CNP publishes "Follow the Artist" a new book celebrating 20 years of CalArts Center for New Performance.

Smoke, Lillies, and Jade

Written by Carl Hancock Rux, Directed by Nataki Garrett

Set during the height of the Harlem Renaissance, Smoke, Lilies, and Jade is a densely rich poetic landscape, Rux’s play is inspired by the life and work of Richard Bruce Nugent. Nugent outlived all of his famous contemporaries. His evanescent memories form the basis of Smoke, Lilies, and Jade.

Originating in New York City’s Harlem during the 1920s, the Harlem Renaissance was an African American cultural movement in which literature, art and music experienced extraordinary revitalization and growth. The movement attracted significant attention nationally and marked the first time that African American literature achieved critical acclaim and a broader audience. The careers of such artists as Langston Hughes, Claude Mckay, Jackie Mabley, Bessie Smith and Duke Ellington all flourished during the Harlem Renaissance. 

About Carl Hancock Rux

Carl Hancock Rux’s plays and performance works for theater have been produced at venues including in New York at The Joseph Papp Public Theater, the Robert E. Fischer Center for the Performing Arts, PS 122, the Kitchen, HERE Arts Center, New Victory Theater, Lincoln Center, Aaron Davis Hall, Harlem Stage, the BAM Harvey Theater (Next Wave Festival), as well as at  REDCAT, Mass MOCA (North Adams, Massachusetts) the Central District Forum for Arts and Ideas (Seattle, Washington), Theater X (Milwaukee, Wisconsin), University of Ghana at Legon (West Africa), Ebenezor Experimental Theater Festival (Lulea, Sweden), Maison des Arts (Creteil, France) and the Victoria Theater (Singapore) among others. Rux is the recipient of the Herb Alpert Award in the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts Prize, the Bessie Schomburg Award, the National Endowment for the Arts Playwright in Residence fellowship, NEA Leadership Initiatives, NYFA prize, the Rockefeller Map grant, a Creative Capital artist grant and the New York Foundation for the Arts Gregory Millard fellowship, and was shortlisted for the United Artist Fellowship. He is the author of theVillage Voice Literary prize winning collection of poetry Pagan Operetta, the novel Asphalt (Simon & Schuster) and the OBIE award winning playTalk (TCG).

Production Team

Carl Hancock Rux, Author
Nataki Garrett, Director
Colin Connor, Choreographer
Mona Heinze, Dramaturg
Juliana de Abreu, Scenic Designer
K Gibbons, Costume Designer
Michael Gend, Lighting Designer
Josh Senick, Sound Designer
Michael K. DeBose II, Technical Director
Emily Ruth Williams, Stage Manager
Emily Orcutt-Clenard, Production Manager
Mauricio Lomelín, Producer
Toussaint Jean Louis, Alex
Janice Pak, Anna May Wong
Gabriel Marantz, Beauty
Armando McClain, Langston
Dana Gourrier, Zora
Erskine Ritchie, Wallie
Vonzell Carter, Monty
Andrew Ableson, Karl
Mary Lou Rosato, Godmother
Gina Belafonte, Mother
Tiffany Boone, Melva
Will Green, Oscar Wilde
Pete Cross, Marcel Proust
Howard Duncan, Gabriel of Gin
Lauryn Whitney Johnson, Louella Van Jackson, Gladys Bentley
Andre St. Clair Thompson, Gloria Swanson
Dwight Bacquie, Vocal Coach
Mary Hamrick, Assistant Scenic Designer
Lydia Carson, Scenic Artist
Alexis Stankiewicz, Assistant Scenic Artist
Amanda Smith, Assistant Scenic Artists
Jordan Woods-Wahl, Assistant Technical Director
Natalie Lim, Assistant Production Manager
Sandra Brown, Assistant Stage Manager
Bryan Puckett, Assistant Stage Manager
Lynnette Whygle, Assistant Stage Manager
Ashley Walden, Assistant Producer