Friday, February 3, 2012

Chapel Hill Transit employees to perform the Rosa Parks story

The Rosa Parks story comes to life in the one-act play "Why Should I Move?" scheduled to be performed by Chapel Hill Transit employees at 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4, on a central corridor stage at the University Mall.
The free and public performance is being held in conjunction with Black History Month, an annual celebration of achievements by black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S. history. Rosa Parks was a central figure in Black History, as her courageous act of refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery Alabama bus helped spark the Civil Rights movement.
The play is a reenactment of the day Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Ala., bus. The play is narrated by "old Rosa" talking to the audience 56 years after the event. Chapel Hill Transit bus operator Michele Sykes plays "old Rosa," and Sheila Neville plays "young Rosa." Other Chapel Hill Transit employees reenact the event as Old Rosa tells the story. Key performers include the bus driver, the white passenger who demanded that Rosa move, and the police officer who arrested her.
In addition to the play, an acapella vocal group of Chapel Hill Transit employees will use song to interpret the mood of the events.
The play was performed initially to celebrate the ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and their connection to the town's values of respect at an employee celebration held at Hargraves Community Center. The University Mall performance was planned jointly by Chapel Hill Transit and the Chapel Hill Public Library. Special thanks is paid to Kathy Williams of UNC-Chapel Hill Playmakers Theater, who assisted town employees in preparing their roles, and to the theater for providing the costumes.

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