The Word Players and Clayton Center present "Lift Every Voice"

February 15, 2013
Event By: Clayton Center for the Arts Address: 502 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway Maryville, TN 37804 Email: info@claytonartscenter.com Phone: (865) 981-8590
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Lift Every Voice, by Doug Floyd, is an original one-act presentation in drama, song, and dance. It tells the story and the influence of the Harlem Renaissance (1919-1929), highlighting important cultural, artistic, and political figures and events. The play focuses on the contributions of several key figures in the Harlem Renaissance, such as W.E.B. DuBois, James Weldon Johnson, Louis Armstrong, Zora Neale Hurston, and others. It also puts into context the incredible influence of the Harlem Renaissance on people such as Elvis Presley, Spike Lee, Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Through story-telling, narration, song, and dance, audiences will experience the power of Claude McKay's poem, "If We Must Die." They will be caught up in the rhythms of Langston Hughes' "Weary Blues" and Ma Rainey's "When it Rains." They will be swept up in the passion of Zora Neale Hurston's heart-felt prose. All of these elements, among others, will illustrate the convergence of humanity, the creative collaboration, and the cultural consciousness that was the Harlem Renaissance. Doug Floyd's passion for the music, art, poetry, and history of the period comes through in his original play, which The WordPlayers premiered in 2010. The unique communicative power of live theatre will make for a memorable experience for the audiences who attend Lift Every Voice.