival”, says author, Tony Walsh. “ I am also hoping to cast several of the other roles from local talent, here in Clay County, as well”, continued Walsh.
Currently working with Vishi Garig, Clay County archivist, as well as Clay County librarian and media specialist, Sandy Dunnavant as project Information Specialist, the production will also have the assistance of Clay County music teacher, Donna Jones as musical director.
Known to many Clay County residents and arts patrons, Tony Walsh was the Founding Executive Director of the Thrasher-Horne Center for the Arts for fifteen years, from 2000 to 2015. During his tenure, the THCA presented Broadway musicals and plays, countless international dance companies and musical performers, comedians, visual arts exhibits and educational programs for the students and residents of Clay County. Prior to that, Walsh worked as an arts educator at the Florida School of the Arts in Palatka, Florida, where he was dean and at the prestigious North Carolina School of the Arts, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
He is a produced playwright, having written more than a dozen full length and one act plays and was nominated for the Audelco Award for Excellence in Black Theatre in 1991, for his contribution to the production of Sugar Hill produced off Broadway in New York City in 1990.
Savage! will be performed at the Village Improvement Association in downtown Green Cove Springs on Friday evening, October 21st, at 7:00 PM.
Admission is free and open to the public.