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Livingstone theatre professor Michael Connor has lead role in 'Cellphone Blues' at Charlotte's Booth Playhouse

Michael Connor, theatre arts chair at Livingstone College is performing in the world premiere of “Cellphone Blues” at the Booth Playhouse in Charlotte.
The play is the season opener for On Q Productions, which recently returned from the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland where they internationally premiered “Miles & Coltrane.”
“Cell Phone Blues,” written by Robert Johnson, is a five-character play set in Charlotte’s black working class neighborhood during the period of community canvassing for Barack Obama’s presidential bid in North Carolina.
A 2009 National Black Theater Festival Reader’s Theater Series pick, “Cell Phone Blues” is a dramatization of the life of an African-American family confronted with unforeseen and debilitating events.
Rachel Jackson, a young college student, has been arrested for a drug offense that she knew nothing about. Her father, Charles Jackson (played by Connor) has uncovered some unexplained cell phone calls on his wife’s cell phone bill, and these two events threaten to tear this close-knit family apart. This conflict is complicated by David Wallace, a predatory ex-con who seduces young Rachel into a life of confusion that adds fuel to the family’s tragic collapse.
The play tackles the issue of how stable families can be undermined by jealousy and deception, and how the forces of gentrification, drugs and poverty can cause human vulnerability and fragility to escalate out of control. Many people have written about the pursuit of the American Dream. Cell Phone Blues looks at a particular family during a period of political optimism and demonstrates that such optimism seldom catches fire among those on the margins of society and that structural changes of an economic nature must filter down to the poor. Finally, the play explores the tension between dreams of economic success and the ever-present burden and companionship of the blues.
Cell Phone Blues will premiere at Booth Playhouse, Tickets are $18 and may be purchased by calling 704.372.1000 or by visiting www.carolinatix.org. Group rates available at $10 for groups of 10 or more.
Schedule:
Wednesday, Sept. 23, 7:30 pm
Thursday, Sept. 24, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 25, 8 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 26, 8 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 27, 3 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 30, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, Oct.1, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 2, 8 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 3, 8 p.m.
Sunday, Oc. 4, 3 p.m.

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