The National Black Touring Circuit's Black History Month Play Festival 2013 will examine 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.
The Black History Month Play Festival will feature three performances each week. There will be post-play discussions analyzing issues confronted by these African American political figures. Woodie King, Jr., producer/director of the National Black Touring Circuit and Kim Weston Moran, associate producer, produce the Black History Month Play Festival. "These biographical plays take audiences on dramatic journeys through the lives of legendary African American men who changed American history," said acclaimed producer King. "It's especially important for younger audiences to comprehend the relentless determination of these men as they faced inconceivable challenges in the pursuit of racial equality. They laid the framework for achievement by contemporary African American political figures including President Obama."
Adam will be held February 8 - 10 at the Dwyer Cultural Center, 258 St. Nicholas Avenue (entrance on 123rd Street). Starring Timothy Simonson as Adam Clayton Powell, 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
The National Black Touring Circuit was founded in 1974, by Woodie King, Jr. to make existing Black theatre productions available to a larger audience by presenting to the Black communities at large, to colleges, to Black art centers, and to resident professional theatres. The program is funded by the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, New York State Council on the Arts and individual contributions