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posted: 2/5/2013 2:15 PM

ECC to stage play based on former slave's autobiography

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Submitted by ECC

Elgin Community College and the Elgin Area Leadership Academy will present "Voices of the Middle Passage," a one-act play written by retired 16th Circuit Court Judge Wiley Edmondson and directed by Robert Hines III, ECC theater adjunct faculty.

The play will be from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12, in the Spartan Auditorium, located in Building G at ECC's Spartan Drive campus, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin. Admission is free.

This docudrama takes place in the 18th century and is based on firsthand accounts of the slave trade from Africa to the Americas, which was known as the middle passage. The characters, portrayed by ECC students, represent real historical figures, including Olaudah Equiano, a former slave whose autobiography, "The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano," was published in 1789 and detailed the horrors of the middle passage and influenced the movement to abolish the slave trade.

The docudrama is presented as part of the Elgin Area Leadership Academy's discussion on ethics. The academy is an award-winning program of the Elgin Area Chamber of Commerce that crafts and delivers a curriculum specifically designed to assist individuals in becoming active and inspiring contributors to the community.

After the play, Edmondson will lead a discussion of the issues brought forth in the drama and the ethical choices a person is often asked to make.

Previous plays written by Edmonson and offered through the Leadership Academy have included the flooding of New Orleans, the explosion of the Challenger spacecraft, a look at Rwanda, the sinking of the Titanic, the women who nursed the wounded at Gettysburg, the Danes who saved the Jews from Nazi Germany, and the integration of schools during the Civil Rights Era.

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