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UAPB Theatre kicks off fifth season with free performance


For the past four years under the direction of Cheryl Collins, MFA, the John McLinn Ross Players (JMRP) have brought to the greater Pine Bluff community many excellent and entertaining productions.

The 2012-2013 Freedom Season of theatre promises several wonderful productions of favorite musical stories as well as a special performance from the Director of Theatre herself.

Professor Collins believes that “With Freedom comes responsibility. We artists must be conscious of our journey and be responsible for telling our own story.” On Dec. 5, visitors will see her one woman show about the life and achievements of African American aviation pioneer, Bessie Coleman, along with BAD (Black And Defiant), an uplifting solo show by Stephan Collins-Stepney, which will benefit the JMRP on their way to the 77th National Association of Dramatic & Speech Arts conference and competition in Baltimore in April 2013. With so much to look forward to, don’t miss their first play of the season; a special encore performance of Joe Turner’s Come and Gone.

Arriving at a boarding house with his young daughter in 1911, one broken man finds freedom from his past in this moving historical drama by prolific African American playwright, August Wilson.

The performance is Saturday and tickets are free to the general public.

The season continues Nov. 15-18 with Broadway musical Once on This Island.

The book & lyrics are by Lynn Ahrens with music by Stephen Flaherty, but the play is based on the 1985 novel My Love, My Love; or, The Peasant Girl by Rosa Guy.

As always from Feb. 14-17 theatre patrons can try to catch the fun, frolicking and free Gingerbread Man in the classic kid’s tale with a few new musical twists from David Wood. Closing the 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 by having her day in court. Season subscriptions are available for the two musicals, one comedy and two special performance events. The John McLinn Ross Players are committed to excellence in performance and competition and they are gearing up for their best season yet.

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

Once on This Island book & lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and music by Stephen Flaherty (Based on the 1985 novel My Love, My Love; or, The Peasant Girl by Rosa Guy)

7:30 p.m. Nov. 15, Nov 17, 3 p.m., Nov 17 and Nov 18.

The Gingerbread Man Book, music & lyrics by David Wood 7:30 p.m., Feb. 14 and Feb. 15 3 p.m., Feb. 16 and Feb. 17.

The Trial Of One Short-sighted Black Woman Versus Mammy Louise and Safreeta Mae by Karani Marcia Leslie

7:30 p.m. April 18,, April 21 p.m., April 20 and 21

An Evening with Cheryl Collins featuring Special Guest, Stephan Collins-Stepney 7:30 p.m., Dec. 5, $20 (not part of Season Subscriptions below)

Season Subscription Prices:

Golden Lion Subscription $25 (1 ticket per production) Coalition Subscription $50 (2 tickets per production)

Lion’s Pride Subscription $100 (4 tickets per production)

For more information call Alexis Skinner at 870-575-8428 or e-mail skinnera@uapb.edu.