Destination Freedom Black Radio Days

No Credits Productions, LLC

A live audio drama that picks up where the first nationwide African-American radio drama, produced in Chicago by Richard Durham more than sixty years ago, left off. The show walked a daring line between reform and revolution, and was shut down by its network in 1950, as McCarthyism and anti-communism tightened its grip on American broadcasting. As well as drawing on the archive of Destination Freedom (now branded Destination Freedom Black Radio Days, this program illuminates a largely unknown, but important chapter in the history of human rights and tells how radio played its part from the very beginning. That boundary-breaking program, Destination Freedom, dramatized the lives of great figures in African-American and other people of color past and present, continues in its spirit with all-new scripts. This series honors and expands on that theme. Part of the Broadway Podcast Network read less
FictionFiction

Episodes

S3 Ep19 The Eclectic - Conversation with author Patti Hartigan of A Life August Wilson
31-01-2024
S3 Ep19 The Eclectic - Conversation with author Patti Hartigan of A Life August Wilson
Our guest is author and award-winning journalist Patti Hartigan. Her recent book August Wilson A Life is receiving praise from literary circles, theatre circles, and academic circles alike. I am joined in conversation with Patti next on Destination Freedom Black Radio Days - The Eclectic. August Wilson (né Frederick August Kittel Jr.; April 27, 1945 – October 2, 2005) was an American playwright. He has been referred to as the "theater's poet of Black America". He is best known for a series of 10 plays, collectively called The Pittsburgh Cycle (or The Century Cycle), which chronicle the experiences and heritage of the African-American community in the 20th century. Plays in the series include Fences (1987) and The Piano Lesson (1990), both of which won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, as well as Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (1984) and Joe Turner's Come and Gone (1988). In 2006, Wilson was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame. His works delve into the African-American experience as well as examine the human condition. Other themes range from the systemic and historical exploitation of African Americans, race relations, identity, migration, and racial discrimination. Viola Davis said that Wilson's writing "captures our humor, our vulnerabilities, our tragedies, our trauma. And he humanizes us. And he allows us to talk." Since Wilson's death, two of his plays have been adapted into films: Fences (2016) and Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020). Denzel Washington has shepherded the films and has vowed to continue Wilson's legacy by adapting the rest of his plays into films for a wider audience. Washington said, "The greatest part of what's left of my career is making sure that August is taken care of" Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
S3 EP16  The Eclectic - Conversation with artist Sheryl McCallum - singer, actor, writer
06-12-2023
S3 EP16 The Eclectic - Conversation with artist Sheryl McCallum - singer, actor, writer
Join us for our conversation with artist Sheryl McCallum. McCallum is a graduate of Denver South High School who found lasting success on Broadway playing several roles in Disney’s The Lion King. Connection is also a recurring theme in how McCallum and David Nehls came to make “Miss Rhythm,” which is based on the 1996 book “Miss Rhythm: The Autobiography of Ruth Brown, Rhythm and Blues Legend” by Brown and Andrew Yule. McCallum and Nehls first met in New York in the 1990s, reconnected in Denver a few years ago doing musical theater, and seized the opportunity that the COVID pandemic afforded them (in that “lemons, meet lemonade” way) to create the show. Since returning from New York City to take care of her mother, Denver native McCallum has been making inroads in the area’s theater scene. In New York, she was in the Broadway cast of “The Lion King” as well as a performer in City Center’s Encores! concert series. In her first Denver show, McCallum played a town elder in the Curious Theatre Company’s production of “Marcus; Or the Secret of Sweet,” part of MacArthur Fellow Terrell Alvin McCraney’s trilogy, The Brother/Sister Plays. Since then, McCallum’s appeared in shows at Curious, Cherry Creek Theatre, the Aurora Fox, the Arvada Center, and Miners Alley. It was at that Golden theater — during artistic director Len Matheo’s much-needed Quarantine Cabaret — that McCallum and Nehls test-drove a tribute about the woman who became known as the Queen of R&B. Ruth Brown, After a string of hit songs — “(Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean” and “5-10-15 Hours” among them — the Atlantic record label where she switched from ballads to R&B was referred to winkingly as “The House That Ruth Built.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
