Black history month is a time when we recognize the accomplishments of African Americans and how their inventions, social conscience efforts and sacrifice have been instrumental in shaping the United States. Among these individuals is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His efforts to affect social change are among the most important accomplishments both during his life and after his death.
Martin: Duty Calls is a stage play that takes the audience behind closed doors to explore the internal struggles of Dr. King and his wife Coretta Scott King. From the resistance of a president and the indelible Malclom X to the delicate balance of home life, the actors' portrayals bring to life this story through well executed, compelling performances.
Roy Parker, with roots in television as a writer, decided it was important to help keep the dream alive by creating this play. Well received in the Los Angeles market, it has been requested as part of festivals and Black History Month events around the country. With this growing interest, the goal is to travel around the country year round as an important part of the history telling that is missed in schools and homes.
A recent performance was met with high acclaim. One theater goer stated that Chaz Ingram's portrayal of Dr. King was "better than the guy who played him in Selma." Directed by David Wendall Boykins and produced by Story Teller Productions, the additional performances of Daebreon Poiema as Coretta Scott King, Gregor Manns as Rev. Abernathy, Tory Devon Smith as John Lewis and James Bevel, Malika Blessing as Rosa Parks, Dora Mc Donald and Eleanor Charles, Kevin Scott Allen as J. Edgar Hoover and Bus Driver, and Henry Foster Brown as Malcolm X, Baynard Rustin and Luther Watkins were nothing short of phenomenal.
For actors, playing one character can be challenging, seeing several of these cast members playing multiple historical characters shows their true commitment and talent. "Martin: Duty Calls is a reminder that we as a people are better as a society when we love and respect one another," Roy Parker.
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