A Leavenworth performing arts group is planning to bring a renowned actor for a performance this summer ― but they're looking for help now in making it happen.
Art in Motion will present Stogie Kenyatta the first weekend in June for two performances of his “World is My Home ― the Paul Robeson Story.” According to Joyce Williams, one of the event's organizers, Kenyatta's one-man show, based on the life of acclaimed actor, singer and outspoken political activist Robeson, has had the marquee in theaters across the United States as well as in Europe, Japan and the Caribbean.
“We've never had anything like this,” she said, referring to AIM.
Williams said she had seen the production in Atlanta some time ago.
“It was the most fabulous play I'd ever seen,” she said.
She said she feels the message of the production, which was developed and is mostly handled by Kenyatta and his wife, could be both educational and entertaining, detailing both Robeson's life in the spotlight and the period during which he was the target of Sen. Joseph McCarthy and was largely “blacklisted” in the the United States as a result of his outspoken views on American policies and treatment of African-Americans.
“You saw every aspect of Paul Robeson,” during “World is My Home,” she said. “I want the young people to see it, not because he could sing 'Old Man River,' or and act in 'Othello,' but because he was a scholar-athlete... people just have to see it.”
However, Williams said because of the scale of the production, AIM is also looking to community members or businesses to help sponsor the production.
“We've got a few sponsors,” so far, she said.
Williams said contributions will help AIM sell tickets, sponsor students or adults and defray some of the costs of the production. Those who do wish to help sponsor the production to contact her at 913-727-3085 or Azora Smith at 913-651-8034. AIM is asking for contributions to be made before May 15.
AIM is also selling tickets for $25 each to the two performances of “World is my Home,” scheduled for 6:30 p.m. June 1 and 3:30 p.m. June 2 at the theater inside Leavenworth Virtual School, 1003 Third Ave.