Albert H. Black
P.O. Box 450
Kennebunk, Maine 04043
(401) 835-3123, cellular phone
SEARCHING FOR ALEX: FOUND IN TENNESSEE BY WAY OF VENICE, copyright 2019, is an original play in two acts. With character and plot allusions to Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice and Tennessee Williams’ Night of the Iguana, SEARCHING FOR ALEX… explores the poetically symbiotic relationship between art and physical beauty and the seeming impossibility of separating the two—portrayed platonically by a playwright in his mid-50s and a young man of extraordinary beauty, reminiscent of a Classical Greek kouros.
POPPY AND BAR, IN THEIR OWN WORDS, WHO THEY ARE is a dramatic adaptation (copyright 2015) of President George H.W. Bush’s collection of letters and other writings titled All the Best, George Bush and Mrs. Barbara Bush’s A Memoir. The play was written for the occasion of Mrs. Bush’s 90th birthday. Intended, in part, as a fundraising tool for The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, 50% of the playwright’s production royalties from POPPY AND BAR will go in perpetuity to Mrs. Bush’s Foundation for Family Literacy.
INFINITY, a classical ballet theatre/musical theatre story project in development, is an original story about the emigration of Russian Jews to Israel in the late 1990s and early years of the 21st century. With book and lyrics by Albert Black, the music for INFINITY has been composed by Benjamin Birkbeck of Yarmouth, Maine.
BOOT CAMP (copyright 2004), is a play in two acts that revolves around the serendipitous yet destined friendship between an older man and a younger man—the former, a 49-year-old playwright; the latter, a 24-year-old sailor. BOOT CAMP begins by portraying the adage of Henry Van Dyke: “A friend is what the heart needs all the time.” And it concludes by proving the spiritual wisdom of Albert Schweitzer: “In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.”
In April 2001, Albert Black’s play HIGH TIDE, about one man’s vocational calling to the Anglican priesthood, was named the winning submission from Rhode Island in the 2000-2001 Clauder Competition, New England’s most prestigious play writing contest, open only to writers in the New England states and sponsored by the Portland Stage Company, Portland, Maine.
Playwright in Residence, 1994, The Peaceworks Project. A workshop series with Artistic Director Kim Johnson’s New York resident Equity company “Artists in Search of. . .” to develop new plays that promote tolerance and peace.
In 1985 The American Film Institute produced Albert Black and co-author Lily Trayes’ screenplay adaptation of William Faulkner’s short story “Two Soldiers.” The film was broadcast on PBS, May 22 and May 25, 1987. It was shown on the Arts & Entertainment channel on December 12, 1986, and again on December 18, 1986. It was included in A&E’s short story anthology series. TWO SOLDIERS also appeared on CINEMAX (September 12, 1986). Pyramid Film and Video in Santa Monica was the designated distributor of TWO SOLDIERS. Along with its television presentations, the movie was shown at various film festivals around the
country and received the following awards: Special Gold Jury Prize, Houston International Film Festival, 1986 and First Place Blue Ribbon, Marin [County] Film Festival, 1986.
In 1983 Walt Disney Productions, along with the New York Theatre producers Liz McCann and Nelle Nugent, optioned Black and Trayes’ original teleplay script and story about grandparents’ rights, CONSPIRACY OF LOVE. Aired on CBS in September 1987, with a shooting script by Barry Morrow (Rain Man), CONSPIRACY OF LOVE (New World Productions, Nelle Nugent, Producer) starred the late Elizabeth Wilson and the late Robert Young, with Drew Barrymore as the granddaughter.
Black has written the book and lyrics for FRIENDS, a musical theatre adaptation of Truman Capote’s short story “The Thanksgiving Visitor.” With music by the late Michael Earl, FRIENDS received its world premiere in December 1994 at Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island. FRIENDS was a finalist in the 1999 inaugural David Merrick New American Musical Theatre Competition.
HIGH TIDE, a tragi-comedy in three acts (copyright 1991), is a realistic yet compassionately humorous story of what it was like to be a gay man and to have had a vocational calling in the late 20th century to the priesthood in the Episcopal Church (which had a policy at the time much like the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell”). It offers an innovative perspective on the need to reconcile spirituality with sexuality.
A THING WITH FEATHERS, a play in three acts (copyright 1989), is an original story about the mysterious disappearance of a three-year-old from his family’s summer home in Maine. The play’s climax and denouement give the plot a unique twist—treating the “missing persons” phenomenon in heretofore unaddressed terms and concepts.
Black’s one act comedy A QUEER TALE: APRES GUARE (copyright 1994) is about the trials and tribulations of a struggling playwright whose unconventional part-time jobs come back to haunt him just after he wins the Pulitzer. The reference to John Guare in the title is a complimentary “tip of the hat” and literary allusion to Mr. Guare’s play Six Degrees of Separation.
With TV producer Louise Brooks, Black scripted an evening of celebrity entertainment called STARS WITH HEARTS, held at All Saints’ Episcopal-Anglican Church, Beverly Hills, May 30, 1992. Hosted by two All Saints’ parishioners David Morse (St. Elsewhere) and Carol Potter (Beverly Hills 90210), STARS WITH HEARTS featured legendary television actor Ed Asner and theatre and film actress Shirley Knight. The event raised money for the Los Angeles Episcopal Diocese’s AIDS Ministry.
In July, 2000, Albert Black was invited by The David Merrick Arts Foundation and David Merrick’s widow, Natalie Lloyd, to be a principal eulogist at The Broadway Memorial Tribute to David Merrick, held at The St. James Theatre. Other featured speakers who reminisced about the legendary impresario, prior to Black’s eulogy, included Richard Rodgers’ daughter, the celebrated Broadway composer, the late Mary Rodgers Guettel; the Tony-award winning actor Brian Stokes Mitchell; New York Post drama critic the late Clive Barnes; Broadway producer Rocco Landesman; and Zack Manna, the then Executive Director of The David Merrick Arts Foundation.