Gordon Parks, a well-known photographer, filmmaker and activist who grew up in St. Paul, is considered visionary.
His nephew Robin Hickman Winfield is working on a vision quest.
Hickman-Winfield brought the story of her “Uncle Gordon” to the gallery, the movie, the students at St. Paul’s Gordon Parks High School, and now on stage. She collaborated with playwright Harrison David Rivers on the world premiere of “Park: Portrait of a Young Artist” at the History Theater from March 19th to April 10th.
Parks was born in Kansas, but when he was a teenager, he was sent to St. Paul to live with his sister and husband. He and his brother-in-law didn’t get along well, and Parks was kicked out of the house. He lived on the street for a while and later worked as a musician, train porter and waiter at the St. Paul Hotel.
Parks participated in a fashion photo shoot at Frank Murphy, a women’s clothing store in St. Paul, capturing images of Vogue fashion, life poverty, and farm security administration poverty and separation. He was a composer and the first African-American director at a major Hollywood studio.
The “Parks” play focuses primarily on his time at St. Paul, using Parks’ 1966 book, “Weapon Choices,” and cameras to combat poverty, racism, and violence. Inspired by his choice to do.
Hickman-Winfield wrote “The Rhagades of the Sky” (the story of a Somali shepherd who came to Minnesota in 1984) for the 2018 Historical Theater, and the prolific playwright Rivers said, “My vision is so much. I respected him. “
He was the brother of her grandmother, but Gordon Parks was always Hickman Winfield’s “Uncle Gordon.” He says she is St. Paul’s “fifth-generation Minnesota raised via Rondo in Selbydale.” “I’ve loved Uncle Gordon since I was little,” she interviewed when she curated an exhibition of Parks’ work at the Minnesota American Art Museum (The M) in downtown St. Paul in January 2020. Said in.
Hickman-Winfield says she and History Theater artistic director Ron Person began talking about theater in 2018, and after Parks read aloud in the theater’s new program, the story was handed over to Rivers for revision.
“I’m crazy and nervous,” says Hickman-Winfield. “It will finally happen.”
Hickman-Winfield is also excited to see the exhibition in the lobby of the History Theater. She teaches a three-week course about her uncle’s legacy at Gordon Parks High School. She says her students are not students. She calls them scholars.
When asked about the title the scholar gave her, she says, “You will master this class and you will know for yourself that you have the foresight.”
The scholar’s “vision statement” is on display in the lobby, says Hickman-Winfield. Throughout the course, she adds, they are rooted in Gordon Parks’ life and focus on peace, power, purpose and potential.
She says the exhibition is powerful.
“People will be emotional before entering the show.”
If you go
- what: World premiere of “Park: Portrait of a Young Artist”.
- when: March 19th to April 10th
- where: History Theater, 30 E. 10th St., St. Paul
- tickets: $ 53-30, streaming tickets $ 40 per household, $ 25 for individuals
- More information: historytheatre.com or 651-292-4323
- Medical examination: Proof of COVID vaccination or negative test within 72 hours of required performance.I need a mask
- feature: The “Park” is directed by Kevin Brown by Gordon Parks and by Talvin Wilkes of James A. Williams by Pigeon Mann.