BTTUNY streaming “Camp Logan” through theREP for Juneteenth
ALBANY – Commemorating the events of Juneteenth, the Black Theatre Troupe of Upstate New York (BTTUNY) will present a virtual reading of Celeste Bedford Walker’s searing historical drama, “Camp Logan.”
The reading will air on June 19 at 5 p.m. and remain available for streaming through the June 22 at 10 p.m. For more information, visit https://blacktheatretroupeupstateny.org/.
“Camp Logan” chronicles the story of six Black U.S. soldiers and the incidents leading to the tragic 1917 racially-charged riot in Houston, Texas that left dozens dead or wounded in the streets. In the aftermath of what was deemed a mutiny by the military courts-martial, 19 Black soldiers were executed by hanging and 47 were sentenced to life in prison without parole.
When the Third Battalion’s all Black Twenty-fourth United States Infantry Regiment was deployed in Houston, its soldiers were immediately confronted by the Jim Crow laws that governed life in Texas. White workers at the camp demanded separate drinking fountains, streetcars were segregated and the police openly harassed and used gun fire in several minor skirmishes with soldiers. The flash point came when the police humiliated and brutally beat a young Black woman and one of the unit’s soldiers. Plans to retaliate went into motion and days later, 156 armed Black soldiers marched into the Houston San Felipe neighborhood, where a battle with police resulted in the deaths of eleven civilians, five police officers and four Black soldiers.
The cast includes Preston Edmunds as Joe Moses; Emmett Ferris as Sgt. McKinney; Donald “The Soul Man” Hyman as Jacques “Bugaloosa” Honore; John Johnson as Charles Hardin; Aileem Penn as Robert Franciscus; Majestic Tillman as Gweely Brown; Brian Toal as Captain Zuelke; and Evan Jones as Townsman and Stage Directions.
“It’s very powerful and I think we can really get very involved in this story because the playwright, Celeste Bedford Walker, helps us see the events through the lives of these regular people, who are like us in many ways,” BTTUNY artistic director, Jean-Remy Monnay, said. “It’s much, much more than a history lesson.”