A celebration of 4 African-American women

Staff report


“Ain’t I a Woman!” a chamber music theatrical performance celebrating four African-American women, will be presented by the Core Ensemble at 8 p.m. Friday March 16 in Bliss Hall’s Ford Theater on the campus of Youngstown State University.


What: “Ain’t I a Woman!”

When: 8 p.m. Friday, March 16, 2018

Where: Ford Theater, inside Bliss Hall at YSU

Tickets: Free, but must be secured in advance by Monday. Call 330-941-3105 or go to www.ysu.tix.com

“This is a compelling and important musical theater work that features a brilliant fusion of music, theater and history,” said Phyllis Paul, dean of the YSU College of Creative Arts and Communication.

Paul also noted that the performance is appropriate given that March is Woman’s History Month.

The event is free and open to the public. Tickets must be secured in advance by Monday by calling the University Theatre box office at 330-941-3105 or online at www.ysu.tix.com.

The performance celebrates the life and times of renowned novelist and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston, ex-slave and fiery abolitionist Sojourner Truth, exuberant folk artist Clementine Hunter, and fervent civil-rights worker Fannie Lou Hamer. The musical score is drawn from the spirituals and blues of the Deep South, the urban vitality of the Jazz Age and contemporary concert music by blacks.

Actress Shayla Simmons portrays multiple characters in the performance. Simmons has appeared in professional theater (“The Color Purple,” “Dreamgirls,” “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” “The Wiz”), and in the national tour of “Winnie the Pooh.” She was a featured artist with the Golden Gospel Singers in a European tour and was the recipient of the NAACP Best Actress Regional Award and the Women of Power Certificate of Achievement in Acting, Singing, Writing, Producing and Directing.

Since 1993, the Core Ensemble has toured in every region of the United States and internationally to Australia, England, Russia, Ukraine and the British Virgin Islands.

Parking is available in the Wick Avenue deck for a nominal fee. For information, call 330-941-2307.

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