After Karamu House, the historic African-American theater, laid off director Terrence Spivey last year, one might expect he’d skip town. You’d be wrong. After a 2016 full of directing local shows, Spivey rejected a job offer in his native Texas. Instead, in January he took a gig as an artistic associate at Shore Cultural Centre in Euclid and is directing a second staging of Objectively/Reasonable: A Community Response to the Shooting of Tamir Rice, 11/22/2014, which runs at Waterloo Arts through March 11. We spoke with Spivey about why he stayed, Rice and his new role.
Q: Why do you think Tamir Rice’s story still resonates deeply?
A: When [show creator] David Todd interviewed Samaria [Rice], her other kids kept asking her, “Mom, why do you have to travel, why do you keep talking about him on the news?” She said, “He’s no longer your brother. He’s a symbol.” It’s almost like he represents an angel.
Q: After Karamu House, what made you stay?
A: There’s something here that seemed unfinished for me. I also got a chance to connect with Samaria. We became friends. [Objectively/Reasonable] was a signature of peace that really said, Terrence, it’s not a matter of having unfinished business at Karamu; it’s having unfinished business in Cleveland.
Q: What do you hope to do in the 850-seat theater at Shore Cultural Centre?
A: For the first year, we’re not putting up any major productions. We’re looking to do four workshops, every two or three months. Maybe an actors’ workshop and musical theater for kids, professional development for kids. And also, four staged readings. The first one is going to be a staged reading called How I Learned What I Learned by August Wilson. It’s basically a one-man show.