Theater department captivates during Black History Month with “Freedom”


Phillip Kingsey

After "Freedom", a play presented by American River College Theater, actors Omba Kipuke and Larriah Jackson pose for a photo

Thalia Avila and Thalia Avila

Singing at the top of her lungs, the freedom of expression from a young girl named Larriah Jackson stole the hearts of the crowd and by the time she finished singing, the crowd applauded like no tomorrow.

The American River College Theatre department produced a dramatic musical with a continental taste kicking off with the freedom of expression and liberty in honor of black history month last weekend.

In honor of black history month, “Freedom” was introduced into campus as a reminder of the quest for freedom.

“It was different. It was great,” cast member Chris Bogard’s father said.

“It’s amazing. It’s a great experience,” cast member Angelina Steshenko said.

Sam Williams, the director from last semester’s production of “Hairspray,” made a conquest in producing a dramatic musical fundraiser for the ARC theatre students to travel to the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival.

Not only was the musical a fundraiser, but a dedication for ARC students Andy Hoover and Jenna Faeth who passed away with a passion for theater in 2008.

“This production, ‘Freedom’, is a collage of musical, oral, and literary expression of the human quest for freedom,” director Williams said on the program pamphlet.

The actors lost themselves on the stage bringing out the full purpose of the show, which was a burning passion for different cultures and genders to come together as one.

“This is the best show I’ve ever done here,” Tara Mills another cast member of the musical said.

Cast members Mills and Pamela Faljean have 12 and 14 respective years of experience in dance. Their performance on the cultural Scottish dance could best be described as breathtaking.

Friday was by far the best performance since the seats filled up and participation was at its highest according to Mills.

The art of poetry, narrative, cultural dance and quotations from famous figures like Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr. made the musical unique and refreshing.

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others,” Nelson Mandela said.