Drama Society to Present God's Trombones by James Weldon Johnson

  • Wednesday, October 13, 2010

    PRINCESS ANNE, MD - (Oct. 12, 2010) - More than 30 members of UMES' Drama Society, along with university faculty and staff, will present "God's Trombones:  Seven Negro Sermons in Verse and a Prayer" Nov. 4-6. The annual fall theater production begins at 7:30 p.m. each evening at the Ella Fitzgerald Center for the Performing Arts.

    The play is inspired by the 1927 book of poems by James Weldon Johnson patterned after traditional African-American religious oratory or "folk sermons" passed along through generations by members of the clergy.  The seven poems are:  "Listen, Lord-A Prayer," "The Creation," "The Prodigal Son," "Go down Death-A Funeral Sermon," "Noah Built the Ark," "The Crucifixion," "Let My People Go" and "The Judgment Day."

    "We're going to bring these Bible stories that the community grew up with to life," said Dr. Della Dameron-Johnson, director of the UMES Drama Society and assistant professor of English and Modern Languages.  "Our lighting and set design teams are creating authentic settings to support the actors.  We even have an ark, 'animals,' an old-time casket, a crucifixion scene and other surprises." 

    The UMES Gospel Choir will joined by area gospel soloists from various community churches to lend their talent to this year's production by stepping in to provide a smooth transition from scene to scene.  "The music will reinforce the message in the theatrical performance," said Dameron-Johnson.  "Liturgical or 'praise' dancing by talented university students will also add a new element to the production."

    Tickets will be sold at the door: $5 for the public, $3 for senior citizens and $2 for UMES students.  For more information, call 410-651-6575.

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     Gail Stephens, assistant director, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-651-7580, gcstephens@umes.edu.  

    Bill Robinson, director, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-621-2355, wrobinson3@umes.edu.