Students in "Theater and Cultural Diversity" (21M.621) will perform vignettes from the lives of African-Americans in the "African-American Living History Museum" on Thursday, Feb. 26 at 6 p.m. in the Student Center's La Sala de Puerto Rico.
This year's theme of "artists and activists" was chosen by members of the Black Theater Guild. Participants, who include about 15 students, alumnae and guest artists, chose whom they wished to portray and created their own dramatic texts. Associate Professor Thomas DeFrantz, who is coordinating the students' efforts, says this process yielded an interesting roster of subjects, including Phyllis Wheatley, Thurgood Marshall, Ida B. Wells, Harriet Tubman, Ralph Ellison, Rebecca J. Cole and Augusta Savage, and political events including the Dred Scott decision and the horror of the Middle Passage slave route.
Composer Akili Jamal Haynes of the New England School of Music Preparatory School will be special guest accompanist. Haynes will perform a score that's partly composed and partly improvised on an array of percussion instruments from different parts of the world.
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A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on February 25, 2004.