Schaumburg marks 20 years of Black History Month plays with comedic coming-of-age tale

 
 
Updated 2/12/2019 5:31 PM
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  • James Gordon, left, rehearses his role as chief antagonist "Victor" while D'Angelo Smith plays his sidekick "Curtis" in the Black History Month play "Adult*ish." It will be performed Saturday, Feb. 23, at Schaumburg's Al Larson Prairie Center for the Arts.

    James Gordon, left, rehearses his role as chief antagonist "Victor" while D'Angelo Smith plays his sidekick "Curtis" in the Black History Month play "Adult*ish." It will be performed Saturday, Feb. 23, at Schaumburg's Al Larson Prairie Center for the Arts. Courtesy of Maurice D. Proffit

  • Powerhouse Productions will mark the 20th anniversary of its annual Black History Month play at Schaumburg's Al Larson Prairie Center for the Arts with the Feb. 23 performance of "Adult*ish," written, produced and directed by Maurice D. Proffit.

    Powerhouse Productions will mark the 20th anniversary of its annual Black History Month play at Schaumburg's Al Larson Prairie Center for the Arts with the Feb. 23 performance of "Adult*ish," written, produced and directed by Maurice D. Proffit. Courtesy of Maurice D. Proffit

  • The cast of Schaumburg's Black History Month play, "Adult*ish," which will be performed Feb. 23, at the Al Larson Prairie Center for the Arts, gathers for a recent rehearsal.

    The cast of Schaumburg's Black History Month play, "Adult*ish," which will be performed Feb. 23, at the Al Larson Prairie Center for the Arts, gathers for a recent rehearsal. Courtesy of Maurice D. Proffit

For its 20th anniversary, Schaumburg's annual Black History Month play is taking a break from the seriousness of recent shows and the strife people experience every day, with a lighthearted, modern twist on the 1988 Tom Hanks film "Big."

Maurice D. Proffit, writer and director of "Adult*ish," said the play's emphasis on comedy is not only something he was craving after recent performances on the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and police shootings, but also relevant for its theme on the transition from childhood to adulthood.

He points to social media as a key difference in growing up today compared to the experience shown in the 30-year-old movie that inspired him.

"It's almost becoming depressing to open up your newsfeed," Proffit said. "There's so much information that's put out there. There's so much information that stays out there."

Like all his previous plays, "Adult*ish" is appropriate for all ages and audiences, Proffit said. Making it relevant to Black History Month are a few topics that will resonate with the black community, he said, including the history of hip-hop music, which the main character delivers an earnest speech about.

The play will be performed at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, at the Al Larson Prairie Center for the Arts, 201 Schaumburg Court in Schaumburg. The $20 tickets can be purchased at bsideproduction.com.

Proffit said the milestone anniversary for the show is a time to reflect not only on the growth of a theater troupe that basically started in his family's living room but also on the village of Schaumburg's 20-year commitment to hosting it.

"Here's a situation where the arts play a major role," he said.

In addition to this year's show being filmed, Proffit hopes his cast and crew's work can be further appreciated via the potential for future performances at the Harold Washington Cultural Center in Chicago.

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