“Nothing Comes to Sleepers,” a multicultural theatre production to be performed by In Play, will be presented at Southeast Missouri State University March 29.
The play is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Rose Theatre. The Office of the President is sponsoring the event as an extension of the University’s multicultural outreach efforts. In Play also will conduct a workshop on non-violent techniques earlier in the day at the theatre. The workshop will address the non-violent techniques taught by leaders in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s to educate young Civil Rights workers in the techniques of non-violent resistance adopted by Dr. Martin Luther King and his followers.
“‘Nothing Comes to Sleepers’ is part of the University’s continuing efforts to reflect the multicultural character of America by presenting artistic productions, and developing outreach programs that educate and entertain the campus and the Cape Girardeau community,” said Kenneth W. Dobbins, president of Southeast Missouri State University. “The University values diversity and inclusion, and the arts are one way to promote and foster unity and an appreciation of cultural differences.”
Set in an urban Kansas City beauty salon on the evening of April 4, 1968, “Nothing Comes to Sleepers” focuses on a group of working-class women who have struggled against the odds to achieve the modest existence afforded by their own determinedly self-reliant ways. The play will be performed by In Play, a theatrical producing company based in Kansas City, Mo. “Nothing Comes to Sleepers,” written by Artistic Director Jacquee Gafford, tells the story of nine ordinary people, from all walks of life, who bear witness to the extraordinary events of the times. At Barbara Jean Richardson’s beauty shop, the Hot Comb, you pay for a wash, dry, straighten, curl and style. But for free you can also get a movie review, dance lessons, jokes, a story, political commentary and, as a bonus, listen to the latest tunes on the radio.
But when the music stops, Barbara Jean’s friends and customers are forced to examine their lives, expose their fears and question their country’s morality against the backdrop of one of the most traumatic events to ever strike the black community. For those who remember that day, the play is a bittersweet snapshot of the times.
In Play is dedicated to reflecting the multicultural character of America and addressing the issue of exclusion in theater by producing plays and developing outreach programs that educate and entertain the public while serving to promote and foster the participation of minorities in all aspects of theater production and related media.
In Play was formed in 1998 by a board of trustees consisting of African Americans and Americans of Asian, Middle Eastern and European descent. Since its inception, the company was envisioned as a multi-ethnic theater that would mirror today’s society. In Play is committed to offering the best theatrical presentations by, about and for all people. In 1999, In Play joined with other theaters and arts organizations dedicated to showcasing the arts in the urban core when it became a member of the Just Off Broadway Theatre Association.
Tickets are $10 for the public and $5 for Southeast students and senior citizens 55 and older. Tickets are available through the Performing Arts Box Office. Tickets may be reserved by calling (573) 651-2265 or by visiting the box office in the lobby of the Forrest H. Rose Theatre. Tickets will also be available at the door on a first come, first served basis.
For more information, contact Dr. Mel Gillespie, Assistant to the President for Equity Issues at (573) 651-2524.