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PlayMakers Repertory Company and Theatre Raleigh Present HIGHER GROUND CONVERSATIONS

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HIGHER GROUND CONVERSATIONS Kicks Off on August 20

PlayMakers Repertory Company and Theatre Raleigh Present HIGHER GROUND CONVERSATIONS

PlayMakers Repertory Company and Theatre Raleigh are co-sponsoring Higher Ground Conversations, a series of conversations with experts on topics of racial justice, hosted by North Carolina Theatre artist and activist, Mike Wiley.

This nine-month series of free, on-line conversations with many of the country's visionary thinkers on race in America was born out of a planned racial justice journey to Alabama that was canceled due to COVID-19. In the face of the racial reckoning that has consequently grown and risen to the center of our nation's conscience at this time, Wiley did not want to delay the opportunity to offer this series to as broad an audience as possible.

"I am in awe of Mike's commitment to reflecting upon and exploring the complicated, ugly, beautiful, and aspirational parts of our history," said Vivienne Benesch, Producing Artistic Director of PlayMakers Repertory Company. "With 'Higher Ground,' we are incredibly proud to support Mike's efforts to create a bridge between leaders of the racial justice movements and as wide an audience as possible. It also gives us an opportunity-while we can't be gathered in the theatre together-to experience a part of what theatre does best: inspire curiosity, empathy, action and transformation. We need that more than ever right now."

"As a theatre company, we have been listening and trying to understand both recent events like the death of George Floyd and countless others, and also the causes of systemic racism in our society," said Lauren Kennedy Brady, Producing Artistic Director of Theatre Raleigh. "We are very proud to partner with Mike on this very important racial justice initiative, to educate ourselves and others about the Black experience, white privilege and how to be better allies for diversity, inclusion, and equity."

Higher Ground Conversations kicks off on August 20, with guests The Most Rev. Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church, North Carolina Poet Laureate Jaki Shelton Green, and gospel singer Jennifer Evans.

The series will feature national authors, historians, and sociologists, including:

· Dr. Danielle McGuire, author of At The Dark End of The Street

· Dr. Rupert Nacoste, Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor of Psychology at North Carolina State University and author of Taking on Diversity: How We Can Move From Anxiety To Respect

· John Biewen, creator and producer of the Peabody Award-nominated podcast, Scene On Radio

· Loki Mulholland, director of the award-winning documentary, The Uncomfortable Truth

· Rev. Carolyn McKinstry, author of While the World Watched: A Birmingham Bombing Survivor Comes of Age during the Civil Rights Movement

For more information about Higher Ground Conversations, visit http://highergroundjourneys.com

To register for Higher Ground Conversations, visit playmakersrep.org/higher-ground


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