Each and every school year has its share of ups and downs, successes, and delayed successes. In recent days, the students, faculty, staff, and administration at Martin Luther King, Jr. High School in Lithonia are no strangers to what can be a roller-coaster of sorts.
However, one of the outstanding ways and means of bonding, bridge-building, and healing is that of the lens of the creative and performing arts. Through song, dance, poetic expression, and other creative means, not only can art imitate life, but it can provide a voice to the voiceless and a means of enlightenment and empowerment. And that is exactly what can be done with some larger help for the immediate and interlocking community.
On May 12-13, 2016 (with a 7pm show-time for both dates), the drama department of the high school is scheduled to host its spring performance of the classic play The Wiz. Ranging from the late 1970’s version featuring Diana Ross (as Dorothy) and featuring Richard Pryor, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, and Ted Ross. to the 2015 live edition on NBC featuring Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige, Common, and Shanice Williams (as Dorothy), the long-time favorite is the production taking place at the school’s Coretta Scott King Auditorium under the musical direction of Mr. Stephon Jones, the technical direction of Ms. Elizabeth Waugh-Harri, and the overall direction of Ms. Lateefah Mosley.
“Our kids (along with our direction team) are truly working hard on making this a great performance and event”, Mosley notes in our discussion on Sunday, April 24, 2016. “We’re at the crossroads as we know this show cannot happen without a financial backing”.
Presently, the production is experiencing some unexpected and anticipated financial obstacles in regards to the lights and sound, set pieces, live band, and costumes. Without these components, the countless hours of preparation, rehearsal, and focusing on having a quality performance from the directors and team of more than 20 teen-age students may not happen. Presently, there is a call for community support and assistance via their Help Fund the Arts Initiative (click HERE to donate), as any contribution raised prior to May 5, 2016 ensures the show to go on.
“To all of my (and our) family and friends who are donating or have done so, we are sincerely appreciative. Every amount counts and helps”, adds Mosley.
Anyone who is involved with the arts or performances of any kind understands the behind the scenes efforts needed in order to have a high-quality production. Given how in recent years, the general trend for funding for the arts on national, state, and local levels is either flat-lined (i.e. is neither increasing nor decreasing) or decreasing, it is a greater call for the larger community to do what they can to support such needed programs and performances, and the current campaign is a way to do so.
Help MLK “ease on down the road” and keep the show going.