Actor, filmmaker and theater director donnie l. betts has been reviving the Destination Freedom scripts of Richard Durham, whose long run of live radio theater programs profiled cultural and historical African-American figures beginning in the late ´40s, for more than a dozen years as a pet project, Black Radio Days. The broadcast stories, often recorded in front of a live audience, have included a lot of important and vibrant folks, from Bill Robinson to Frederick Douglass to Gwendolyn Brooks. Tonight, right in time for the post-season, the Lone Tree Arts Center will present Black Radio Days: The Story of Jackie Robinson, complete with a live Foley artist handling the sound-effects and special guests.
Robinson, of course, was Major League Baseball's groundbreaking first black player, and the program will evoke both his bravery and his ease in a difficult national role. "I love doing this," says betts. "I hope people still understand the beauty of a radio drama." And betts notes that Durham's treatment of the Robinson story isn't just a retelling of Robinson's history: "He used a lot of creative license -- it's more like listening to a Shakespeare piece. He thought it would make for great theater."
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Batter up! The show, which features a who's-who cast of local African-American actors and singers and will also be broadcast live on community radio KGNU, begins at 7:30 p.m. at the center, located at 10075 Commons Street in Littleton; for tickets, $15, go to lonetreeartscenter.org or call 720-509-1000.
Mon., Sept. 30, 7 p.m., 2013