Underground Performing Arts Collective to Present BLACK GIRL MAGIC at Kelsey Theatre

Performances will be presented March 1-3.

By: Feb. 22, 2024
Underground Performing Arts Collective to Present BLACK GIRL MAGIC at Kelsey Theatre
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The Virginia-based Underground Performing Arts Collective will present the gripping story of self-discovery and acceptance, "Black Girl Magic," March 1-3, at the Kelsey Theatre on Mercer County Community College's West Windsor Campus.

"Black Girl Magic" is a powerful story that combines poetry, monologues, and conventional drama with film. It is the tale of Sister, a young Black woman, struggling to find a place of acceptance in the world. Guided by the Ancestors, African Warrior Queens, Sister comes to a place of self-reconciliation and acceptance as she is given a glimpse into the lives and legacy of Black women, past and present.

The performance will be something of a homecoming for Trenton, N.J., native Taylor Pickett-Stokes, a graduate of Hamilton High School West who graduated from MCCC in May 2013 with a degree in Fine Arts and a minor in Psychology. An online call for auditions drew Pickett-Stokes to the UPAC, as she found the "Black Girl Magic'' project intriguing. Driven by the stress and challenges of graduate school, she found the need to get back into a creative space and made the commitment to make the frequent trips to UPAC's rehearsals in Suffolk, Va., to prepare for the show. In "Black Magic Girl," Taylor-Stokes plays multiple roles, including Harriet, Stacy Abrams, Mahalia Jackson, Celie and as a Church Medley singer.

Pickett-Stokes credits her time at Mercer as an inspiration to take on new challenges and expand her horizons, and embrace her love of the arts.

"If not for the wonderful people and teachers that I had at Mercer, I don't know how my life would have played out otherwise," Pickett-Stokes said. "I learned to build meaningful relationships inside and outside of the arts. I feel that the arts are a universal language, so it is foundational to a lot of the connections I have made and maintained over the years."

Performances of "Black Girl Magic" are Friday, March 1, and Saturday, March 2, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 3 at 2 p.m. Performances will be at the Kelsey Theatre on MCCC's West Windsor Campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road.

Tickets are $22 for adults and $20 for children, students, and senior citizens, and may be purchased online at www.kelseytheatre.org or by calling the Kelsey Box Office Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. - noon, at (609) 570-3333. Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible, with free parking next to the theater. For a complete listing of adult and children's events, visit the Kelsey website or call the box office for a brochure.


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