Antonio Duke is a Twin Cities based actor and playwright. He strives to be an unrestricted conduit for the spirits he conjures in his theatrical practice. For him performance is an act of spiritual manifestation rooted in an ancient practice of Afrocentric storytelling. He follows in the tradition of the griot, West African oral storytellers who are blessed with the task of being the keepers of their community’s histories. Website: https://www.antonioduke.com
Inspired by his grandfather’s story, actor/playwright Antonio Duke creates Missing Mississippi Moons, a mosaic of characters evoked through ritual and ancestral heritage, struggling to find their power in the time of Jim Crow. Framed by the epic flood of 1927 in Greenville Mississippi, Edward Ash comes home to bury his father, Jake. As Edward remembers working with his father to carve out his community’s escape, he finds himself at the intersection of grief, racial violence and hope.
Ashes of Moons or the awkward confessions of a black nerd follows the story of Rashon Jefferson as he comes to terms with his experience in the Foster Care system.
“Well trained and highly charismatic, Duke uses his craft to give this piece light and pathos.” -- Star Tribune, 2018.
-Join the poetic journey of a man traveling through time, witnessing our country’s shared history and the ongoing violence against Black people. Simultaneously deeply personal and encompassing an epic sweep of storytelling from Ancient Greece to Nigerian mythology, Tears of Moons embodies our anger and grief, and offers a vision of perseverance and strength.
The culmination of Antonio Duke's 2019 Artist Initiative Grant is an original solo performance piece called "MISSING MISSISSIPPI MOONS" directed by Ellen Fenster with live music by Umar Malik Williams. Previews open November 21st at 7:30pm at The Playwrights' Center.
2018-19 Many Voices Mentee Antonio Duke is one of the first recipients of the Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship program. 60 Fellowships were awarded to early career artists in Minnesota and New York City.