Through Knock me a Kiss, writer Charles Smith shines the spotlight on notable figures of the Harlem Renaissance.
The play is a fictional account inspired by the actual events surrounding the 1928 marriage of W.E.B. Du Bois’ daughter Yolande Du Bois to one of Harlem’s great poets, Countee Cullen.
Produced by M Ensemble Company, Knock me a Kiss takes the stage at South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, located at 10950 SW 211 St., Cutler Bay.
Daughter of the quietly domineering author, publisher and civil rights leader W.E.B. Du Bois, Yolande Du Bois, loves jazz musician Jimmie Lunceford but she is put off by his sensual advances and the fact that he cannot afford the lifestyle she considers her birthright.
She admires the rising poet Cullen, whose career her father is advancing.
Because Yolande shares a warm sympathy for the cultured and sensitive Cullen, and because her father champions their union as hugely beneficial to the advancement of their people, Yolande agrees to marry the poet.
Both Yolande and her father stubbornly ignore the subtle but clear indications that Cullen prefers men.
Yet after the “wedding of the decade,” the marriage reveals itself a disaster and all involved must confront difficult truths, as Yolande tries to craft a reunion with the man she loved all along, but rejected.
Knock me a Kiss directed by Lowell Williams runs through Feb. 23. Showtime is 7:30 p.m., Thursday through Saturday; on Sunday there is a matinee at 3 p.m.
This production features returning cast members to the M Ensemble Stage: Makena Pace as Yolande Du Bois, Andre Gainey as W.E. B. Du Bois, Samuel Unoh as Countee Cullen, Carolyn Johnson as Nina Du Bois and Lela Elam as Lenora.
M Ensemble Company, which produces African-American plays in South Florida, is celebrating its 43rd season.
General admission is $30 and $25 for seniors and students. Call 786-573-5300 to make your reservations or order them online at smdcac.org. For more information call M Ensemble office at 305-893-3551.