"A Presenter of Theatre Arts to the New York Community Since 1987."

DARRYL LACY (DL) PRODUCTIONS’ offering of Day of Absence And President General Marcus Garvey, opened on February 15, 1991 and ran for fourteen performances at the Harlem School of the Arts (HSA) Theatre, located at 645 St. Nicholas Avenue, New York, NY. This was the second evening of one acts. DL PRODUCTIONS offered the first evening of one acts, The Church Fight And Sisters, three years earlier, in 1988, for its DL THEATRE premiere production.

Day of Absence, the satirical comedy written by Douglas Turner Ward and directed by Darryl Lacy, takes place in a southern town on a day when all the black people mysteriously disappear. Performed as a reverse minstrel show – black actors in “white face” makeup, the play points out the vital role African Americans have played in the survival of whites though the centuries. The original production of Day of Absence 25 years before this new production resulted in the establishment of the Negro Ensemble Company, co-founded by Ward in 1967. 

President General Marcus Garvey, the bio drama scripted and performed by Danny Mullen, about Jamaican born Marcus Moziah Garvey who formed the Universal Negro Improvement Association, considered the largest movement amongst blacks in western world’s history. The one-man show, President General Marcus Garvey had just completed a run at the Buffalo Ensemble Theatre, where it originated, when DL PRODUCTIONS decided to produce its New York City premiere. A first for the company.

DL PRODUCTIONS held an open call audition to cast Day of Absence and the following eleven talented artists were selected: Douglass Bell, Dexter Brown, Charles L. Coker, Alicia Davis, Gil Deeble, Samuel Foster, Carl Garrison, Carolyn Kinebrew, James Shadd, Donald Squires, and Victoria Taylor. For a total of thirteen, the cast also included Mullen, and Rachel L. Ferguson, who also starred in the company’s productions of To Be Young Gifted And Black in 1992, and The Church Fight And Sisters, and has served as the company’s production stage manager. Kinebrew also starred in the company’s production of Home in 1991.

The production marked DL PRODUCTIONS’ second time at the HSA Theatre. When DL PRODUCTIONS first rented the space in 1990, it was desolate. The outcome of Nikki G: A Portrait of Nikki Giovanni in Her Own Words resulted in DL PRODUCTIONS staging a new show one year later and other rental opportunities for the venue.