UAPB wins at Theatre Conference, next production debuts April 18

PINE BLUFF, Ark. – Twenty historically black colleges and universities convened on the campus of Coppin State University for the 77th Annual National Association of Dramatic and Speech Arts in Baltimore, Maryland. The John McLinn Ross Players of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) were there and represented well in the Allen Williams Play Festival, winning third place for an hour long version of the musical, Once on This Island, directed by Cheryl Collins, Director of Theatre.

Though the entire production was praised for its Broadway-level professionalism, the judges raved over Sophomore Theatre Major, Tamara Courtney’s lighting design and two actors were also recognized for their stellar performance within the cast: Clarence Stokes, choreographer, and Lauren Brown, a Senior Theatre major, graduating in May. Lauren has proven that all of her hard work is on par with her colleagues at HBCUs from around the country coming in second place in the Interpretation of Poetry competition.

“This was my first experience performing poetry publicly,” said Lauren. “But the fact that there were so many people there with a passion for theatre arts made me both nervous and excited for feedback.”

Clarence and Lauren, along with other Island-ers Samille Palm, Kelsey Newman, Travis Thomas, Twona Frazier, Maranda Barris and Antoinette Oliver, are also cast members in the upcoming production, The Trial Of One Short-sighted Black Woman Versus Mammy Louise and Safreeta Mae, a satire by Karani Marcia Leslie, closing the Freedom Season of theatre, April 18-21, 2013. In The Trial a corporate climber aims to free herself from two of the most notorious black stereotypes ever by taking them to court. Suitable for grades 8 and up, and especially women’s groups, this play will challenge the audience’s perceptions of those images and their effect on the modern black woman.

Reservations for individuals and groups are available for The Trial. You can book today by calling 870-575-8428 or sending an email to . Public performances on the campus of UAPB in the Hathaway-Howard Fine Arts Center, 1200 N. University Drive, Pine Bluff, AR, 71601, on the corner of Reeker street and University Drive.

Prices: $10 General Admission, $5 Students, $6 Groups of 20 or more

Show dates and Times: (all productions directed by Cheryl Collins)

The Trial Of One Short-sighted Black Woman Versus Mammy Louise and Safreeta Mae by Karani Marcia Leslie

7:30 pm        Thurs, Apr 18 – Sat, Apr 21
3:00 pm        Sat, Apr 20 & Sun, Apr 21

For more information call Alexis Skinner at 870-575-8428 or e-mail


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