TRANSFORMING PAIN TO POWER
Memoir, Empowerment Book
“Daniel Beaty’s beautifully rendered book takes us on a hero’s journey home to the self. Soul-searching and illuminating, there is real potential for Transforming Pain to Power to help us create a needed new world. There is profound wisdom embedded in these pages. This is a gift to cherish and to give.”
-Susan L. Taylor, Best Selling Author, Former Editor of Essence, and Founder of National CARES Mentoring
Click here to purchase: TRANSFORMING PAIN TO POWER
Daniel Beaty’s Memoir/Empowerment book
Beaty’s spoken-word performance about a childhood lived in the shadow of incarceration can be seen online, and its impact is powerful. This print version, meant for a younger audience, is gentler but equally affecting. Collier’s (Fifty Cents and a Dream) watercolor collages capture the sadness of a thoughtful African-American boy whose father disappears and whose mother will not say where he has gone. The “knock knock” of the title stands for the game played by the boy and his father in happier times. By sharing his experience, explained in an afterword, Beaty lends his voice to children struggling with the absence of a parent and the grief that goes with it.
THE TALLEST TREE IN THE FOREST
The Tallest Tree in the Forest is a play about the life of one of the most dynamic figures in American History – Paul Robeson. Robeson was a scholar, an athlete, an activist, a vocalist, attorney of law, and a celebrated actor of stage and screen. Born the son of a slave, he rose to the heights of fame then saw it all crumble during the McCarthy era as questions of his communist involvement arose. Employing multi-character transformation, monologues, narrative scenes, heightened poetry, and video footage of the era, this theatrical work explores the evolution of Paul Robeson as an artist/activist, his humanity, his courage, his contradictions, and why many call him The Tallest Tree in the Forest.
Click here to learn about: THE TALLEST TREE IN THE FOREST
Present day. A Slave Ship emerges out of the Hudson River in front of the Statue of Liberty sending NYC into a frenzy. Emergency is an intricately woven, urgent, witty and moving exploration of our shared humanity and what it means to be free. An explosive play where rhythm, rhyme and remembrance rise.
THEATre: CURRENT PLAYS
What happened to Mr. Joy? A Harlem community is shaken when Mr. Joy, a Chinese immigrant whose shoe repair shop has been a neighborhood pillar for decades, is the victim of an attack. Through the lens of Mr. Joy's customers, we learn the profound yet unassuming impact the shop owner has had on each of their lives. A poignant, funny and stirring solo piece the current landscape of race & class in America, Mr. Joy invites us to consider how we respond to violence as individuals and as a community, and the power of the invisible ties that bind us all.
Click here to learn about: MR. JOY
BREATH & IMAGINATION
Breath & Imagination is the story of Roland Hayes, the first African-American classical vocalist of world renown. Born the son of a slave in Georgia, Roland discovered his voice as a young boy singing spirituals in church. Breath & Imagination is a musical play that renders the life of his amazing journey of this pioneer from the plantation in Georgia to singing before kings and queens in Europe and becoming the first African-American soloist to perform with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Employing spirituals and classical music, Breath & Imagination is an inspirational exploration of one man’s determination to be an artist despite seemingly insurmountable odds.
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THROUGH THE NIGHT
Through the Night is the story of six interconnected black males ages 10 – 60: a child scientist, a young man from the projects on his way to college, an ex-convict, a corporate executive, a health food store owner, and the Bishop of a mega church – and the people who love them as they make it Through the Night. They all experience an unexpected phenomenon on the same evening that changes their lives forever and challenges them to tackle issues of education, addiction, finance, and mental & physical health.Through the Night is a timely and inspiring story of possibility and hope, weaving together a unique blend of humor, poetry, music, and drama. It portrays a community of people who experience an unexpected epiphany on the same evening that changes their lives forever.
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THEATRE: IN DEVELOPMENT
NELSON MANDELA BROADWAY MUSICAL
Daniel is currently working with the Mandela family and South African composers Greg & Shaun Borowsky as the book writer for a Broadway musical about the life of Nelson Mandela.
'THE ME NOBODY KNOWS' BROADWAY MUSICAL REVIVAL
Daniel is the book writer for a Broadway revival of THE ME KNOWBODY KNOWS, a musical about the lives, challenges, and aspirations of a group of NYC youth.
In February 2017, Daniel’s film CHAPTER & VERSE will premiere in theaters nationwide. Daniel stars in the film with Lorretta Devine and Omari Hardwick.
CHAPTER & VERSE is shaped as a first-person narrative. We see the film’s world almost entirely through Lance’s eyes—and the richness of detail is what makes the film extraordinary.
“Beaty is an enormously sympathetic screen presence and he makes Lance’s struggle to take control of his life when so much is stacked against him truly heartbreaking.” –Amy Taubin, ArtForum
Upon his return from serving eight years in prison, reformed gang leader S. Lance Ingram struggles to adapt to a changed Harlem. Lance lives under the tough supervision of a Parole Officer in a halfway house where he is forced to take a deliveryman job for a food pantry. He befriends Ms. Maddy (Loretta Devine), a 60-year old strong, spirited grandmother. Lance also reconnects with his closest childhood friend Jomo (Omari Hardwick) and assumes responsibility for Ms. Maddy’s 15 year-old grandson, Ty—a promising student and artist who has become involved in a dangerous Harlem Street Gang.
CHAPTER & VERSE
BEHIND THE GLASS
There are an estimated 2.8 million children of incarcerated parents in the United States. Intimate and personal, BEHIND THE GLASS is feature length documentary about the impact of mass incarceration on the children left behind and the power of the arts to help young people address this trauma.
The central subject of the documentary is Daniel Beaty, an award-winning writer, performer, and community activist with a decade of experience working with the incarcerated Americans and their loved ones. A child of an incarcerated parent himself, Daniel's father has been arrested 60 times due to his heroin addiction and selling. His older brother has also battled incarceration. Will the art that helped save Daniel’s life have the power to help other young people dealing with the trauma of having parents in prison? What is the impact of mass incarceration on the children left behind and how do we create a more humane society that protects them?
I DREAM OF AN OMAHA WHERE
Omaha has a long-standing problem with gangs and youth-on-youth violence and it is one of the most dangerous cities to live in for African American youth. I DREAM OF AN OMAHA WHERE . . . is a collaborative project involving former gang members and people who have been affected by gangs. The project, conceived and facilitated by renowned performer and writer Daniel Beaty, takes the participants through intense and moving workshops to a performance of a play that utilizes the transcripts of the workshops as part of Beaty’s social justice project I Dream. I Dream was a transformative experience for those sharing their stories, and it is also changing the dialogue in Omaha and similarly affected cities about the nature and impact of gang violence. Most of all, it is putting a human face on those who have or still are participating in gangs and the people who have been tragically affected by gang violence.