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Stage shows celebrate black history month, and the 2010 CFVF starts rollin’

by Mark Burger

The Children’s Theatre of Winston-Salem celebrates Black History Month with a special presentation of Harriet Tubman & The Underground Railroad on Thursday, Feb. 25 at the Arts Council Theatre (610 Coliseum Drive, Winston-Salem).

This show is produced by the award-winning Theatre IV, the Children’s Theatre of Virginia (headquartered in Richmond), which was founded in 1975 and was the state’s first professional theater for young audiences.

Inspired by the true story of Harriet Tubman (1822-1913), this historical drama traces her remarkable life.

Having been born into slavery, she made her escape to Philadelphia and then established the network known as the Underground Railroad, through which she returned to the South and aided her relatives and other slaves to escape in the North.

For more than a decade, Tubman returned to Maryland, often in disguise and frequently under the cover of night, eluding capture time and again. This fearlessness and selflessness earned her the nickname, “A Woman Called Moses.”

Showtime is noon. Tickets are $8 and reservations are strongly suggested (a 10 a.m. performance has already sold out). For tickets or more information, call 336.725.4531 or see the theater’s official website: www.childrenstheatrews.org.

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This Stained Glass Playhouse is also celebrating Black History Month with its current production, To Be Young, Gifted and Black, based on the life and writings of acclaimed playwright Lorraine Hansberry (1930-’65), who was best known for the awardwinning play, A Raisin in the Sun.

The original production of To Be Young, Gifted and Black was the surprise hit of the 1968-’69 off-Broadway season, and premiered only a few short years after Hansberry’s untimely death from cancer at age 34. The play encompasses experiences in her life, with the actors assuming various characters from her plays, letters, diaries, poems and personal reminiscences.

This marks the final week of the production, which is directed by Andre Minkins. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $12 (general admission) and $10 (students and seniors citizens). The theater is located at 4401 Indiana Ave., Winston-Salem. For tickets or moreinformation, call 336.499.1010.

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The 2010 Carolina Film and Video Festival will open next Wednesday, Feb. 24 at the Elliott University Center (EUC) Auditorium, located on the UNCG campus at 1400 Spring Garden St., Greensboro, with a series of screenings and special events scheduled over a four-day period.

The festival kicks off with a special screening of Sons of Lwala at 7 p.m., preceded by a 6 p.m. reception. There will be a conversation with director Barry Simmons and Milton Ochieng after the screening. Tickets are $10 (general admission) and $7 (students), with half the proceeds going to the Lwala Community Alliance.

On Thursday, Feb. 25 there will be free workshops: Getting the Best A-roll at 10 a.m., Screenwriting at 12:30 p.m. and Apple Motion at 2 p.m., followed at 6 p.m. by documentary screenings, North Carolina filmmakers and the UNCG Showcase. Tickets are $6 (general admission) and $5 (students).

Friday (Feb. 26) will see free screenings of Love Lived in Death Row at 1 p.m. with guest filmmaker Linda Booker, Playground at 3:30 p.m. with guest speaker Sandra Johnson of Triad Ladder of Hope. At 6 p.m. there will be screenings of high school filmmakers, animation and shorts. Tickets for that program are $6 (general admission) and $5 (students).

The festival comes to a close Saturday, with a free Machinima workshop at noon and free screenings of Music of the Brain at 1:30 p.m. and Mountain Music at 3 p.m. Then, beginning at 7 p.m., it’s Awards Night, boasting the best films of this year’s CFVF Festival. Tickets are $6 (general admission) and $5 (students).

The motto of this year’s festival is “The Future of Cinema Starts Here,” and organizers are striving to make this year’s event the most spectacular ever.

For more information, call 336.334.4197 or see cfvf.blogspot. com.

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