Tuesday, February 8, 2000

Chicago's Kuumba Theatre Founder Performs at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — In celebration of African American History Month, Washington College presents "My Soul Is A Witness," a one-woman show chronicling the African American experience. Performed by Val Gray-Ward, actor, director, producer, and founder of Kuumba Theatre in Chicago, the show takes place at 8 p.m., Wednesday Feb. 16 in the Norman James Theatre in William Smith Hall on the College campus.
In this dramatic production in three acts, Gray-Ward uses popular songs, blues, traditional spirituals and spirituals born of the civil-rights movement, poetry, prose, and original compositions to bring African American experience to life.
Gray-Ward, an accomplished actor, portrays 17 different characters, dramatizing the work of such writers as Gwendolyn Brooks, Richard, Wright, Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, and James Weldon Johnson, and composers such as W. C. Handy and Leadbelly, as well as works less well known but deserving of wider recognition.
Gray-Ward was born and reared in Mound Bayou, Miss., the oldest all-black town in America. Located in the heart of the Mississippi Delta, the area is rich in black history and culture.
"My Soul Is A Witness" and the reception in 110 William Smith Hall following the show are free and open to the public.

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