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Importance of Penumbra’s new play, 'Benevolence'

Penumbra Theatre salutes Black History Month with a powerful new play.

Penumbra Theatre produced Ifa Bayeza’s award winning production, "The Ballad of Emmett Till."

Penumbra Artistic Director, Sarah Bellamy, says the theatre is now showing "Benevolence," part two of the Emmett Till Trilogy.

"The startling case of Emmett Till was a catalyst for the Civil Rights Movement and an eye-opening moment for our country and the world, as the depth of racism in America was exposed," says Bellamy.

Bayeza recounts the controversial events that surrounded the gruesome murder of 14-year-old Emmett, inviting theatre-goers to contemplate the responses from both the black and white community.

"Benevolence" director, Talvin Wilks, says the play illuminates the collateral damage surrounding the child's tragic murder, inviting us to reflect on how our contemporary society responds to the unwarranted death of black boys today.

Turns out, Migration is the national theme for this year's black history month. The play speaks to that oppression.

“There was also a really profound understanding that people were trying to escape terrorism and violence,” Bellamy said. “What this play allows us to glimpse is a context for why people felt so deeply that they needed to leave the land that they had been on for generations. What these actors are taking on every night to help us remember how normal that violence was is profound.”

The show runs through March 10, 2019.

Tickets range in price from $15 for students/youth to $40 for adults. They're available through Penumbra Theatre’s box office. For more information, call (651) 224-3180 or visit Penumbra's website.

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