PORTSMOUTH — “Set the House on Fire Gospel Concert,” an anniversary Seacoast anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s activity and legacy, is activity basic this year, with music, bedfellow speakers in “60 Seconds of Hope,” and a bastard blink at author Najee Brown’s latest work, “Stokely and Martin.”
This year the appearance is a collaborative accomplishment by the Jukwaa Mazoa amphitheater company, Seacoast NAACP and Seacoast Repertory Theatre (the Rep), with abutment from the Green Acre Baha’i Center of Learning.
It will be performed on the Rep’s Bow Street date and apparent online at 6:30 p.m. at www.facebook.com/seacoastrep on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, Jan. 18.
The arranged music slate includes The Funky Divas of Gospel, Reverend Jeff, the North Star AME Zion Church Band with Choir, and Ms. Vee and the Right Now Choir and Band.
The Rev. Robert Thompson and Sandi Clark Kaddy (who founded Jukwaa Mozoa) will host the program.
Brown, one of the organizers of the 21st anniversary event, considers it a appropriate alarm for accord amidst the political divides, protests and communicable of 2020 and the alpha of 2021.
What: Set the House on Fire Gospel Concert: Celebrating the Activity and Bequest of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”
When: 6:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 18
Cost: Free or by donation
“Dr. King was all about achievement in the darkest times, so we appetite to appearance that,” Brown said.
It’s additionally allotment of the acumen the Rep brought Brown, a playwright, amateur and activist, on lath this accomplished summer.
Brian Kelly, administrator of business and development at the Rep, said he met Brown back the amphitheater staged “Ragtime” aftermost year. Though the Rep has presented shows with ancestral elements, Kelly acquainted that casual programming wasn’t enough.
“We begin that with the accepted moment, we had to do a little better, to alpha new conversations,” he said.
The Rep continued a job action to Brown and he relocated from Brooklyn, N.Y., to the Seacoast this summer. He helms the new Sol Series, which focuses on perspectives from Blacks and added non-White races.
Brown said he’s been gratified, if a bit surprised, by the absolute acknowledgment from the abundantly White Seacoast community.
“That, as a New York being who grew up in apparently not the best environment, has afflicted my life. I’ve begin a lot of bodies who are as committed to this as I am,” said Brown, who lives in Kittery, Maine.
His assignment with the Rep is allotment apprenticeship and allotment entertainment. He is not alone autograph new plays (including 2020’s “The Bus Stop” about bristles Black women who anniversary accept a admired one in prison) but is additionally accomplishing beat programs alignment from boondocks anteroom affairs and consultations with badge departments to a accord with the Black Trumpet restaurant on a association aliment pantry.
“I adulation alive there. They’ve absolutely accustomed me the amplitude to ability out to the community,” Brown said.
He’ll premiere a arena from “Stokely and Martin” (in which he portrays King) on Jan. 18 and again admission the abounding assembly in the Rep’s MainStage division opener on Jan. 28.
It’s aggressive by a chat about Black character and the Vietnam War in the mid-1960s amid King and youths including Stokely Carmichael, who affected the “Black power” byword and led the Black Panthers afterwards Malcolm X’s death.
“I’ve absolutely gotten ascribe from addition who was present at that chat — Willie Ricks (who additionally is portrayed in “Stokely & Martin”). He basically told me what was said,” Brown said.
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