Traveling actors with the Bright Star Touring Theatre will soon return to the Publick Playhouse in Cheverly with a new show for children, “William’s Adventure in Black History.”
The Playhouse will host two matinee performances on Wednesday. The 45-minute show is recommended for children in prekindergarten to grade five.
“William’s Adventure” is about a student (actor Devin Finn) who is asked by his teacher (Aiesha Dukes) to write a report about famous people stretching back through 400 years of black history in America.
William involves the audience by asking for help to write the report.
“He talks to the audience and asks for their input,” said David Ostergaard, founder and owner of the North Carolina-based Bright Star Touring Theatre.
Meanwhile, Dukes is scooting on and off stage, rapidly changing costumes and props to play 20 characters, he said.
Among such icons are Dr. Martin Luther King, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Thurgood Marshall and Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman to travel in space aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour in 1992.
The production is one of 12 new black history shows launched in January by Bright Star, said Ostergaard. Also new is “Lincoln and Tubman” and “Let It Shine.”
“We’ll be doing 125 shows in 10 weeks,” he said about the slate of new plays being performed at venues up and down the East Coast.
Ostergaard, who founded Bright Star 11 years ago, said the company, which currently produces nearly 40 shows for children, continues to grow.
Bright Star actors recently performed at the National Theater in Washington, D.C., he said, and last September traveled to Moscow.
“We specialize in literary classics, historical shows and character education productions,” Ostergaard said.