S3 EP14 The Eclectic - Report from the trial of Elijah McClain by donnie l. betts
04-10-2023
S3 EP14 The Eclectic - Report from the trial of Elijah McClain by donnie l. betts
Producer/Director donnie l. betts first hand report on the trial of Elijah McClain. The officers now on trial — Randy Roedema and Jason Rosenblatt — are charged with manslaughter, criminally negligent reckless homicide and assault, all felonies. They pleaded not guilty. Roedema, a former Marine who is currently suspended without pay, had been with the department for five years before McClain's death. Rosenblatt worked for the agency for two years and was fired in 2020 for making light of other officers' reenactment of the neck hold. The two officers have not talked publicly about McClain's death and it's unknown if they'll take the stand to testify. Their lawyers told jurors that the officers' actions followed police policies and weren't responsible for McClain's death. They've sought to shift any blame to the paramedics who injected the ketamine. Body cameras worn by the officers captured the confrontation and the footage is being used by both sides to bolster their arguments. That's what jurors will have to decide. Rosenblatt initially tried to put McClain in a neck hold but couldn't because of his position, so Woodyard did, authorities said. The maneuver, called a carotid control hold, restricts the flow of blood to a person's brain, rendering them temporarily unconscious. Neck restraints have been banned in many states following the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
S3 EP5  The Eclectic - Interview with Co-Creator of Theatre of The Mind and musical great, David Byrne
09-11-2022
S3 EP5 The Eclectic - Interview with Co-Creator of Theatre of The Mind and musical great, David Byrne
I’m donnie l. betts. "Now I've been very lucky in my life to meet some of my artistic and scholarly heroes. People like August Wilson, Sonia Sanchez, Grace Lee Boggs, and Oscar Brown Junior. Next on the Eclectic, I sit in conversation with another one of my creative idols. He is the co-creator of the Immersive Theater experience Theater of the Mind as well as Here Lies Love and American Utopia. And he is the founding member and the principal songwriter, lead singer, and guitarist of the Talking Heads.... I welcome the amazing David Byrne!" theateroftheminddenver.com/about David Byrne is the founder and in-house headline writer of Reasons to be Cheerful, and the founder of the Arbutus Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to re-imagining the world through projects that inspire and educate. Reasons to be Cheerful is the Arbutus Foundation’s first project. In conjunction with the premiere of the immersive production Theater of the Mind, co-created by creator of the Broadway hit American Utopia, David Byrne, and writer Mala Gaonkar, Byrne has created a series of seven lenticular artwork images in five editions and a short piece of new music to coincide with the production. The Eclectic is a companion podcast to Destination Freedom Black Radio Days that features interviews with difference makers, artists, authors, bold thinkers, and people we love who get stuff done. Produced and hosted by donnie l. betts of No Credits Productions, LLC. Follow @nocreditsproductions on Facebook and Instagram, and @donniebetts on Twitter. #Blackradiodays #socialjustice #destinationfreedomblackradiodays #donniebetts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
S3 EP4  The Eclectic - Interview with Director of Theatre of The Mind, Andrew J. Scoville
12-10-2022
S3 EP4 The Eclectic - Interview with Director of Theatre of The Mind, Andrew J. Scoville
We are joined by Andrew J. Scoville, a NYC-based, Chicago-born theater director and creator of original work. He specializes in immersive layouts, technological landscapes, and hybrid-genre theater-making with an emphasis on integrating science ideas into theatrical experiences. Current projects: Money Heist: The Experience (at One Hanson Place in Brooklyn- association with Netflix, Fever and JJLA), Theater of the Mind by David Byrne and Mala Gaonkar currently at Off Center, which is a part of Denver Center for The Performing Arts. The production can be experienced at 3887 Steele Street in Denver, Colorado. This is the second of my interviews with the creative team of Theatre of The Mind. Theater of the Mind is the newest, and arguably most ambitious, production of DCPA Off-Center. It doesn’t just explore the human brain; it allows YOU to explore YOUR brain through story and science. I am honored to share with audience members 6 days a week as a member of the cast. The Eclectic is a companion podcast to Destination Freedom Black Radio Days that features interviews with difference makers, artists, authors, bold thinkers, and people we love who get stuff done. Produced and hosted by donnie l. betts of No Credits Productions, LLC. Follow @nocreditsproductions on Facebook and Instagram, and @donniebetts on Twitter. #Blackradiodays #socialjustice #destinationfreedomblackradiodays #donniebetts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
