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Washington's "Rosa Parks" staged at Wayne State

Jan. 27, 2006

KALAMAZOO--"Rosa Parks: More Than a Bus Story," the dramatic depiction of the civil rights pioneer that premiered at Western Michigan University in 2001, travels to several states this winter, including three Michigan performances at Wayne State University.

The play, written by WMU Theatre Professor Von H. Washington, is the only dramatization of Parks' story authorized by Parks.

"Rosa Parks: More Than a Bus Story" was presented in Alabama in 2005 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

The play reveals the life of Parks prior to her quiet protest that changed the nation. Through original music and text, the production uncovers the reasons behind her refusal to move from her bus seat in 1955, explains why she left her beloved city of Montgomery, Ala., and examines her role in the nation's history as a catalyst in the events of the Civil Rights Movement.

The production features Fran L. Washington, wife of the author, in the title role, and their daughter, Alicia R. Washington.

Von Washington is a graduate of both WMU and Wayne State. He served as director of the Black Theatre Program at WSU in the 1980's before arriving at WMU. He and his wife co-founded Washington Productions, Inc., a theatrical and educational video company located in Kalamazoo.

Performances of "Rosa Parks: More Than a Bus Story" will be presented Friday and Saturday, Feb. 17-18 at Wayne State University's Bonstelle Theatre. Performance information is available online at www.theatre.wayne.edu, and tickets may be ordered by calling (313) 577-2960.

"Rosa Parks" also will be performed in Illinois and Minnesota during February.

Media contact: Patrick Donnelly, (269) 387-6222, patrick.donnelly@wmich.edu

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