Meridian Star

April 23, 2013

Meridian embraces ‘Sojourner’

Special to The Star
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     Theatre producer and attorney Thomas Robinson, accompanied by his consulting artistic director, Herman Levern Jones, drives and walks the streets of Meridian introducing himself to everyone he meets and telling them about the play “Sojourner” that he is bringing to the Temple Theater on April 27th.

    Robinson emphasizes that he is trying to do more than bring another event to Meridian. His goal is to reach out to and involve the Meridian community in the events he produces.

    "I feel blessed to have been directed to bring this powerful and inspiring production to Meridian and I want the people of Meridian to be a part of it," Robinson said.

    Sojourner, written by Richard LaMonte Pierce, and starring Barrymore Award nominee Zuhairah (Z for short), is the story of ex-slave and freedom seeker Sojourner Truth.

    Born into slavery in upstate New York in the 1700s, Truth escaped from slavery with her infant daughter. She then went to court to win the freedom of her son. Despite the fact that she had the highest bounty on her head of all the freedom seekers she continued to travel and champion for the freedom of slaves and rights of women black and white.

    Before Oprah Winfrey, Maya Angelou, Angela Davis, Madame C.J. Walker and Harriet Tubman she was the voice of African-American woman proclaiming as she did in her famous speech, "Ain't I A Woman." Her remarkable story and life has led to her being the first African-American woman honored with a bust in the U.S. Capitol.

    Robinson says the play is for everyone from children to senior citizens. He especially tries to encourage those who have never gone to a play to come out and see this DCBTF award winning play for Excellence in Theatre.

    "I had never went to a play. Then I decided you should experience things once while you have the chance," Robinson said. "So I did, and it changed my life. I thought I was going to see a play. At best I might be entertained. I witnessed a remarkable story about a remarkable woman. I believe it will inspire others as it has inspired me.”

    Sojourner has already become a community event. The Magnolia Middle School Choir will perform the pre-show music live and Rev. Antonio Stinner, of El Bethel Missionary Baptist Church will emcee the event.

    Several Meridian citizens including civil rights leader Roscoe Jones, Paul Todd, Danny Evans and Courtney Smith have been involved in the promotion.  In the future Robinson intends to have his company Vahid ("The One") Entertainment bring shows to Meridian that will feature local actors and actresses.  He says, “we are already working on our next production and we can only hope Meridian will embrace it as it has done Sojourner.”

    Tickets to “Sojourner” are available at the Temple Theater Box Office (601) 693-5353, Sam’s Fashion and online at www.vahidmanagementandproduction.com.  

    Group tickets can be arranged through thomas@vahidmanagementandproduction.com or by calling (404) 285-8367.