Mixx Spotlight: Helen Baskerville Dukes

Mixx Spotlight by Shahidah
I live in New England in the small state of Rhode Island and when I visit other states people say to me:
“I didn’t know there were black people in Rhode Island.”
Yes, there are black people in Rhode Island. Black people doing very big things in the countries smallest state.

Helen Baskerville-Dukes is one of them.  Look at that name and say it three times it is the name of a great story-teller and as a community we need our own story tellers. We need women like Helen to show our pains, our joys, and our accomplishments in the form of theater.

I met Helen by chance in January at a Vision Board Party we were having at Mixx. She stopped into the store to meet another great woman.  She told us about a play she was putting on the next month in February. A play she’d written and was producing herself.

Wait, what??? #mindblown

A black woman was standing in front of me telling me she was following her dream as a playwright AND producer. She was doing all of that right here in Providence, Rhode Island where black people actually live and write plays. I always envisioned myself writing a play but always let fear get the best of me and talk myself out of it and there she stood telling me she was doing it. Respect!

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I went to her play Men Hurt Too and my admiration was cemented. Since meeting her I have been inspired by her drive and determination. I knew the first woman I wanted to spotlight on this website was her. A woman who doesn’t live by potential without firm and methodical action. A woman who is making space for herself in the world as she brings messages wrapped in comedy and drama to the lucky people of New England. A woman who is committed to her community and uplifting others. A woman who has taken charge of her own destiny and said yes I can and yes                                                        I will.

Helen is now preparing for her next play Ladies Night 3  July 22, 2017 –Tickets on sale at Mixx 685 North Main Street and online. I asked Helen for a few moments of her time to share some of her insights on her road to success.

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Mixx: Can you remember the defining moment when you said you were going to be a playwright or author?
Helen: I didn’t realize I had talent until my daughter’s God mother pulled me to the side and told me.
 
Mixx: What did you fear, if anything, and how did you overcome it?
Helen: People not showing up and not liking what I created. Being accepted as a playwright because I don’t have a traditional arts degree
Mixx: Proudest Achievement?
Helen: Being recognized as a writer
Mixx: What inspires you and keeps you motivated?
Helen: The love, support and encouragement people have shown me throughout this journey
Mixx: What was your biggest failure, if any, and how did you learn from that?
Helen: Producing too many plays at once in and market that wasn’t used to the arts
Mixx: Do you have any specific goals for rest of this year? 5years
Helen:To purchase our own building and our first weekly web series among the many things that will be producing
Mixx: What has been the most challenging aspect of writing and producing plays?
Helen: Writing comes fairly easy; however, I need a larger pool of actors to develop deeper roles. Venues, which can be costly and then make it almost impossible to rehearse or plan appropriately
Mixx: Three words that describe you?
Helen: Motivating, Inspiring, and Giving
Funny, if I had to choose three words to describe Helen Motivating. Inspiring. and Giving would be the words I would choose.

If you are in the Rhode Island/Massachusetts/Connecticut area please go online or drop by Mixx in Providence to buy a ticket.  Come discover a Providence treasure in black theatre.

Professional Biography

Helen Baskerville-Dukes has been writing and producing plays for more than a decade. A native of Providence, Rhode Island, she began writing story lines from her own life experiences, as well those of loved ones. Those experiences have allowed Helen to present dramas that are true-to-life and address a variety of topics relevant for today. A lover of music, Helen long desired to become a singer, but later recognized that God was guiding her in another direction. However, to satisfy her need to sing and love of laughter, she often combines music, drama, and comedy together with strong Christian principles to create one-of-a-kind theatrical productions that people of all ages and backgrounds can enjoy.

List of Productions:

LIFE OF SOJOURNER TRUTH
COMING TOGETHER
LOVE & LIES
LADIES NIGHT
FAMILY SECRETS
THE FLAVA OF CHRISTMAS
THE LAST TIME
LADIES NIGHT II
THE HOLD UP
PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH
THE ENGAGEMENT
MEN HURT TOO

LADIES NIGHT 3
July 22nd

9 Replies to “Mixx Spotlight: Helen Baskerville Dukes”

  1. Love the write-up. It says so much about this beautiful woman of God and the talent He has given her. Truly a blessing to have Helen in RI and I envision even greater things from her. The cherry on the top is that she is my all in all. Stay encouraged and the Lord will see you through.
    TDD….

    Like

  2. An Excellent Article on an Amazing Woman who has Truly used her Gift from God. Looking forward to Ladies Night 3, another Wonderful Productiion. Thank You MIXX for interviewing my Dear Friend. God Bless! !

    Like

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