The National Black Touring Circuit kicked off the Black History Month Play Festival 2013 with a special press reception in Harlem on Saturday, February 2 that featured a discussion by acclaimed poet and author Amiri Baraka on "The Meaning of Black History" and a performance by Timothy Simonson portraying Harlem legend Adam Clayton Powell from the play Adam.
Born in Newark, New Jersey, Baraka is the author of over 40 books of essays, poems, drama, and music history and criticism. The acclaimed poet icon and political activist has recited poetry and lectured on cultural and political issues extensively in the USA, the Caribbean, Africa, and Europe. He is renowned as the founder of the Black Arts Movement in Harlem in the 1960s, which became the virtual blueprint for a new American theater aesthetics. His many works include the milestone signature study on African-American music, Blues People (1963) and the Obie Award-winning play Dutchman (1963).
The National Black Touring Circuit's Black History Month Play Festival 2013 examines American history from anti-slavery Abolitionists to the emergence of the NAACP to the height of the civil rights movement through dramas on the lives of African American historic figures Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. DuBois and Adam Clayton Powell. Performances are in New York City theaters from February 8 - 24
Adam, a biographical drama on Con. Adam Clayton Powell starring Timothy Simonson, performs from February 8 -10 at the Dwyer Cultural Center, 258 St. Nicholas Avenue. Written by Peter Deanda and directed by Shauneille Perry, Adam is a dramatization of the words and thoughts of the Reverend and Honorable Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. It is a dramatic, historical play that is set in Bimini, the House of Representatives and Abyssinian Baptist Church. Adam follows the handsome and charismatic Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. on his political journey as the Congressman who represented Harlem between 1945 and 1971.
He Who Endures will be held February 15 - 17 at the National Black Theatre, 2031 Fifth Avenue (at 125th Street). Starring Ralph McCain as Frederick Douglass, He Who Endures, written by Bill Harris and directed by Ajene D. Washington, is set prior to the Civil War with Douglass questioning the direction the Abolitionist Movement with the Rev. Henry Highland Garnet, John Brown and slave-turned-rebel Shields Green. It co-stars Norman Marshall, Marcus Naylor and Leopold Lowe.
Dr. DuBois and Miss Ovington will be held February 22 - 24 at the Castillo Theatre, 543 West 42rd Street (between 10th and 11th Avenue). Co-starring Peter Jay Fernandez as W.E.B. DuBois and Kathleen Chalfant as Mary White Ovington, Dr. DuBois and Miss Ovington, written by Clare Coss and directed by Gabrielle Kurlander, captures a moment of crisis between two esteemed founders of the NAACP in 1915 when DuBois submits his resignation. Du Bois is an educator, human rights activist, African-American visionary leader and Ovington is a white Unitarian, granddaughter of abolitionists, and outspoken justice advocate. Together, they spar, flirt, clash, reveal secrets, and compete to save their vital work.
The Black History Month Play Festival performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 3:00pm. Tickets are $20. For more information call (212) 279-4200 or ticketcentral.com