ANDRE' DUMONT SWANCY GOES TO ARIZONA
DESERT - MIRACLE SUN
Beautiful View of the Desert in Arizona.
ART - THEATRE - TEACHING - LEARNING - NEW ADVENTURES - PRAYERS.
Swancy went to Arizona on a wing and a prayer. A start all over situation. He had no thoughts of leaving Kansas, until his wife became seriously ill with sarcordosis, and the doctors told him she had no chance of survival and the cold climate seem to make the condition worse. Swancy, was deciding on Florida or Arizona. He retired from his position at KCPL, sold the home, cars, furniture, wife's Montessori child development center, converted everything he owned into cash. His youngest child was a senior in high school and was sad to leave her schoolmates. Even though the doctors told him they doubt his wife would make the plane trip. People had said to him; why move if she is going to die. Swancy was positive God would not let this happen and would answer his prayers.
The Arizona Sun turned out to be a miracle, in two weeks Mrs. Swancy walked and slowly her eye sight started to return.
After a few months Swancy opened a Puppet business.
Arizonians were very receptive of Swancy's puppet shop and Mrs. Swancy set-up contracts with the schools to bring students to tour, take classes and see puppet shows. There were puppet for sale.
Swancy visited Frank LLoyd Wright's Taliesin West, studied the design. Wright was not alive he died: April 9, 1959, so Swancy never met him. He loved to study the works of a master. Wright was an American Architect, interior designer, writer an educator, who designed over 1,000 structures and completed over 532 works.
Swancy was like a kid in a candy store viewing Taliesin West structure in Arizona, it was magnificent to Swancy studying, admiring and of course he made himself known as he would, seriously gain the knowledge he sought.
View of Taliesin West located in Arizona.
Taliesin West View
Meanwhile, back at the Puppet Store, Swancy was conducting classes, training students and Adults, giving tours as well as creating his art. The shop had grown and he was able to hire two employees and volunteers.
If you ever met Swancy he would tell you his life story in 4 seconds. His theatre experience was widely spread, so much so that The Director of the Theatre Troupe in Phoenix, Arizona, came to visit. She offered Swancy a position as Set director. By this time, Mrs. Swancy was contracted to set up Child Development Centers for owners, get them running to capacity and meeting Federal guidelines.
When she returned, Swancy explained he took the Theatre position. That went over like loosing your manners in church. That meant dissolving the puppet store when it was successfully growing. So it Was!
ANDRE' SWANCY GOES TO THE THEATRE IN ARIZONA! HIS RESULTS!
(Click images to enlarge)
"A RAISON IN THE SUN"
Andre' Swancy Set & Theatre Design Director.
1978 Ran for 8 days.
The play: a voice that speaks out on the Black American Experience through the Arts.
The actors, dancers, musicians, and writers, technicians and interested friends proving an expression of Black Culture. Standing Ovation
BY LANGSTON HUGHES.
Ran 11 days.
Andre' Swancy - Production & Light Design.
He was perfect for this play among his many credits Swancy was listed
in Who's Who among Black Artist, He directed
the "Animated for Black Light, Inc." and was featured in his`own syndicated arts-television show : Where Do We Go From Here?" A degree in Lightning from the Academy of Lighting Arts.
"The Amen Corner"
Play ran 10 days
received large reviews and large article in New Times Weekly. The article stated. "Hallelujah! It starts a sure sign that
The Theatre Troupe's production of "The Amen Corner" has something going for it.
Andre' Swancy's three-in-one set (church. kitchen, bedroom on the small stage is an amazing feat. With the excepting of some crowding in the kitchen (which maybe tight for the actors, but can be believable) his design is functional and the lighting of different areas extremely effective.
Ran 10 days
NEW TIMES WEEKLY
OF PHX, ARIZONA.
WRITTEN BY LEE MERYL SENIOR.
Large Caption: 'Rashoman" Technically EXCELLENT
This aspect of "Rashomon" was flawless. Andre' Swancy's set, depicting the Rashomon gate and the surrounding Jungle is excellent. The lighting effects fantastic; better than anything one can recall in a Valley production. The background was extremely appropriate and blends beautifully into the overall atmosphere. As a technical endeavor "Rashomon" is superb.
"A MYSTERY OF AMERICAN HISTORY"
A Puppet and Slide Presentation presented by the
Theatre Troupe, Inc.
Written by Andre' Swancy. There were other staff members who presented, Folk songs, Feel and Tough Crafts that point to the similarity of design between cultures, History of Africa, and Swancy's Puppeteers. Program was funded by ESAA grant which was sponsored by Valle Del Sol.
Production Design and Lighting - ran 8 days
A Greek Tragedy!
A Drama that had been a sophistication of the rites of life, death and bondage observed by the Greeks in black Africa.
Swancy"before you're a human being"
"We are no different than the Greeks or anybody. "Trojan Women" is a drama of oppression. And oppression to anybody is oppression.
"As a Tech designer I was looking at the play from a universal standpoint of making an anti-war statement. It's the supreme anti-war play. Blacks have participated in all the wars of the world and I think that that in itself makes it a valid play for us to deal with. I think we should deal all kinds of plays, not just black drama.
"Images of Set designs at the Theatre in Arizona!" By ad.Swancy
(click on images to enlarge)
The theatre consumed a tremendous amount of Swancy's time and a lot of energy. He resigned to create something new and return to spending more time with his family and travel the Desert, California, Nevada and explore the Indian reservations, along with seeing more of Arizona sites.
(see Arizona page 2 on this site)