The LCC community had a chance to speak with “Harriet Tubman” in Dart Auditorium Feb. 27.
Written and performed by actress Myxolydia Tyler, A Conversation with Harriet Tubman opened up audience’s eyes to the historical impact Tubman had on America.
Tubman was an antislavery activist renowned for helping slaves escape to their freedom through the Underground Railroad during the 1800s.
The performance was produced by LCC Student Life as a part of the college’s 2013 Black History Month festivities. Later performances took place in the afternoon on the third floor of the TLC Building.
As the title indicates, the performance played out like a conversation with Tubman about her childhood and her expedition to the North. Tyler even acted out the roles of Tubman’s family members, including her mother and her brother Henry.
Tyler proudly boasts an impressive acting career, which took off during college. She graduated from Brown Trinity’s MFA program in 2005.
“I haven’t looked back since,” Tyler said. “I was able to get an agent and a manager right away in New York, and I have been really blessed to be working on and off since I graduated.”
Some of her past performances include the narrator in A Season to Unravel, and Addy in the world premiere and national tour of Addy: An American Girl Story.
“What I enjoy most (about A Conversation with Harriet Tubman) is the storytelling aspect of seeing her as a young child,” Tyler said. “We forget to think of her as a child. She kept that. She was very determined, kind of like a kid, and I liked that about her.”
Tyler has been performing this play off and on since its development as part of a grant with Syracuse Stage in 2006.
She said she drew inspiration from a play called The Syringa Tree, which tells the story of a South African girl under apartheid. Tyler also used resources such biographies to develop her character.
“I actually saw the DVD of (Tyler) presenting before and thought it would be a great learning opportunity here at LCC,” said Al Nowak of Student Life. “Her performance was very engaging and I thought with her being in character, it really adds a lot of value to learning outside the classroom.”
The turnout for the morning performance suffered due to the Feb. 26 snow storm, which closed many Lansing schools originally set to bring students to the performance. According to Nowak, attendance was steady for the afternoon performances.
At the end of the morning performance, “Tubman” took questions from the audience about her harrowing journeys before slavery was abolished.
Category: Other Featured