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Dauphin County Commissioners' to Present Black History Month Program DO YOU KNOW ME?

This digital performance episode will be offered to the public for two special viewings.

Dauphin County Commissioners' to Present Black History Month Program DO YOU KNOW ME?

In celebration of Black History Month, Dauphin County Commissioners Jeff Haste, Mike Pries, and George R. Hartwick III are proud to present "Do You Know Me?", an original digital performance episode by Sharia Benn, and partnership program of Sankofa African American Theatre Company and Gamut Theatre Group.

Sponsored by Highmark Blue Shield, "Do You Know Me?" takes the audience on a journey through poetry, letters, and the Underground Railroad by emphasizing the words of influential local and national African American leaders. "Do You Know Me?" features local students and professional artists who breathe life into notable works from our local and national history. The project is co-directed by Sharia Benn and Melissa Nicholson.

"For the past few years, Gamut and Sankofa have partnered with Dauphin County to produce a live play for the benefit of Dauphin County students and the general public. I am ecstatic that we can continue this program virtually and continue in our mission to share these important stories," says Melissa Nicholson, Executive Director of Gamut Theatre Group.

The annual program, which produces a new play each spring, is typically presented live, in-person at Gamut Theatre with multiple student matinee performances. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sankofa and Gamut converted to a virtual program that can be used by teachers in the online classroom. The project is artistic, historical, and educational. Ms. Benn and Ms. Nicholson have been working with Dauphin County students Jade Jarrell (Capital Area School of the Arts), Lunden McClain (Central Dauphin East), and Najuma Norman (Capital Area School of the Arts) who perform live monologues filmed on the Gamut stage. Nicholson said of the students: "I have really enjoyed working with these strong and talented young ladies!"

"Do You Know Me?" bridges the gap between knowledge and meaningful action as students journey on the path to accountable and equitable citizenship. "Recent racial and social injustices in America have fueled young people in our community with a desire to be social change agents," says Sharia Benn, Artistic Executive Director of Sankofa African American Theatre Company. "By sharing this truthful knowledge of culture, history, and identity, we gain a better understanding of the past so we can be better agents for social change in the future."

This unique performance will be presented virtually and free to all Dauphin County high schools in February and March, accompanied by live talk-back discussions on Zoom. To register your school for this event, contact Gamut Theatre at 717-238-4111.

"The Dauphin County Commissioners are honored to continue this vital program to celebrate Black History," says Jeff Haste, Chairman of the Dauphin County Commissioners. "We believe it is essential to offer the citizens of Dauphin County chances to learn more about local history, the fascinating people who lived here, and their incredible stories."

"Do You Know Me?" connects audiences to Harrisburg's rich history of abolitionists and civil rights activists who worked to end slavery, secure the vote, and challenge the segregation that continues to plague our communities. This digital performance episode will also be offered to the public for two special viewings on Sunday, March 14, 2021, at 4:00 PM and Monday, March 29, 2021, at 7:00 PM. Tickets for the public performances are available for the community engagement price of $10 and may be purchased at

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