Black & Blue Rhapsody

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Meet Richard Asbury, Playwright                  

Richard S. Asbury, a retired Naval Officer and Business Consultant, is a self-taught playwright who began his self-instruction in 20015 via the Internet and a used a book on playwriting, that he purchased for a dollar. He has written 3 full-length plays and 3, 10-minute plays. His full length plays have been performed, as dramatic readings, at Cleveland State University, Ensemble Theater, and Olivet Institutional Baptist Church. “Black and Blue Rhapsody” is his first fully staged 2-act drama.

Richard’s plays seek to address life’s many human issues and imbue his audiences with meaningful messages as they leave the theater. In particular, his plays focus on Black life which address family issues that are peculiar to the African American Community and its experience.

Original Plays

Richard has written 5 plays. Four have had dramatic readings.

“The Emperor of Lincoln Street” is a family drama of a Black family that benefits from deFacto Segregation and the “success” that tears apart the family.

“It’s Time to Go Home” tells of a returning Black Vet who comes home to a gang-infested neighborhood.

“ Drums of Zanzibar” addresses Tokenism in the 1980’s and the toll it takes on a successful young Black couple.

“Black and Blue Rhapsody” is a survey of police and Black community relations between 1968 thru 2016.

“They Was just Talkin’ Shit!”is a very short play on “Stand Your Ground” laws.

Currently, Richard is developing his new play, “The Trio,” which sheds light on the human trafficking epidemic.

Meet Anthony Brown, Co-Director

Anthony Harris Brown is a well-known professional theatre & vocal actor who has appeared in many area theatres, film and television commercials. He has a long Karamu performance history, and is currently appearing in Karamu’s production of “Aida,” Tony Sias, Director. Anthony made his Wake Up And Lives Actors Studio debut, in Richard Asbury’s “Black And Blue Rhapsody” staged reading, in 2018. He and Richard formed a working relationship, and is now co-Director of the full 2-act production.

In addition to being a performing artist, Anthony is busy being Dean of Admissions & Student Success at Cleveland Metropolitan School District, President of A B.etter Way Productions, LLC, UNCF’s National Alumni Council Vice President for Programs, and Principal organizer of the Northern Ohio Inter-Alumni Council/UNCF, as well as being a current member of the Northern Ohio Advisory Board.

My mission is to instill a desire for growth by living an exemplary life as an effective and exceptional father,
friend, educator, leader, artist and supporter to those that shall cross my path in life.
"Always know that you are a Masterpiece, because you are a Piece of the Master."

 HELLO! Arts Supporters and “Producing Partners”

We need “Producing Partners – Sponsors – Donors – Helping Hands” to produce.


“Black and Blue Rhapsody,”

by Richard Asbury

“Black and Blue Rhapsody” raises the question, “Does anything change except the date” when it comes to African American and police community relations?

Tate, a long-time barbershop owner, and Ace, his ex-con friend, hang out with their Fairfax neighborhood customers and buddies when the invariable police drama presents community relations issues, the problems, attitudes, perceptions and behaviors between African American residents and the police, which hopes to offer possible solutions to improve interactions between the two groups.

The story unfolds at the Rainey Institute, 1705 E. 55th Street , Cleveland, OH 44103, Saturday, June 1, 7:00 PM, and Sunday, June 2, 3:00 PM.

General Admission:  $20.00 (Advance sales, only)

Students (w/ID), Seniors (60+): $15.00

Ticket Information:  216-225-3429, or email

Tickets available, April 25, 2019.

Open Seating.

Pre-show Concessions

Are provided by Rainey’s Teen Leadership Program, led by Dontiez Hall. Fundraising proceeds to be applied to arts, education and cultural field trip projects. Jennifer Harris Executive Director

The production of Black and Blue Rhapsody” is in collaboration and support of Wake Up And Live’s Actors Studio, a 501(c) 3 non-profit performing arts, entertainment, and education organization. This event will invigorate the community to be reminded of the ongoing struggle of police-community relations and its contributions to the pursuits of equal rights.


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Checks should be made out to: Wake Up And Live’s Actors’ Studio, and mailed to 19333 Van Aken Blvd. Ste. 203, Shaker Hts., OH, 44122.   216-561-8608.

Sue H. Johnson, Director­­