Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center Presents RHAPSODY IN BLACK

On Thursday, November 7 at 7pm, Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center presents Rhapsody in Black, a powerful personal narrative on the subjects of racism, identity, and self-image.

Directed by Oscar winner and American Theatre Hall-of-Famer Estelle Parsons, Rhapsody's Leland Gantt explores his personal journey to understand and eventually transcend racism in America. In his tour de force one-man show, Gantt shares his spellbinding life story -- from an underprivileged childhood in the ghettos of McKeesport, Pennsylvania to teenage experiments with crime and drugs to scholastic achievement and an acting career that land adult Leland in situations where he is virtually the only African-American in the room. His efforts to cope with the various psychological effects of consistently being marked "The Other" is recounted in remarkable and exquisitely moving detail, guaranteed to leave lasting impressions on the hearts and minds of everyone in the audience.

Sponsored by the Morrisville-Stowe Coalition, which aims to address discrimination in the county, Rhapsody offers unquestionable potent insights into the vagaries of racism and a super-powered emotional punch. Lisa Hagerty, Spruce Peak Arts board member and a member of the Stowe-Morrisville Coalition Steering Committee, says Rhapsody will contribute to expanding the local conversations about racism specifically and how other marginalized people are treated and perceived, in general. "We need to get comfortable being uncomfortable to make change happen in our community".

Building on the national conversation sparked by recent events, Rhapsody in Black is a community collaboration with Helen Day Art Center and their inspirational exhibition, Unbroken Current. The exhibition investigates cultural and personal identity, social justice, and history through the lens of photography, painting, sculpture, and mixed media. The goal, as explained by Hope Sullivan, Executive Director of Spruce Peak Arts, "Art offers a unique opportunity to create a point of access for challenging conversations, so let's spark meaningful discussions among attendees and the community".

Rhapsody in Black draws its incredible strength and universal resonance from investigating the impact of low self-esteem on our psyches. Who finds us attractive and capable, who rejects us - figures exceedingly into how we view and present ourselves outward to the world. It informs the choices we make and how much control we believe we have over our lives.

Charming, self-deprecatingly funny, linguistically awesome, Gantt imbues every word that falls from his mouth with all the passion and poignancy of a preacher speaking the Gospel. In his own words, "Objective truth strikes a chord." Join us and be part of the conversation.

Purchase tickets at SprucePeakArts.org or call 802.760.4634.

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