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    Posted April 26, 2011

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Members "Mix it Up" for Black History Month

By Barbara N. Roberts
Chair, Western Region EEO Committee

Glynn Thurman

The AEA Western Region Equal Employment Opportunity Committee presented Mixin' It Up: Shining Your Light On Black History Month, an Open Mic and Mixer event at Catalina's Jazz Club on Monday, February 28, 2011. The evening, hosted by Glynn Turman (from the original RAISIN IN THE SUN), invited AEA members and a guest to step up to the mic and let it rip. A highlight of the evening was the one-on-one interview with featured theatrical treasure Ken Page, who spoke candidly about the "craft" of theatre and how it distinguishes you as an artist. The interview was thought provoking, fused with wisdom, humor, heart and advice.

A warm and enthusiastic crowd turned out. Stand up comic/actor Garret Morris thrilled the audience with gut-busting jokes about "getting old." Blues stirred up the house as Lynette Dupree sang some down home blues and guest artist Eloise Laws belted out "St. Louis Blues." Michole Briana White talked about "being somewhere and don't know how I got here. But I'm glad I came." Levy Lee Simon's "I Am a Black Man" was a history lesson of sorts, while Karole Foreman did jazz duty with "My Funny Valentine" and Obba Babatunde energized the audience with a little tag team MCing at the mic with Glynn Turman.

L-R: Councillor/Western EEO Chair Barbara Roberts, Levy Lee Simon, Ivy Bethune, Sharon Ferguson

Many long time and some new AEA members took their turn at the microphone to shine their light on Black History with poetry, comedy, slices of one person shows, stories and imitations. We had a great time Mixin' It Up. Special thanks to Committee members Deborah Sharpe Taylor, Kelsey Scott, Harrison White, Pat Loeb, Ivy Bethune, Mark Winn, Kim Estes and John Freeland Jr.

L-R: John Freeland Jr, Shameka Cunningham, Councilor/Western EEO Chair Barbara Roberts, Levy Lee Simon

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