Young Seeds of Hope performers take to the sky

Media Contact: Jhodi Redlich, 874-2116

URI Providence Campus ensemble to perform Jan. 16

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — December 10, 2003– When the University of Rhode Islands Providence Campus and the Providence Black Repertory Company first planted the idea for the Seeds of Hope two years ago, they had no idea how its young actors would take off with the idea and learn to fly.

The Seeds of Hope Poetry and Performance Ensemble has been busy at work since June, under the direction of Julia Murphy from the Providence Black Repertory Company, creating a performance piece called Learning to Fly that explores different ways to tell a story. Their presentation is based on an African American Folktale about people who learn to fly. The youth are now spreading their creative talents and storytelling styles in the community with a public performance on Friday, Jan. 16 at 12:30 p.m. at the Childrens Museum in Providence.

The ensemble includes: Rebecca Valentine, 12, of Pawtucket who attends the CVS Highlander school; Matthew Shumate, 13, of East Providence who attends the Gordon School: Charlene Cooper, 13, of Providence; Siobhan Reddy-Best, 12, of Providence who attends the CVS Highlander School; Rachel Gibson, 12, of Providence and the Gordon School; and Angela Daluz, 9, of Warwick who attends The International School.

During the past six months the group of six young performers, ages 9-13, worked with local storytellers, including Melody Thompson and Abigail Jefferson in shaping their performance which premiered last month at the National Black Storytelling Festival and Conference in Providence.

On Saturday, Jan. 3, Seeds will hold auditions at URI in Providence for new students to join the ensemble.

For more information about attending the performance or joining the Seeds of Hope call Julia Murphy 351-0305 x111.