||Schofield Hall 218|
||Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004|
Phillip Walker to Act, Direct
On UW-Eau Claire Campus
MAILED: March 16, 2000|
Actor and playwright Phillip E. Walker, director of the African American Drama Company, will present two performances as part of a week-long residency at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
Walker will star in "Can I Speak For You, Brother?" a one-man play on the history of black male leaders on Thursday, March 30. The following week he will direct "Sisters, Can I Speak For You?" a play about the history of black female leaders on Wednesday, April 5. Both shows will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Schofield Auditorium.
The Dallas Morning News described "Can I Speak for You, Brother?" as "often riveting and amusing ... It is unashamedly didactic in nature its primary purpose is to teach, and teaching gives it its loose but effective shape."
In the ambitious presentation that draws its title from one of his own poems, Walker weaves samples of literature into an epic story depicting the spectrum of black American leadership. High John Griot, Malcolm X, Haki R. Madhubuti, W.E.B. Du Bois, Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King Jr., Booker T. Washington and Sgt. Emanuel Stance are among the leaders whose experiences are given voice.
"What's remarkable is [Walker's] ability to bring these words to life," wrote the Sacramento Bee, praising "the spirit of hope and resolve that permeates this 65-minute performance."
Tickets for "Can I Speak For You, Brother?" are $5 ($3 for UW-Eau Claire students) at the University Service Center, (715) 836-3727, and at the door.
For the April 5 presentation of "Sisters, Can I Speak For You?" Walker will direct an all-student cast recruited and coached individually by him during his residency. Harriet Tubman, Mary McLeod Bethune, Lorraine Hansberry, Maya Angelou, Sojourner Truth and Leontyne Price are among the leaders spotlighted. Admission to the performance is free.
Author of both plays, Phillip Walker received bachelor's and master's degrees in theater from the University of Illinois at Urbana and a master of fine arts degree from the University of California at Davis. He has performed with the Tony Award-winning San Francisco Mime Troupe and acted in films including Francis Ford Coppola's "Peggy Sue Got Married." His residency is sponsored by the University Activities Commission of the UW-Eau Claire Student Senate.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: March 16, 2000