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Playwright Charles Smith to host discussion about his bicentennial play 'Free Man of Color' on March 4

ATHENS, Ohio (Feb. 26, 2004) -- Ohio University Professor of Theater and playwright Charles Smith will discuss the challenges he faced while developing his new bicentennial play, "Free Man of Color," at noon, Thursday, March 4, in the Friends of the Library Room on the third floor of Alden Library. The discussion is free and open to the public.

Anthony Fleming III in character as John Newton Templeton with playwright Charles SmithWith very little information about John Newton Templeton available, Smith was forced to find creative methods for gathering the biographical information he needed to write a compelling story about Ohio University's first African American graduate.

During the play, Templeton, a freed slave, develops a close and unique relationship with Ohio University President Robert Wilson and his wife, Jane. Templeton eventually begins to question President Wilson's motives for allowing him to attend Ohio University. In the end, Templeton asks himself whether a freed slave is really free?

"Free Man of Color" runs in Athens at 8 p.m. March 11-13 at Ohio University's Elizabeth Evans Baker Theater in Kantner Hall. Tickets are $12 for students and senior citizens and $15 for adults. To order tickets, call the College of Fine Arts box office at (740) 593-4800. For more information about the play, visit www.ohiou.edu/outlook/.  

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