Play will be last in Oscar Ritchie until after renovations

Alexia Harris

Kent State’s African Community Theatre will be holding auditions for its spring production of “Long Time Since Yesterday” by P.J. Gibson.

“Long Time Since Yesterday,” an all female drama, deals with the dynamics and interactions that occur between friends.

The play looks at the lives of contemporary women who survived the turmoil of the 1960s,1970s and their internal struggles in the 1980s.

This will also be the last play in Oscar Ritchie Hall until the building’s renovations are complete.

As director of the theater, Fran Dorsey, associate professor and chair of the department of Pan-African studies, is responsible for its productions.

“The drama focuses on the issue that we all assume that everyone is doing well, but these women are all carrying heavy burdens,” Dorsey said. “They learn something about themselves and each other that they had not known before.”

Although he is a man who wears many hats, he takes each job seriously, with no exception to the theater.

“People always want to comment about the negative things that go on, but look past the positive aspects of what happens in Oscar Ritchie Hall,” Dorsey said. “I get angered when people have something to say when they don’t know what we do. They don’t have the right to comment on what they don’t know about.”

Senior English major Carla Smith has been in two African Community Theatre productions and said Dorsey works really hard to put on the plays.

“Acting is like having a full-time job, so unfortunately I won’t be able to be a part of this one,” Smith said.

The African Community Theatre provides roles to its constituents that would otherwise be unavailable, Dorsey said.

“My experience with the theater has been very positive,” Smith said. “The casts of the plays are like family and community is really important.”

Dorsey said the African Community Theatre is not specifically targeted for one group of people, but for the entire community.

Although the community has been supportive, Smith agrees that there are still people who demand and expect so much, but do nothing to support the theater.

“It’s sad, but the interest level of students isn’t as high for events that are educational, but is for social events,” Smith said.

Every semester that Smith has not been in one of the theater’s productions, she has supported it by being a part of the audience.

“I look forward to this last production before the renovation and look forward to a whole new cast of individuals from the community and university, as well as new audience participants,” Dorsey said.

Auditions will be held on Feb. 1 and 2 from 6 to 8 p.m. and Feb. 3 from noon to 2 p.m. in the African Community Theatre in Oscar Ritchie Hall. Actors are asked to prepare a two to five-minute monologue.

For additional information, interested participants can reach Fran Dorsey at (330) 672-0151 or (330) 672-2300.

Contact ethnic affairs reporter Alexia Harris at [email protected].