The Boogeyman | Sincere, Raw & Personally Passionate

Contributed by Marcus Dargan

DSP Logo - Sq BlOne does not easily forget the first time they write, direct and produce their own play. For me that play was Antichrist Lament. It was 2006, a post 9/11 America struggling with racial profiling and terrorism. I initially wrote it to address reparations; however, the work grew into a commentary on contemporary racism in America from the perspective of the African American male.

Truman Lofton, Deon Williams, Pito Luzunaris, Curtis Williams, and Marvin Taylor in Antichrist Lament.  Photo Credit: Marcus Dargan|NuAFrikanTheatre|2006.

Truman Lofton, Deon Williams, Pito Luzunaris, Curtis Williams, and Marvin Taylor in Antichrist Lament. Photo Credit: Marcus Dargan|NuAFrikanTheatre|2006.

I had so much to say and wasn’t afraid to say it. I made of list of every issue concerning the Black experience and found a way to incorporate each of them in it. I eventually threw in everything but the kitchen sink in that play.

It was sincere, raw and personally passionate. That production was definitive for me as an artist and this past week I had the opportunity to reflect on and embrace my first experience through viewing Bisa Dawes’ The Boogeyman: Diaries of a Broken Home.

The Boogeyman: Diaries of a Broken Home

The Boogeyman: Diaries of a Broken Home


The Boogeyman is Bisa’s first venture as a playwright, director and producer of her own show. Presented as part of the Summer 2014 Thespis Theater Festival, The Boogeyman, just like the first work of any artist, is also sincere, raw, and personally passionate.

Sasha Morales, Thaddeus Street and Michelle Cammarata in The Boogeyman. Photo Credit: Marcus Dargan | Down Stage Pass|2014.

Sasha Morales, Thaddeus Street and Michelle Cammarata in The Boogeyman. Photo Credit: Marcus Dargan | Down Stage Pass|2014.

Wendy (Michelle Cammarata), Leah (Sasha Morales), and Tyrone (Thaddeus Street) have all lost their innocence at an early age growing up in broken homes. They now live in abusive relationships with others and within themselves. They take distinctly different paths yet they share a bond in the cycle of abuse that has infected their adult lives.


Michelle Cammarata, Thaddeus Street, Monica Saini, and Sasha Morales in The Boogeyman. Photo Credit: Marcus Dargan|Down Stage Pass|2014.

Michelle Cammarata, Thaddeus Street, Monica Saini, and Sasha Morales in The Boogeyman. Photo Credit: Marcus Dargan|Down Stage Pass|2014.

A successful business woman, homeless man, and incarcerated murderer find strength in one another to overcome the demons that haunt them when placed in a support group together. The monologues in which the characters share their personal stories and accompanying scenes of rape and abuse are sincere, candid and brutally real.

Ronnetta Renay in The Boogeyman. Photo Credit: Marcus Dargan|Down Stage Pass|2014.

Ronnetta Renay in The Boogeyman. Photo Credit: Marcus Dargan|Down Stage Pass|2014.

Bisa does not hide the grotesque and vulnerable aspects of the human condition. She challenges the audience to view the true horror in the actions of abuse and how it transforms ones physical and spiritual being.

Michelle Cammarata and Terrence Ruggiero in The Boogeyman. Photo Credit: Marcus Dargan|Down Stage Pass|2014.

Michelle Cammarata and Terrence Ruggiero in The Boogeyman. Photo Credit: Marcus Dargan|Down Stage Pass|2014.


Though The Boogeyman is crude and raw, it is very genuine. It is surreal in that it often tells the story through rough transitions of dream sequences, poetry, modern dance and contemporary song.

The Cast of The Boogeyman.  Photo Credit: Marcus Dargan|Down Stage Pass|2014.

The Cast of The Boogeyman. Photo Credit: Marcus Dargan|Down Stage Pass|2014.

There is one scene in which the cast stops the performance to sound off statistics on child abuse. It is a heartfelt plea to effect change, not from a group of actors, but from everyday people within our community.


The Cast of The Boogeyman. Photo Credit: Marcus Dargan|Down Stage Pass|2014.

The Cast of The Boogeyman. Photo Credit: Marcus Dargan|Down Stage Pass|2014.

The personal passion and commitment behind the work and its message is evident in the entire ensemble. The cast of 19 is reflective of diverse talents, ages, and backgrounds. This includes two children (one as young as seven years of age), a comedian, film and theatre students, and seasoned professionals. These emerging artists, actors, dancers, and musicians generously perform alongside each other sharing the stage collectively to a standing ovation.


I look forward to seeing how The Boogeyman and Bisa’s future works as an artist develop and refine over the years to come. I wonder if she will continue to incorporate a large diverse community and address social concerns. I also wonder if she will continue to use a multidisciplinary approach to storytelling and if so, how it will mature. Lastly, I wonder if she will look back in about 8 years and say, “Gee, I was so sincere, raw and personally passionate back then.”

Bisa Dawes, playwright, director and producer of the Boogeyman.

Bisa Dawes, playwright, director and producer of the Boogeyman.

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About the author

Marcus Dargan is the Artistic Director of NuAFrikan Theatre and a recipient of the Jacob A. Weiser Playwright Award for his play Dream Deferred, which was nominated for the AUDELCO 2012 Dramatic Production of the Year. He was last seen in the role created by Ken Page in Ain’t Misbehavin’ with the Harlem Repertory Theatre, a show garnering five AUDELCO Award nominations. He is the author of the play Antichrist Lament, which received workshop performances at the Manhattan Theatre Source PlayGround Development Series and Nuyorican Poet’s Café. He is an adjunct professor of the Speech, Communications and Theatre department at Borough of Manhattan Community where he received an A.S. in Theatre. He also holds a B.A. in Theatre and M.S.Ed. in Educational Theatre from City College of New York. marcusdargan.com

1 comment on “The Boogeyman | Sincere, Raw & Personally Passionate”

  1. Sophornia Reply

    This review is very moving. It makes me want to see it’s nature of truth that can sometimes only be told in a manner such as the Theatre.

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