‘The Gingerbread Man’ coming to UAPB

Run, run, as fast as you can to the campus of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff on Feb. 14-21 to experience the charming classic tale of “The Gingerbread Man” brought to life by the John McLinn Ross Players.

This traditional story is told in a surprising new musical way with a book, music and lyrics by David Wood for children of all ages.

“Supplementing a child’s classroom learning through the art of theatre and live storytelling creates performers and theatre lovers for the future,” said Cheryl Collins, director of theatre.

The continuation of the 2012-2013 Freedom Season of theatre also brings with it a special touring performance from Collins in “If I’m Lyin’, I’m Flyin’: The Story of Queen Bess,” exploring the life of the first black professional pilot, Bessie Coleman. Born to sharecroppers in 1890s Texas, Coleman fought the poverty, race and gender issues of the day to, eventually, earn a feature on a 1995 U.S. postage stamp. This entertaining and encouraging one-woman show, written by Collins and Stephan Collins-Stepney, can be brought to your youth or community organization by special arrangement.

Closing the 2012-2013 Freedom Season is a satire by Karani Marcia Leslie, “The Trial Of One Short-sighted Black Woman Versus Mammy Louise and Safreeta Mae”, which runs April 18-21. “The Trial” is about a corporate climber who aims to free herself from two of the most notorious black stereotypes ever by having her day in court. Suitable for grades eight and up, and especially women’s groups, this play will challenge the audience’s perceptions of those images and their effect on the modern black woman.

School matinees are available for “The Gingerbread Man” beginning Feb. 11. Individuals as well as groups can book by calling Alexis Skinner at 870-575-8428 or sending an e-mail to skinnera@uapb.edu.

All performances will be held on the campus of UAPB in the Hathaway Howard Fine Arts Center, 1200 N. University Drive.

Show dates and times: (all productions directed by Collins)

• “The Gingerbread Man” — 7:30 p.m. Feb 14-15; 3 p.m. Feb 16-17

• “The Trial Of One Short-sighted Black Woman Versus Mammy Louise and Safreeta Mae” — 7:30 p.m. April 18-21; 3 p.m. April 20-21

• “If I’m Lyin’, I’m Flyin’: The Story of Queen Bess” — Call to arrange for school, church and community groups

For more information, contact Skinner.