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Theater in Old Louisville

Trane: Beyond the Blues
March 6th through March 10th, 2002

The University of Louisville Theatre Arts Dept.'s African-American Theatre Program will present Trane: Beyond the Blues by Christine Rusch. Directed by Nefertiti Burton, Trane promises a jazzy evening that explores the life of saxophonist John Coltrane who is often called, "the High Priest of the Avant Garde jazz movement." Journey with young John from his youth in North Carolina to the height of his musical career as he struggles to find his artistic voice and to conquer the evils that threaten to overcome him. This African American Theatre Program production is a rare treat for the jazz aficionado but should prove equally entertaining for anyone who has been touched by the music of the American jazz greats like Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, or Coltrane, who writer Bill Cole describes as "one of the most innovative and experimental forces in African American music." Parker and other jazz contemporaries such as Miles Davis, Jimmy Heath, Reggie Workman, Rashied Ali, and Yusef Lateef are included among the numerous characters, who will be portrayed by a cast of eleven, with some actors taking as many as ten roles during the evening.

John Chenault, who is designing the music for the production, is a freelance writer, poet, playwright, and composer. He has written two volumes of poetry, Blue Blackness (1969), and The Invisible Man Returns (1992) and his reviews, essays and interviews have appeared in national and international journals. Chenault has performed as a percussionist with the Black Arts Ensemble, and two groups he founded: Sunship, and Zamani Band. His playwrighting credits include: Blood Ritual, Warren is Back in the World, Stolen Moments, The X-periment, and Young Men Grow Older, a television drama that received the National Conference of Christian and Jews Brotherhood Award. For the last decade, Chenault has worked with composer Frank Proto to create new works for orchestras, chamber ensembles and jazz bands. The composing duo has received commissions from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the American Composers Forum, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, and the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. Chenault is currently a graduate student at the University of Louisville.

Trane: Beyond the Blues will be performed Wednesday through Sunday, March 6th through March 10th in the Thrust Theatre on the corner of Floyd and Warnock Streets. Performances are at 8:00 p.m. nightly, with a Sunday matinee at 3:00. Tickets are $10 for the general public, $9 for faculty, staff, or seniors, and $7 for students. Call the Box office at 852-6814 for reservations or group ticket prices.

For more information, or a copy of the press photo, contact Rinda Frye, publicity director, at (502) 852-7682 or rlfrye01@athena.louisville.edu

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