UofL African American Theatre Program presents original play, two other productions

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    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The African American Theatre Program at the University of Louisville will stage several opportunities to observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Black History Month this year.

    The theatre program’s annual MLK Celebration is at 1 p.m., Jan 18, and features a reading of a three-character piece in which Dr. King’s staff tries to decipher his message through bits of paper smuggled out of the Birmingham jail. This free, public presentation will include music, theater and dance at The Playhouse, 1911 S. Third St.

    The program also presents “Bloodline Rumba,” Feb. 3-Feb. 8. History and identity collide in this premiere production inspired by a study abroad trip to Cuba. This original play was written by Pan African Studies Professor John Chenault and is directed by Nefertiti Burton, chair of UofL’s theatre arts department.

    “Bloodline Rumba intrigues me because it addresses the complexities of color and culture from a more global perspective than is common in American theatre,” Burton said. “I love the way Chenault explores the historical relationships between power, race, class and gender through multiple lenses. I think the play will be a catalyst for some much needed conversation, especially among families and communities struggling with these contradictions.”

    The play starts at 8 p.m. Feb. 3-6 and Feb. 8 and at 3 p.m. on Feb. 7 in the Thrust Theatre Studio Arts Building, 2314 South Floyd St. Tickets are $8 for UofL students, $12 for other students and alumni, faculty, staff and seniors and $15 for general admission.

    On Feb. 28, the AATP and the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage presents “The Meeting” by Jeff Stetson. This one-hour play depicts the supposed meeting of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. The show is at 3 p.m. at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage, 1701 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd and costs $5.

    For more information, contact Carolyn Clifford at 502-852-7682 or carolyn.clifford@louisville.edu.

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    Niki King
    Niki King Jones is positive she has the best job at the University of Louisville, serving the communication needs of the departments of fine arts and theatre, the School of Music, University Libraries and Alumni – all the fun, creative stuff. Before coming to UofL in 2015, Niki held communication positions in both private and nonprofit sectors in Louisville, Ky., including at Heaven Hill Distilleries and the Jewish Community of Louisville. For 10 years prior, she was a reporter at various newspapers across the country, most recently The Courier-Journal. Niki graduated from the University of Memphis with a BA in journalism and has a masters degree in community and leadership development from the University of Kentucky.