St. Bonaventure To Present ‘Ain’t I A Woman!’ Tuesday

ST. BONAVENTURE – Core Ensemble, producers of chamber music theatre, will perform its program “Ain’t I a Woman!” at St. Bonaventure University at 7 p.m. Tuesday, in the Rigas Family Theater of the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts.

The program is free and open to the public.

Chamber music theatre is a unique performance format developed by the Core Ensemble that features a marriage of theatrical narrative to chamber music performance. Actress Christy Hall will portray multiple characters while interacting with the onstage musical trio of cello, piano and percussion.

“Ain’t I a Woman!” celebrates the stories of four significant African American women, including ex-slave and abolitionist Sojourner Truth, novelist and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston, folk artist Clementine Hunter, and civil rights worker Fannie Lou Hamer. The musical score is drawn from the heartfelt spirituals and blues of the Deep South, the urban vitality of the Jazz Age and contemporary concert music by African Americans.

“It’s important for people of any race, gender or major to come to this program just to enhance perspectives,” Dr. Ava Cellini, director of the university’s Women’s Studies Program, said. “It is universal and unique.”

The actors will also be available after the performance to answer the audience’s questions, Cellini said.

“‘Ain’t I A Woman!'” is about our history as Americans,” said Dr. Bob Amico, chair of the university’s Diversity Action Committee. “Hence, it is relevant to us all. Theater, history, music and culture will be woven into an entertaining evening.”

Since 1993, the Core Ensemble has toured in every region of the United States and internationally to Australia, England, Russia, Ukraine and the British Virgin Islands. The Core Ensemble has received support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, The Palm Beach County Cultural Council and the Aaron Copland Fund for Music.

“I encourage everyone to come and enjoy,” Cellini said. “It’s not often that we can get a group like this, and we are very fortunate that we could manage it for the students and the community.”

The performance is sponsored by the Women’s Studies Program, Diversity Action Committee, Clare College and Damietta Center.