Dramatic duo presents civil rights performances

The Stuart Sisters, a dramatic duo from Philadelphia, will present two performances of A Brand New Day, an hourlong retrospective about the civil rights movement and the era of rock ‘n’ roll, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7, and 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 8, in the Olin Arts Center Concert Hall, 75 Russell St. The program is presented in conjunction with President Clinton’s “One America” program (Oct. 4-8). The public is invited to attend free of charge.

The performance presents a cross-section of the early 1950s beginnings of rock ‘n’ roll in the context of the struggles, triumphs and disappointments of the civil rights movement. “As African Americans, we have felt the necessity to inform children and adults, both black and white, of our heritage, majesty, struggles and accomplishments. Knowing that theater and the media are tremendous vehicles for influencing minds, we felt we could positively capitalize on this by teaching, building self-esteem and transferring ‘history’ through story-telling theater,” say Ardie Stuart Brown and Patricia Stuart Robinson of the Stuart Sisters.

Brown and Robinson are sisters who grew up in West Philadelphia in a neighborhood called Down the Way. As educators and artists, they have performed throughout the United States and Canada, featuring their Learning Through the Arts programs at festivals, museums, colleges and churches. In 1980, the two founded The Spring School of the Arts, a nonprofit organization offering specialized classes in music, dance, drama and visual art.

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