LOUISVILLE, Ky. – “Abe Lincoln and Uncle Tom in the White House,” by Carlyle Brown, will open the 2009 season for the University of Louisville’s Department of Theatre Arts.
Presented by the department’s African American Theatre Program (AATP), the play will be performed Feb. 4 – 8 at 8 p.m. nightly plus a 3 p.m. matinee on Feb. 8. All performances will be held at The Playhouse at 1911 S. 3rd Street. Special performances are also scheduled Feb. 12 for area students and Feb. 13 as part of a Kentucky African American Heritage symposium on Lincoln in Danville.
Commissioned by the AATP with support from the Kentucky African American Heritage Commission, the play is based on a premise of Lundeana Thomas, AATP director who also directs the play.
“I looked but could not find a play with an African American view of Abraham Lincoln,” Thomas said. Noted playwright and actor Carlyle, director of an acting company based in Minneapolis, was selected to write the play, which explores slavery and freedom, because of his knowledge of the period.
The production begins with an excerpt from Harriet Beecher Stowe’s book, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.”
“Most people do not really know this work and audiences will gain a fresh perspective of Uncle Tom in context of his time, not just the modern stereotype,” Thomas said. “The play deconstructs both Lincoln and Uncle Tom myths.”
In the play, a worried Lincoln ponders the many problems and ramifications of signing the Emancipation Proclamation in a hypothetical meeting with Uncle Tom.
Individual show tickets are $12 for the general public or $8 for faculty, staff, students and senior citizens. For tickets and information, call 502-852-6814 or visit louisville.edu/a-s/ta/.
For more information about the play and its creation, call Thomas at 502-852-8442.