One-Man Show at RVCC Shares Journey to Understand Racism in US

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The Theatre at Raritan Valley Community College in Branchburg will present Rhapsody in Black, written and performed by LeLand Gantt, Tuesday, January 26, at noon and 7 p.m. The production, recommended for audience members age 14 and older, is part of RVCCArts’ Tuesdays with Stories series. Developed at NYC’s Actors Studio with Estelle Parsons, Rhapsody in Black is a one-man show that explores LeLand Gantt’s personal journey to understand and eventually transcend racism in America. Audience members follow his spellbinding life story—from an underprivileged childhood in the ghettos of McKeesport, PA; to teenage experiments with crime and drugs; to scholastic achievement and an acting career that lands adult LeLand in situations where he is virtually the only African-American in the room. How he manages to cope with the various psychological effects of consistently being marked “The Other” is recounted in remarkable and exquisitely moving detail, guaranteed to leave lasting impressions. Charming, self-deprecatingly funny and linguistically awesome, Gantt confronts heavy subjects with passion and poignancy. Actress Estelle Parsons has said of LeLand Gantt: “I think it’s wonderful to have somebody get up and in their own words say, ‘Here’s what I went through, here’s the effect all these things had on me.’” Anyone interested in learning more about the presentation is invited to read The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison before or after attending the show. This engagement of Rhapsody in Black is made possible through the ArtsCONNECT program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation with support from the National Endowment for the Arts. The 2015-2016 Tuesdays with Stories series is a unique way to experience great American stories. Performances include a discussion as well as light refreshments. Tickets cost $10 for noon performances and $25 for 7 p.m. shows. Tickets are general admission seating. Audience members may pre-order a box lunch for $5 and have lunch at the Theatre before the noon show. Audience members also may take part in the Theatre’s book exchange in the lobby. Feel free to bring any previously read novels. To purchase tickets or for more information, call the Box Office, 908-725-3420, or order online at www.rvccArts.org. Subscribers’ packages are available for all Theatre series. Senior citizen, student and group discounts are also available for most performances. Raritan Valley Community College’s main campus is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, NJ. Serving Somerset and Hunterdon County residents for close to 50 years, RVCC is an educational and cultural center that is nationally recognized for its innovative programming, service to the community and environmental leadership. The College offers more than 90 associate degrees and certificates, as well as career training, professional development and personal enrichment courses. The College also has a performing arts center and planetarium. RVCC is committed to offering a quality and affordable education through effective teaching, liaisons with the community’s businesses and state-of-the-art technology. For further information, visit www.raritanval.edu.