Essential Theatre to premiere ‘Change it Up!’

The Essential Theatre will present “Change it Up! Ascension- Homage to the life and words of Dr. Maya Angelou,” Friday, to raise money for the. Ronald O. Davis scholarship.

Conceived by Kimberly Harding, an associate theatre professor, “Change it Up!” will feature music, dance, and spoken word performances by Essential Theatre students, alumni and Voices, a FAMU poetry organization.

The production is a tribute to Maya Angelou, Ruby Dee and FAMU legend such as Meshach Taylor, and the late Ronald O. Davis.  

Harding said she wants to honor those who passed on and help raise money for theatre students.

“Last year around this time, Dr. Davis put on a concert,”Harding said. He was trying to raise money for a theatre scholarship…he had lots of ideas to try and meet his $100,000 goal. In his honor, we are using this as a fundraiser to help endow the scholarship that he started.”

Marcus Bailey, an Essential Theatre alumnus, is looking forward to seeing his former professors and peers raise money for the theatre program.

“I believe that raising money for scholarships and the program would enhance the opportunity for The Essential Theatre family to continue to grow and produce artists that are not only talented but have a love and respect for the history of The Essential Theatre, and the craft,” Bailey said.

LaRonz Wells a performer and a senior theatre student from Miami, is looking forward to showing everyone what the production has to offer.

“We’ll be singing her [Angelou’s] poem ‘still I rise.’ It’s basically paying respects to Maya Angelou, our heritage, and also keeping her vision alive.”

The performances are Friday, Feb. 6 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 7 at 2 p.m.