A Journey~One Woman Show
Ralph and Betty Sheffer Gallery
Wednesday, April 17, Noon – 1:30, Catered Lunch included
$25, Members $20, For Reservations 203-222-1424
If you’ve ever wanted to meet Harriet Tubman or one of the other African American women who made black history, come to the WHS for Westport actress Kimberly Wilson’s one- woman show “A Journey.”
Wilson’s performance uses song, movement and dialogue to bring to life Tubman, a runaway slave who led hundreds of other slaves to freedom along the Underground Railroad, as well as former slave and Abolitionist leader Sojourner Truth, civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks and the poet Maya Angelou.
“I am these characters – I become them,” Wilson, who started developing her one-woman show over 15 years ago, first performing “The Spirits of Black Womanhood” at Weston Elementary School, was quoted as saying in the Connecticut Post, “These are historical figures I’m portraying, but anybody who comes to see the show can find something in their own history”.
“These are historical figures I’m portraying, but anybody who comes to see the show can find something in their own history,” she went on to say. “Everyone has a unique journey.” In addition to presenting such iconic historical figures as Tubman and Parks, Wilson also performs two invented characters, African Queen and Slave Woman, who are intended to be representative of the African American experience. African Queen, who endures a brutal journey on a slave ship, is a reminder of the rich native African heritage in place before the start of the slave trade, Wilson says.
Slave Woman, the actress says, represents the struggles of slaves in a strange land with a strange language, crushed by the destruction of family and culture, and surviving through courage, hope, hard work and never-ending faith. Sojourner Truth was a former slave from New York who became an outspoken advocate for the rights of both blacks and women and helped recruit black troops for the Union Army during the Civil War. Fast-forward 100 years to Rosa Parks, who helped “kick-off the Civil Rights Movement when she refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a Montgomery, Ala. bus, spurring a city-wide bus boycott and forcing the city to lift the law requiring segregation on public buses. Pulitzer Prize-nominated poet and author Angelou is also an important Civil Rights Era figure whose poems and books emphasize looking to the future with hope and courage, Wilson says. In 1993, she recited her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” at Bill Clinton’s first inauguration.
Actress, singer, poet Wilson was a member of theater companies in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn. She is now an active member and Board Treasurer of the Theatre Artists Workshop in Norwalk, CT.
This event is sponsored by The Bank of Fairfield.