RC Presents Two Plays for Black History Month
Rochester College’s theatre department will present a two-play special celebrating the fight for equality during Black History Month. Two one-act plays will be performed one right after the other each day from Feb. 21 through 24.
“Florence” by Alice Childress traces the story of Mama Whitney, who is planning on traveling to New York to convince her daughter Florence to return home rather than continue to pursue an acting career in a nation prejudiced against blacks. Mama is encouraged to be strong in her demands by her other daughter, Marge, who is helping care for Florence’s son, now virtually orphaned by Florence’s career aspirations and Florence’s husband’s death. After Mama Whitney has a conversation with a “colored” porter and then a white woman named Mrs. Carter, she has an epiphany, which leads to the revelation of what both she and Florence should do.
“Walk, Don’t Ride” by Peter Manos chronicles in words and song the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. After Rosa Parks’ arrest for refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a crowded bus, African-Americans and some whites led what is now known as the Montgomery Bus Boycott. “Walk, don’t ride!” became a well-known expression during the political and social protest against racial segregation. Portraying American courage at its core, “Walk, Don’t Ride” takes audiences through this historic movement, visiting the Nashville lunch counter sit-ins and the Greyhound/Trailways freedom rides.