Georgia Theatre Hall of Fame inductee Mical Whitaker brings his original multimedia production “Behold: Here Cometh the Dreamer” to the Whitaker Black Box Theater on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Whitaker has lined up talented artists and the area's most distinctive voices to celebrate the life and words of iconic African-American poets, including Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou and Jill Scott, among others. Created especially for the Averitt's Whitaker Black Box Theater, the evening will be an inspirational fusion of music, dance and spoken word performances.
In its third year, the evening of poetry and prose showcases the history, legacy and freedoms that were, at one time, one man’s seemingly impossible dream.
“This is a dedication to Martin Luther King’s idea that everyone should live up to their dreams,” Whitaker said.
Enthused by the reaction caused by Oprah Winfrey’s acceptance speech after receiving the Cecil B. DeMille Award for Lifetime Achievement at the Jan. 7 Golden Globes, Whitaker said that the MLK dedication event should be emotional
“I’m feeling hopeful and euphoric, and I’m hoping some of the participants react to that rather than the mainstream media surrounding politics,” he said. “I’m impressed by the suggestion of promise. … There’s more hope in their voices than I have heard in a long time.”
During this time of renewed expectation, Whitaker believes that the event will be an inspirational force that reminds the community about the importance of tolerance, equality and unity.
“There seems to be something in the air when we talk about a new day for women, race, religion and freedom of speech,” he said. “It’s all keeping with MLK’s prophecy and traditions, and what we’re seeing now is a part of that. MLK didn’t just talk about race. He died trying to help people get better wages, so his messages are truly universal, and that’s often forgotten. I take great pride in realizing this surge of energy from women because of what is happening, and that, too, is part of MLK legacy.”
Performers include Meca Williams-Johnson, Francys and Thurgood Johnson, Chi Chi Okafor, Zion Weaver, Corliss Reese, John Givens, Christopher Brock, Kayse’lah Jackson, Bailey Jackson, Statesboro’s first lady Adrianne McCollar and last year’s guest artist Derrick Bailey.
Ressie Fuller and Larry “Gator” Rivers will be the evening’s masters of ceremonies.
Featured artist for this year’s event is distinguished author and motivational speaker Dr. LindaMichelle Baron. Published works include “The Sun Is On” (listed as a recommended book for New York State middle schools), “Rhythm & Dues” and “For the Love of Life.” The innovative “Poetry & Ideas Book Series” is Baron’s written invitation to international audiences. Her works are based on the ideas of self-empowerment, achievement, growth, the positive resolution of conflicts, self-love and respect for others.
“Baron is an outstanding poet, and I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to work with her throughout her career,” Whitaker said. “She exemplifies the ‘story of somebody.’”
Sponsored by Georgia Southern University’s Zach S. Henderson Library, tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for youth. To purchase tickets, please visit the Averitt Center Box Office during business hours or call (912) 212-2787.