More about COLORS: Dream of the Masta...

I know that many of you are not in the Detroit area but I am sure that this or another OBC DreamTheater project will be coming your way soon.

COLORS is the Obama campaign platform "Yes we can" and "Change can believe in!" set to lyric, meter, melody and motion.

It's 1987. Mandela is in prison. And Black students at the University of Michigan are, quite literally, under attack: by racist jokes on campus radio, threatening voice mail messages to African Americans from their white counterparts, and an institutional system that seemed unconcerned with dwindling retention rates among urban minority students. In response, students marched, protested, rallied, and sat-in. One student put the struggle to Music. The music of COLORS: Dream of the MASTA.

Chronicling the journey from captivity to enlightened self awareness, COLORS: Dream of the MASTA is an original song cycle born of the Black student movements of the late 80's. It uses the sounds of gospel, folk song, rock, pop, and contemporary American art song to articulate the story of African people in America and moreover the epic saga of humankind and humanities stewardship for Mother Earth.

These performances are mounted in joyful hope of rekindling, galvinize, and celebrate the activist spirit that has moved communities forward throughout American history. The "change we can believe in" while symbolized and personified in our president elect Barack Obama, it is immortalized in the music of COLORS: Dream Of the MASTA. That spirit of change often starts in the optimistic mind of the young people.

The year is 2008. While Mandela is no longer in prison, Bush is still in office. The world is very different but very much the same. But with a renewed commitment to community building, a focus on brotherhood, and faith in our inner strength by post 11/4 Obamanian's, the future will be even brighter.

FROM GEORGE SHIRLEY - Joseph Edgar Maddy Distinguished University Emeritus Professor of Music (and 1st African American Tenor to sing at the Metropolitan Opera)

"I was excited, deeply moved, and profoundly impressed by the performance of COLORS: Dream of the MASTA when I saw it a few months ago in Ann Arbor. I immediately urged Rod Gailes and Darnell Ishmel to take this presentation to Detroit where its powerful message would have a special meaning for the youth of the city who are at risk. This compelling amalgam of music, dance, and the spoken word pierces like a laser into the consciousness of the spectator, making an indelible imprint impossible to ignore or forget. Its admonition to "get up" rather than "get down" is perfectly timed for this moment of unprecedented change in our land, a moment that I pray has dealt the Dream of the MASTA a fatal blow! See COLORS; rejoice in its artistry and the driving force of its spiritual power." – George Shirley

FROM OYAMO - Associate Professor of Theatre, University of Michigan (and internationally acclaimed playwright)

"If COLORS: Dream of the MASTA, by native Detroiter Roderick Gailes, were a meal, all of the diners would leave the table filled to capacity with intensely flavorful and nutritious fare. Memories of the meal would provoke hearty laughter, warm smiles of recognition, proud accomplishment, thoughtful reflection, inspirational hope for the future of our nation and renewed faith in the spirituality of all human existence. This is a feast you don't want to miss!" – Oyamo

Performance details:

Dec. 12-14, 2008

Marlene Boll Theater
Detroit, MI

Check out "COLORS: Dream Of the MASTA"

Proceeds to benefit Y-ARTS and The C.H.A.N.G.E. Foundation



  1. Looks like a cool show, but Bush Sr. didn't take office until 1989...

  2. Thanks for pointing that out.
    It is a great show, and was very well received. As a result, Colors has been booked for an additional 3-week run in Detroit in February. Check it if you are in the area. Thanks for reading and for the feedback Melissa!


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