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NIU commemorates Women’s History Month with a benefit performance of ‘A Song for Coretta’

March 20, 2017

“A Song for Coretta” from the NIU School of Theater and Dance is being presented at a 2 p.m. matinee and a 7 p.m. evening performance on Saturday, March 25. The benefit performances, directed by Bethany Mangum, are being remounted at the DeKalb Area Women’s Center (DAWC), 1021 State St., DeKalb, to commemorate Women’s History Month. The ticket booth opens a half-hour before showtime. The suggested donation to the local nonprofit is $5 per person. The usual Herstorical Tea & Cookies at the Cast Talkback will be served after each performance. Parking is available a half-block south in the lot on 11th St., as well as on-street.

The setting is February 6, 2006, outside the Ebenezer Baptist church in Atlanta, GA, where five fictional characters have stood patiently for hours, waiting to say goodbye to Coretta Scott King, wife of Dr. Martin Luther King. The five women of various ages share memories and stories of Mrs. King’s extraordinary life and their sorrow at her passing. However, they discover a generational division in what Dr. and Mrs. King’s contribution to Civil Rights has meant for each of them. Their disparate understandings range from that of the oldest woman who was a direct participant in the 1960s movement, to one’s belief that the Kings’ struggles actually accomplished nothing against the racial injustices that still exist, to that of a college student covering the funeral for National Public Radio (NPR) and completely naïve about the history they were all there to celebrate. Inspired by the long line of mourners who came to pay their final respects to Coretta Scott King, playwright, novelist and poet Pearl Cleage measures King’s accomplishments and spirit during the Civil Rights era against the current state of black women in America.

The DAWC gallery Director Anna Marie Coveny is appreciative of this communiversity effort and credits 2017 NIU Theater Director Bethany Mangum and last year’s Director Kay Martinovich with this important contribution to the Women’s History Month commemoration. For more information, contact [email protected] or 815-758-1351.