Visiting Artists Series Continues at West Virginia State University Oct. 22-23

Contact: Kimberly Osborne
(304) 766-3363
Oct. 16, 2014
Visiting Artists Series Continues at West Virginia State University Oct. 22-23
Scholar, Director Dr. Baron Kelly to Lecture and Lead Master Class
INSTITUTE, W.Va. – The Donna Skeen Visiting Theatre Artist Series at West Virginia State University (WVSU) continues Oct. 22-23 with a lecture, performance and master class led by scholar and director Dr. Baron Kelly.

The lecture will begin at 2 p.m. in the Skeen Theatre on Wednesday, Oct. 22, and will center on Shakespeare and Ira Aldridge, the 19th century African-American Shakespearean actor. The Performing Shakespeare master class will follow at 4 p.m. on Oct. 22, also in the Skeen Theatre. Then on Thursday, Oct. 23, at noon at the WVSU Capitol Center Theatre in Charleston, Kelly will do readings from his play in development about Aldridge entitled “Ira Aldridge: The African Roscius.”

Kelly has the distinction of being a three-time Fulbright Scholar. He has just returned this summer from directing Ray Cooney’s “Out of Order” at National Chung Cheng University in Taiwan. He has been featured in numerous films, television programs and Broadway plays, such as “Salome” with Al Pacino and “Law and Order.”  Kelly has performed a variety of contemporary and classical roles for over 30 of the nation’s regional theatres, and has also taught and lectured all over Europe.

“I am incredibly excited to have Baron Kelly here,” said Susan Marrash-Minnerly, WVSU Professor of Theatre. “In addition to his academic credentials, he brings a wealth of performance experience to WVSU and the Charleston area. His performance on Oct. 22 will open the participants’ eyes to the beauty, excitement and visceral nature of Shakespeare’s language. The lecture on Oct. 23 will introduce people to a largely forgotten and ignored man who was incredibly important to the development of theatre in this country – Ira Aldridge, 19th century African-American Shakespearean actor.”

Launched in September, the Donna Skeen Visiting Theatre Artists Series will continue through spring 2015, and will feature workshops on Feb. 10-11, 2015, on working in Los Angeles and New York City, as well as workshops March 31-April 2, 2015, on healing through the arts. The series will conclude April 22-23, 2015, with a masterclass in mime and a look at the works of Charlie Chaplin. All performances, workshops and masterclasses are free and open to the public.

For more information please contact Professor Susan Marrash-Minnerly at (304) 766-5110 or visit
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West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multi-generational institution, located in Institute, W.Va. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service, and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.
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