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'The America Play' staged at The University of Akron

Published: October 17, 2016 12:00 AM
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The University of Akron (UA) Theatre Program kicks off its 2016-17 season with The America Play by Pulitzer Prize winning author, Suzan-Lori Parks.

Performance dates are Nov. 3 through 5 and 10 through 12 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 6 and 12 at 2 p.m. -- Sandefur Theatre in Guzzetta Hall, 157 University Ave.

For tickets, email administration.arts@gmail.com or call the ticket office at (330) 972-7895. For more information, visit uakron.edu/dtaa/performances or facebook.com/TheArtsStartHere.

Akron theatre alumni are encouraged to attend the production on Alumni Night, November 5, free of charge.

The America Play follows the story of an African-American gravedigger whose startling resemblance to Abraham Lincoln prompts him to earn a living impersonating the president. Known as the Foundling Father, he abandons his wife and young son to venture into the world, eventually creating a sideshow act at The "Great Hole of History" where patrons pay a penny to reenact the assassination of Lincoln.

Parks' script is rich in symbolism and metaphor, blending the images of Lincoln and African-American heritage, while questioning audiences' historical memory. Guest director Jimmie Woody, a Cleveland native who received his MFA in Acting from Columbia University, envisions "The America Play" as a vaudeville-inspired haunted house. With performances directly before and after Election Day, the director intends the play to serve as a call to action concerning re-defining America, re-imagining history, and re-presenting our national identity. There will be post-show discussions following select performances.

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