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Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans

The Tulane Hullabaloo

Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans

The Tulane Hullabaloo

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Discussing Tulane Theater’s season opener with John ‘Ray’ Proctor

Tulane University’s Department of Theatre and Dance has long been a hotbed for artistic talent on campus. This year, the department looks poised to deliver yet another fine season of performances.

The 2023-24 schedule opens with a production of two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage’s “Crumbs from the Table of Joy.” The play follows teenager Ernestine Crump as she navigates life in a new city following the death of her mother. The show opened in 1995 to positive reviews and has since been performed numerous times across the United States. Set in mid-20th century Brooklyn, the coming-of-age story delves into the concepts of grief, growth and prejudice. 

Assistant professor of theatre, John “Ray” Proctor, heads this year’s production of “Crumbs from the Table of Joy.” He said he looks forward to putting on a play with subject matter relevant to viewers, specifically Tulane students.

The director hopes that the audience can empathize with the main character, specifically the experiences of growing up and transitioning into an adult. The display of familiar experiences serves to validate their own life stories.

Proctor stressed the importance of showcasing underrepresented voices in theatre. “We’re talking about writers who have been traditionally excluded from the American canon,” Proctor said. “The Department of Theatre and Dance is committed to exploring and presenting the many American stories often not included in the tapestry of American identity. ”

The upcoming production will also feature a performer from the New Orleans area, a practice Proctor favors for its ability to expand the skill set of Tulane performers. “The Department of Theatre and Dance occasionally includes local talent as a way of inviting New Orleans local performers to partner with their students, giving Tulane students invaluable learning opportunities,” Proctor said. “I think the opportunity teaches our theatre students about work ethic, professionalism, and artistry.”

“Crumbs from the Table of Joy” will open at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 29 in the Lupin Theatre and run through Oct. 3. Additional matinees will be held on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 at 2 p.m. Tickets are now available for purchase here.

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