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Richard Wright's 'Black Boy' to be
presented Feb. 28 at the Student Union

Mr. Charles Holt, performing 'Black Boy'Feb. 22, 2006 -- A theatrical adaptation of Richard Wright’s journey from childhood to adulthood in the Jim Crow South, as written in his book “Black Boy,” will be presented at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28, in the Student Union on the campus of Arkansas State University in Jonesboro.

Commemorating Black History Month and sponsored by the Office of Diversity Initiatives, the dramatization is free and open to the public.

Performed by acclaimed actor Charles Holt and adapted by American Place Theatre Artistic Director Wynn Handman, the moving one-man production is adapted for the stage from Wright’s landmark autobiography. This poignant coming-of-age story traces the African-American author’s many boyhood struggles – from growing up poor and being abandoned by his father to facing “Jim Crow” prejudice in early 20th-century America.

During a visit to Arkansas, the Mississippi native was deeply affected by the death of his uncle Silas, who was killed during the Elaine race riots. Through his own love of literature and his own personal writings, Wright finds the power to rise above many challenges and make his mark on the world.

Last month, the production of “Black Boy” returned to the Kennedy Center during MLK Week to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. holiday with all sold-out performances.
In this fifth national collegiate touring series of “Black Boy,” Holt brings to life such a powerful, body of work on the stage. In addition to “Black Boy,” Holt has starred in “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Smokey Joe's Café,” and the spectacular Broadway production of “Lion King.” He also starred in the award winning film, “Anne B. Real” as well as Detective Gilman on “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.”

“Black Boy,” published in 1944 by Perennial Classics, was a runaway best seller for the African-American author. Wright also adapted and co-wrote the play “Native Son” that was produced on Broadway by Orson Welles and John Houseman.

ASU presents this American Place Theatre Literature to Life production of "Black Boy." The American Place Theatre Literature to Life is a performance-based literacy program, which presents professionally staged verbatim adaptations of significant American literary works.

For more details, contact the Office of Diversity Initiatives at 870-972-3030.

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