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UofL Theatre's 'A Song for Coretta' crosses generations in civil rights struggle

by John Chamberlain last modified Feb 19, 2010 12:08 PM

"A Song for Coretta," a play by Pearl Cleage that will be performed March 3-7 by the UofL Department of Theatre Arts African American Theatre Program, reveals sharp differences among those who gather to honor the passing of Coretta Scott King.

UofL Theatre's 'A Song for Coretta' crosses generations in civil rights struggle

(L-R) Ebony Jordan, Frances Lewis and Jacqueline Thompson prepare for "Song of Coretta." Photo by Michael Hottois.

Cleage’s drama relates the interactions of strangers waiting at the end of a long line at the 2006 memorial service for King. As they wait for hours outside Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church to pay their respects, they share sorrow in King’s passing but find that their personal experiences during America's battle for civil rights are strikingly different.

The play will be performed 8 p.m. nightly plus a 3 p.m. matinee March 7. All performances will take place at the Thrust Theatre on the Belknap Campus at 2314 South Floyd Street (on the corner of Warnock and Floyd).

Directed by Lundeana Thomas, theater professor and program director, the play features an all-female cast playing women from different generations. Humor and music blend with a clash of opinions.

“These are powerful roles for women depicting different walks of life, just as King reached out to all kinds of people for civil rights,” Thomas said. “Whether on the streets marching or in jail she embodied ‘This Little Light of Mine,’ her favorite gospel song, to all who faced injustice.”

Guest artist Shirley Prendergast, the first African American woman to design lighting for a Broadway production and Obie-Award winner, is lighting designer for the play.

The cast will give a special performance  March 4 in Lexington to registrants of the Southeastern Theatre Conference, a symposium that typically attracts over 4,000 theatre artists and enthusiasts.

Tickets for the UofL performances are $12 for the general public, $10 for faculty and staff and $8 for students and senior citizens. For tickets and information, call 502-852-6814 or go online.

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