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UGA students, faculty, and Athens community members have the opportunity to audition for a unique and original performance presentation, “Favored by the Muses.”

The final presentation will take place on November 6 in the Balcony Theatre (Room 400) of the Fine Arts Building.

This project is the culmination of a year-long celebration of the legacy of America’s first published black female poet Phyllis Wheatley Peters and represents a collaboration between faculty and students in the departments of English, Theatre & Film Studies, Music, Dance, and involves students from Athens-area high schools and community members. “Favored by the Muses” recreates elements of the 1934 Phillis Wheatley Pageant written by early 20th century black activist and leader Mary Church Terrell.

The script, written and directed by department of theatre and film studies professor George Contini, is drawn completely from Terrell’s manuscripts and letters which are kept at the Library of Congress and Howard University. The performance tells the story of Phillis Wheatley’s enslavement as a child in 1761 and her rise to international literary fame when she was a young adult.

“Favored by the Muses” offers opportunities for interdisciplinary scholarship, community outreach, and innovative arts research and practice at UGA and hopes to mirror the original pageant’s use of area community members in presenting the scenes from the play. If cast, the time commitment involves rehearsal on Sunday afternoons (time tba) beginning September 17 until November 6 for a total of 9 rehearsals. A stipend and meals will be provided for participants.

The project is also looking for assistance in other areas of production including stage management, costumes, set dressing, and video documentation.

If you are interested in being a part of the project or auditioning, please contact George Contini, to schedule an audition or interview.

This event is part of The Genius of Phillis Wheatley Peters: A Poet and Her Legacies, a year-long partnership project by the University of Georgia and Texas Christian University on the occasion of the 250th anniversary of the 1773 publication of Wheatley’s Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral.

This project receives support from the Texas Christian University English Department, UGA Department of English, Willson Center for Humanities and Arts, and the Phyllis Wheatley Peters Project.

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