Omaha Performing Arts will present "Memphis Speaks Through Me: A Forum on Culture and Community" tonight, January 16, 2013 at the Holland Performing Arts Center as part of its Education and Community Involvement programs. This daylong forum will utilize themes from MEMPHIS THE MUSICAL to spark dialogue on diversity and discrimination in the Omaha community.
With eight performances at the Orpheum Theater from January 15 - 20, MEMPHIS THE MUSICAL is part of Omaha Performing Arts' Broadway Series. Inspired by actual events, the Tony Award-winning MEMPHIS follows the story of a white radio DJ, who wants to bring "race music" to mainstream radio, and a black club singer, who dreams of moving North and making it big. MEMPHIS THE MUSICAL examines race relations in 1950s America and explores historical instances of racism, injustice and intolerance.
The two-part community engagement event begins with participants attending the opening night performance of MEMPHIS on Tuesday, January 15 at the Orpheum Theater, and continuing the following morning at the Holland Center for the daylong forum. Omaha Performing Arts has invited an array of social justice organizations, schools, corporations and local leaders to participate in "Memphis Speaks Through Me" and welcomes the participation of community members, teachers and students ages 15 and older. The forum will consist of a series of interactive workshops and theatre exercises and will also feature a panel discussion with the producer and several cast members of MEMPHIS THE MUSICAL talking about their experiences with the show and answering participants' questions.
Advance registration is required to participate in "Memphis Speaks Through Me" online at www.OmahaPerformingArts.org/Educate/Additional-learning. Registered participants will receive: one ticket to the 7:30 p.m. performance of MEMPHIS THE MUSICAL on Tuesday, January 15 at the Orpheum Theater; admission to the community forum, which runs from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 16 at the Holland Performing Arts Center; and lunch the day of the forum. Cost of registration is $25 for students and $35 for adults. Registration for the forum is no longer available, but a wait list has been created for interested participants. Contact Kathleen Lawler at 402.661.8446 or KLawler@omahaperformingarts.org for more information or to be put on the wait list.