- Faith & Family
With a cast of actors all from South Florida and an artistic director and founder who proudly hails from Liberty City, the African American Performing Arts Community Theatre (AAPACT), has certainly found its niche since opening its doors in 1998. Their new season begins this week with a special talk back performance moderated by Dr. Dorothy Jenkins-Fields on Friday, Feb. 24th with shows continuing through March 17th.
“The play has strong racial overtones and is particularly relevant for Black History Month because of its focus on the importance of Black fathers,” said Harrell, who directs the play. “We see so many fathers today who aren’t involved in their children’s lives and don’t realize how it impacts both their children and themselves. It’s an amazing piece written by Jeffrey Stetson and critically examines how white America often sees Black men as less than or refuses to take us seriously.”
One of the unique qualities of AAPACT is their commitment to using new talent from the community. While other theater companies often have actors that are featured again and again, Harrell and his team stick to open casting for each production.
“There is some amazing talent right here in South Florida and they want to work,” he said. “We try to provide that opportunity for them and consistently discover true gems in our midst. One of our actors in this play is a 16-year-old student from Krop Senior High School, Edward Holland, who has been acting since he was a very small boy. He is just one of the outstanding members of the cast.”
AAPACT performs out of Liberty City’s African Heritage Cultural Arts Center [6161 NW 22nd Avenue] — home for the company for the past four years. Other members of the stellar cast include: Rene Granado, Finley Polynice, Clinton Archambault, Glen Lawrence, Deidre Washington and Jon David Kelley.
The season rounds out with Amira Baraka’s “The Dutchman” and will tentatively close with a musical, “Simply Simone,” showcasing the music of the iconic singer, Nina Simone.
Call 305-456-0287 for more information.
By D. Kevin McNeir