S3 Ep3  The Eclectic- Conversation with Producer of Theatre of The Mind, Charlie Miller
05-10-2022
S3 Ep3 The Eclectic- Conversation with Producer of Theatre of The Mind, Charlie Miller
On this episode of The Eclectic, I'm joined by Charlie Miller, the Executive Director & Curator of Off-Center and part of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts Executive Team. Off-Center was originally conceived by Miller and former DCPA Theatre Company Artistic Producer Emily Tarquin, who is now artistic producer at Actor’s Theatre of Louisville. Off Center produces artistic work that is surprising, fun, challenging, and at times visually stunning. we discuss multi-media artist, David Byrne (American Utopia, Talking Heads, Reasons to Be Cheerful, A History of the World in Dingbats) and co-writer Mala Gaonkar, and their creation, Theater of the Mind. Theater of the Mind is the newest, and arguably most ambitious, production of DCPA's Off-Center. It doesn’t just explore the human brain; it allows YOU to explore YOUR brain through story and science. As a member of the cast, I experience this creation every day. The Eclectic is a companion podcast to Destination Freedom Black Radio Days that features interviews with difference makers, artists, authors, bold thinkers, and people we love who get stuff done. Produced and hosted by donnie l. betts of No Credits Productions, LLC. Follow @nocreditsproductions on Facebook and Instagram, and @donniebetts on Twitter. #Blackradiodays #socialjustice #destinationfreedomblackradiodays #donniebetts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
S3 Ep 2 The Tale of Stackalee: The Live Concert
05-09-2022
S3 Ep 2 The Tale of Stackalee: The Live Concert
As a follow up to S3 Ep1, this episode features a concert by Lionel Young, Roy Hightower, and Otis Taylor recorded live directly following the audio drama The Tale of Stackalee. Lionel Young Mr. Young has won numerous awards including The Young Artist Award (Pittsburgh Symphony); The Concerto Contest (Carnegie-Mellon); The Passamenic Award (Branchwood String Quartet); and the award for the Best Blues Band in Westword’s Best of Denver. He’s also won a position with The Denver Chamber Orchestra and premiered a solo piece by William Hill. Lionel has had the honor of working with such show biz luminaries as: Count Basie, Stevie Wonder, Jimmy Paige/Robert Plant, Doc Severenson, Linda Ronstadt, Living Color, Billy Taylor. Otis Taylor, Since 2009’s award-winning Pentatonic Wars and Love Songs, Taylor has released five more celebrated albums and his music has been included in Hollywood and foreign movie soundtracks and television shows including Shooter and Public Enemies. Personal highlights of Taylor’s career were when he was an answer in the New York Times crossword puzzle in 2009, and in 2016 Taylor was proud to be included in the inaugural exhibition of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. Roy Hightower Well-regarded as a blues guitarist and soulful singer around Chicago, Roy Hightower has carved out an equally impressive niche as an actor in various Windy City musical productions. Among his starring roles: portraying Muddy Waters and Otis Redding. Even in death, the larger-than-life figure of Stagger Lee triumphs. It is unfathomable why the obscure murder of a levee hand in a red-light bar would attain such far-reaching notoriety, while songs about equally sordid killings—fact-based murder ballads such as “Ella Speed” and “Duncan and Brady”—are doomed to relative obscurity. Nonetheless, “Stagger Lee” spread with extraordinary speed, beginning shortly after the actual killing. It was soon being sung in various forms by workers on the levee, convicts on chain gangs throughout the South, saloon and street singers, and even school children. Soon, the musical, mythical iteration of “Stack Lee” supplanted the man himself, as black America cultivated and nurtured a heroic outlaw to admire. Follow @nocreditsproductions on Facebook and Instagram, and @donniebetts on Twitter. #Blackradiodays #socialjustice #destinationfreedomblackradiodays #donniebetts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices