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'North Star' Celebrates the Civil Rights Movement

Free Jan. 17 staged reading of Gloria Bond Clunie’s play part of MLK Day celebration

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January 7, 2011 | by Judy Moore
North Star

EVANSTON, Ill. --- A special one-day-only staged reading of “North Star,” an award-winning play about a young girl growing up in North Carolina in the early days of the civil rights struggle, will be presented Jan. 17 by the Theatre and Interpretation Center at Northwestern University.

Written by Evanston-based playwright and Northwestern alumna Gloria Bond Clunie, the reading is one of many weeklong public events at Northwestern celebrating the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

Free and open to the public, the “North Star” reading will take place at 3 p.m. Monday, Jan. 17, in the Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive, on Northwestern’s Evanston campus.

The reading contains some adult language and is recommended for audience members aged 11 years and older.

Directed by Rives Collins, chair of Northwestern’s theatre department, the reading by Northwestern theatre students will be followed by a post-show discussion with the cast and creative team members. Playwright Clunie will join Collins and the cast for the post-show event.

“Playwright Gloria Bond Clunie is a master storyteller,” said Collins. “She has written a poetic and poignant play that seems a perfect way to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr.”

Told in flashbacks, “North Star” is the story of 11-year old Aurelia, who wants nothing more than to take part in the civil rights demonstrations with her best friend. Facing strong opposition from her family and neighbors, the young girl embarks on a cross-country trek to play her part in history.

“North Star” was awarded the 1994 Theodore Ward Prize for African American Playwriting and a 1995 Joseph Jefferson Chicago Theatre Award for Best New Work/Adaptation. It premiered at the Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago in 1995.

General admission seating is limited and reservations are recommended. To make a reservation, visit http://bit.ly/fjyGUu. For more information, contact the Theatre and Interpretation Center Box Office at (847) 491-7282 or visit www.tic.northwestern.edu.

To view a schedule of all MLK Jr. Day public events planned for Northwestern University’s Evanston and Chicago campuses, visit www. northwestern.edu/mlk/.