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April 13, 2009
Sacramento State Bulletin

Homelessness is theme of Sac State play

Photo: Sacramento Ure Egbuho and Dexter Galang in a scene from In the Blood.
Sacramento Stat Students Ure Egbuho and Dexter Galang in a scene from In the Blood.

Photo by Mary Weikert

Sacramento State actors learned firsthand about the problems facing homeless mothers while researching their roles for In the Blood, being staged at the University’s Playwright's Theatre, April 16-19 and 22-26.

Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Suzan-Lori Parks, In the Blood is a re-working of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel The Scarlet Letter and tells the story of Hester, a homeless, African-American woman with five children.

To educate her student actors about the homeless situation, director and Theatre and Dance professor Melinda Wilson joined with the Community Engagement Center and the St. John’s Shelter Program for Women and Children.

“I didn’t want to present the stereotype, but have the students in the show really understand the homeless community and its women and children,” Wilson says.

The cast received feedback from the women, Wilson says, and adjustments were made in the production based on their suggestions. “They were very instrumental in helping us shape the world of the play.”

Working at St. John’s also had an impact on the actors’ personal lives. “I got a different view of homelessness than the one that is put out there,” says freshman Ure Egbuho, who plays Hester.

In the Blood contains explicit adult situations and may be inappropriate for young audiences.

Performances are at 8 p.m., April 16-18 and 24-25; 2 p.m., April 19 and 26; and 6:30 p.m., April 22 and 23. Tickets are $8 general admission for 6:30 p.m. performances and $12 general admission and $10 for students, seniors and University employees for all other performances. Tickets are available at Sacramento State’s Ticket Office, 278-4323 or


About the writer:
Sacramento State’s Craig Koscho can be reached at 



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