October 15, 2007

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North Star hosts local high school students

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Kamra Jacobs and Napier Garrett Kamra Jacobs, as Relia, and Napier Garrett, Willie Joe, star in North Star, at the University Theatre.

Local high school students will set their sights on the North Star on Friday, Oct. 19 when they attend a special performance of the Gloria Bond Clunie play at Sacramento State.

Directed by Theatre and Dance professor Melinda Wilson, North Star tells the story of Aurelia Taylor as an adult and child. At the beginning of the play, the adult Aurelia has a racial confrontation with a taxi driver, which triggers a visit to her past. There she tries to recapture the strength she had as a little girl, taking part in the lunch counter sit-ins of the 1960s.

About 340 high school students from the Language Academy of Sacramento and Luther Burbank and Hiram Johnson high schools will attend a special 9 a.m. performance. As an added bonus, they’ll get to talk with Clunie herself at the play’s conclusion.

Ralph Bateman, an English instructor at Luther Burbank High School, is bringing 40 students to the play, and says they’re very excited about the opportunity.

“Many of them have never seen a drama before,” Bateman says. “They have no idea what to expect, and they’re really looking forward to it.”

The play’s theme also fits in with Luther Burbank’s senior project of getting more involved at the local level, Bateman says. “I think this would be a good way to see what community involvement really means,” he says.

The special performance and the author’s visit were both arranged by California Musical Theatre, the local company behind Music Circus and Broadway Sacramento. CMT is a partner with the Theatre and Dance Department in the production of North Star, underwriting the special performance and Clunie’s appearance, and providing posters, fliers and rehearsal notes.

Public performances are at 8 p.m., Oct. 19-20; 2 p.m. Oct. 21; and 6:30 p.m. Oct. 17-18. The 6:30 p.m. performances are $8 general admission and $5 for children 11 years old or younger. All other performances are $12 general admission, $10 for students, CSU employees and senior citizens 60 years or older, and $8 for children.

Tickets are available at the Sacramento State Ticket Office, (916) 278-4323, or www.tickets.com.

For more information, call the Theatre and Dance Department at (916) 278-6368. For media assistance, call the Public Affairs Office at (916) 278-6156.