Imagination (February 15–17 and 22–24, 2019)

by Levi Frazier, Jr.

Imagination is a tragicomedy written by Associate Professor of Communications, Graphics and Fine Arts Levi Frazier Jr.

The play centers around two historical figures — Alexander Pushkin, Russia’s greatest poet and playboy, and Phyllis Wheatley, America’s first recognized African-American poet and intellectually gifted women of letters — who meet each other in a passionate cat-and-mouse encounter.

These two literary geniuses were born decades apart, yet find themselves hurled through time and space and into each other’s lives for no apparent reason other than to grate on each other’s nerves, which they do quite well. Fireworks explode as the pair struggle to gain dominance over each other with wit, intelligence and gender. Unlike John-Paul Satre’s characters in No Exit who must live together for eternity, Pushkin and Wheatley discover that they only have one evening to figure it out.

The fictitious meeting features a heated battle of the sexes, and 18th Century poetry slam, and an intense literary rivalry that stops short of a physical altercation.

Note: An augmented reality presentation of the works of Wheatley and Pushkin will be on exhibit at the Bert Bornblum and Parrish libraries prior to and during the run of the show.