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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Acacia Theatre Celebrates Sojourner Truth

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Heroes tend to be forged from times of great injustice. Those of us who don't face the kind of tests that define bravery often fall into the misconception that heroism is a myth. But that would be a disservice to towering figures like Sojourner Truth, one of the most recognizable names of the 19th-century abolitionist movement. A woman who escaped slavery only to risk her freedom to save others, not to mention someone who fought for women's rights long before society deemed it proper to do so, is worthy of the title of “hero.” This week, Acacia Theatre stages a dramatic celebration of Sojourner Truth with its production of the Sandra Fenichel Asher play A Woman Called Truth.

Lori Woodall-Schaufler will direct the show. “I was really intrigued with the style of the play right away—the short vignettes, the sparseness of the set, and the use of light to set tone and mood,” Woodall-Schaufler says.

The production requires great depth to capture a historical figure as large as Truth (as well as to fill the expansive stage at Concordia University). Music should help to add such depth. In addition to Truth's own words, the play includes performances of folk songs and spirituals from the era that should powerfully resonate in the large space.

Acacia Theatre's production of A Woman Called Truth runs May 13-22 at Concordia University's Todd Wehr Auditorium. Tickets can be reserved by calling 414-744-5995.

Theater Happenings

  • Windfall Theatre presents musical theater talent Larry Birkett in the Milwaukee premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon's Green Sneakers. Gordon's deeply personal opera for “baritone, empty chair, string quartet and piano” recounts the loss of a partner to AIDS. The four-performance run takes place May 13-14 and May 20-21 at Village Church Arts. To reserve tickets, call 414-332-3963.
  • Next week, Uprooted and the Milwaukee Gay Arts Center present Pink Champagne, a new work by local playwright Neil Haven. The iconoclastic family comedy runs May 19-June 5 at the Tenth Street Theatre. To reserve tickets, call 414-383-3727.
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