The National Black Touring Circuit's 2013 Black History Month Play Festival presents He Who Endures, an anti-slavery abolitionist drama written by Bill Harris starring Ralph McCain as Frederick Douglass and Norman Marshall as John Brown from February 15 - 17 at the National Black Theatre, 2031 Fifth Avenue (at 125th Street).
On Sunday, February 17, following the 3:00pm matinee, there will be a special discussion analyzing the impact and influence of Frederick Douglass and John Brown. Louis A. DeCaro, Jr., noted expert on John Brown is an assistant professor of history at Alliance Theological Seminary and is the author of the essay collection, "John Brown: The Man Who Lived." Larry Lawrence, chairman of the John Brown Society, who has been an activist for the left for 40 years. Herb Boyd, an award-winning journalist, educator, author, and activist, teaches black studies at the City College of New York and the College of New Rochelle. He's the author of Brotherman, an American Book Award winner featuring Frederick Douglass, a columnist for the Amsterdam News and currently writing a screenplay on John Brown and his African American riders.
He Who Endures, directed by Ajene Washington, is set in the years immediately preceding the Civil War with Douglass passionately questioning the direction the anti-slavery movement with John Brown, Rev. Henry Highland Garnet (Marcus Naylor) and slave-turned-rebel Shields Green (Leopold Lowe). The drama swirls around hotly contested ideas about the role of the abolitionist in ending the horrific institution of human slavery. Who would see his line of attack prevail? Who would be the last man standing? Who would endure?
The 2013 Black History Month Play Festival 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. The recent biographical production on Adam Clayton Powell, starred Timothy Simonson in Adam. The 2013 Black History Month Play Festival, which features three performances each week, is produced by Obie and American Theatre Hall of Fame winner Woodie King, Jr., founder/producer/director of the National Black Touring Circuit and Kim Weston Moran, associate producer.
From February 22 - 24, the drama Dr. DuBois and Miss Ovington will be held at the Castillo Theatre, 543 West 42rd Street (between 10th and 11th Avenue). It co-stars Peter Jay Fernandez as W.E.B. DuBois and Kathleen Chalfant as Mary White Ovington. Written by Clare Coss and directed by Gabrielle Kurlander, Dr. DuBois and Miss Ovington, 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, and founder of The Crisis magazine 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. Following the Sunday, February 24 performance, there will be a special discussion on W.E.B. DuBois and The Crisis by Judge Laura Blackburne, chairman and publisher of the NAACP's Crisis Magazine.
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