CSU presenting drowning, innervisions

WILBERFORCE — The 2018 Central State University Theatre Arts Program will feature two new works, one written and directed by a CSU alum, and the second one highlighting the works of Stevie Wonder.

“The Drowning,” written and directed by CSU grad Ethan Stewart, will be performed March 9-10. “The Drowning” chronicles the experience of young African-Americans as they transition from secondary school to a university educational experience. The play, performed by CSU students, unfolds from dilemma to success as the characters adjust and then prosper in the face of new surroundings and challenges. Stewart, who is a native of Cleveland, graduated in 2016. He currently resides in Fairborn.

“Mr. Stewart’s play provides insight into the challenges of first-year college students,” said John Fleming, Title III activity director. “The show follows a group of students from their high school graduation party, through the first day in the dorm at Central State University, and onto finding themselves in new educational horizons and personal goals.”

“Innervisions” is a theatre production based on Stevie Wonder’s 1973 album of the same name. The play contains many of Wonder’s most popular songs including “Living For The City,” “Higher Ground,” “Don’t You Worry ’Bout A Thing,” and “He’s Misstra Know It All.” It uses the songs of the album as both a soundtrack for dance and an inspiration for playwriting.

Students from CSU have written speeches that accompany the music and dancing that reflect on the meaning of Wonder’s songs within a contemporary context. Dancers from the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company2 will perform in the production, which is March 16-17.

“Innervisions” is choreographed by DCDC Artistic Director Debbie Blunden-Diggs and directed by Fleming. It features musical direction by Deron Bell, media art by Basim Blunt and costumes by Ayn Wood.

Both performances will take in the Paul Robeson Cultural and Performing Arts Center on campus. All performances begin 7:30 p.m. Ticket costs for both productions are by donation at the door. The 2018 Theatre Arts Program is presented by Central State University’s Title III Program in conjunction with the Department of Fine and Performing Arts.