Black Theatre Troupe of Upstate NY is holding auditions for: 

Knock Me A Kiss – By Charles Smith.

Auditions will be at First Congregational Church of Albany, NY located at 405 Quail Street.

Tuesday August 16 at 7:00PM

Friday August 19 at 7:00PM

No need to prepare anything ahead of time. Sides will be provided at the auditions.

If you have any questions, please call 518-833-2621 or email

Vaccination required. Please bring proof of vaccination.

Video auditions will be accepted if you cannot make the audition.

Email videos to: by Saturday August 20, 2022

Performances will be in the Lauren and Harold Iselin Studio at The REP – located at 251 N Pearl Street in Albany, NYeli

October 28 – November 6, 2022

October 28, 29, 30

November 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Performance times are Wednesday thru Saturday at 7:30pm and 4pm on Sundays.

Knock Me a Kiss is a fictional account inspired by the actual events surrounding the 1928 marriage of W.E.B. Du Bois’ daughter Yolande to one of Harlem’s great poets, Countee Cullen. The marriage marked the height of the Harlem Renaissance and was viewed as the perfect union of Negro talent and beauty. It united the daughter of America’s foremost black intellectual, co-founder of the NAACP and publisher of Crisis Magazine, with a poet whose work was considered to be one of the flagships for the New Negro movement.

The play opens as jazz bandleader, Jimmy Lunceford, continues his pursuit of a willing but apprehensive Yolande. She demurs, insisting that she and Jimmy be married in a manner consistent with her stature. Meanwhile, Du Bois tries to convince Cullen to take a wife of great breeding, stature and education. When Countee realizes that Yolande possesses all of the attributes outlined by the elder Du Bois, he sets out to win her affection. When Yolande is forced to choose between her passion for Jimmy and marrying Countee, her devotion to her father overwhelms her heart. The marriage is a triumph of pomp and pageantry but fails to be a union of man and woman.


Yolande DuBois The twenty-six-year-old daughter of W.E.B. DuBois and Nina DuBois. Yolande is a romantic who has led a very sheltered life. The greatest love in her life is the love she has for her father.

Jimmy Lunceford Twenty-eight-year-old big band leader. Graduate of Fisk University and former high school teacher, Jimmy decided that the hand-to-mouth existence of touring with his band was more important to him than maintaining a job teaching high school. He is down-to-earth and very practical; up on current trends and fashions, and meticulous when it comes to music. He has a good business sense and loves Yolande dearly.

Nina DuBois Mid-sixties, she is the wife of W.E.B. DuBois. Nina has a very provincial attitude towards sex, which she doesn’t enjoy but considers to be necessary. She lives in the shadow of her husband whom she met when she was a student, and he was her professor. She never fully recovered from the death of her eighteen-month-old son Burghardt. His death was fundamental in forming her attitude towards her daughter, Yolande, who was born later, and towards her husband, W.E.B., whom she considered responsible for Burghardt’s death.

W.E.B. DuBois Otherwise known as Will, mid-sixties, but seems much younger. Active in national and international politics, he has come to recognize that he is a better politician than he is a husband and father. Even so, he considers his personal sacrifices for the promotion of his personal agenda well worth the trade-off. He maintains a very business-like relationship with his wife and his daughter.

Countee Cullen Twenty-five-year-old young boy-poet genius and protégée of W.E.B. Du Bois, he is clearly a product of the Ivory Tower, Talented Tenth machine. He is very warm and charming, a man who has used words to get into and out of any situation. Although he’s a poet, there is nothing effeminate about him.

Lenora Friend and confidant of Yolande, she’s the down-to-earth, nononsense, tell-it-like-it-is type of friend we all would like to have.

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