By Autumn Ryan ’24
March 9, 2023
The Department of Theatre at Dillard University is presenting its spring 2023 production, “Knock Me a Kiss,” in the Samuel DuBois Cook Theatre two weekends. The first weekend is March 10-13, and the second weekend is 17-19. The Friday and Saturday productions begin at 7:30 p.m., and the Sunday matinées are at 3 p.m. In its historic 88th season, Dillard Theatre is the first degree-granting theatre program at an HBCU.
“Knock Me a Kiss” is a fictional account inspired by the actual events surrounding the 1928 marriage of W.E.B. Du Bois’ daughter Yolande to one of Harlem’s great poets, Countee Cullen. The marriage is a triumph of pomp and pageantry but fails to be a union of man and woman. Eventually Countee goes to Paris with his close friend Harold Jackman, and Yolande returns to her first love only to find that she is no longer wanted.
The play was written by Charles Smith and directed by India Mack. Smith is a playwright and educator based in the Midwestern United States. He is known for his works staged at Victory Gardens Theater and his teleplays on WMAQ-TV. Smith is the head of the Professional Playwriting Program at Ohio University.
Mack, who is also a Dillard alumna, is committed to preserving Black culture through storytelling, teaching and art-making. She has worked for over 15 years as a performer, teaching artist, production manager and producer, and is currently working as an adjunct professor in Loyola University New Orleans’ theatre arts and dance department.
“Attendees should expect to laugh, have fun, maybe even tear up a bit, and overall thoroughly enjoy themselves,” said Del’Kyra Williams ‘24, junior theatre major from Montgomery, Alabama, who plays the role of Yolande DuBois.
For more information about tickets, please contact Dillard Theatre’s box office at (504) 816-4857.