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January 15, 2015 : Actor to Meet with OUL Theatre Students after Martin Luther King Jr. One-Man Show January 28
- Cheri Russo
Communications and Marketing Manager
Lancaster – Actor Darryl Van Leer will meet with OUL Theatre students for about an hour after he performs a one-man show portraying Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the Lancaster Campus January 28.  The performance will celebrate Black History Month and the accomplishments of Martin Luther King, Jr. The show will be performed at 3:30 p.m. in the Wagner Theatre, and the event is FREE and open to the public.
“Van Leer agreed to talk with OUL’s Theatre students after his performance, so they could ask him questions and learn from his experience,” said OUL Development Director Mandi Custer.
As a full-time actor, Van Leer has shared the screen with such actors as James Earl Jones, Samuel Jackson, Gregory Harrison, Rue McClanahan, and Beau Bridges. Most recently Van Leer starred in TLC's reality series, The Messengers. Van Leer was one of the four finalists in the series that was devoted to finding America's next great inspirational speaker. He starred in the role of a tough-love father in the Nickelodeon movie, First Time, the story of Jackie Robinson. He also played the father in Aaron Spelling's weekly series Safe Harbor, co-starring with Gregory Harrison. Other television series in which Van Leer has co-starred in include One Tree Hill and Sheena. Additionally, Van Leer has been featured in two HBO original movies, The Second Civil War and Up Against the Wall, as well as Fox's Steel Chariots and NBC's original movie, Witness to the Execution.
The show Van Leer will perform at OUL is called “The Norm of Greatness.” The stirring performance, based on the essential writings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., opens with a narration describing the tribulations of the Montgomery Bus boycott. King’s testimony of these events is given in his passionate sermon “Early Days.” Next, the audience is transported to the year 1963 to witness King’s historical speech “I Have a Dream.” It’s a forty-five minute performance plus a fifteen minute question and answer session.
Van Leer has performed at more than 300 universities in America and has been honored with awards from NACA (National Assoc. for Campus Activities) and Campus Activities Today and received a nomination for "Best Performance" from Hollywood's NAACP Image Awards.
The event is being put on by the Ohio University Lancaster Cultural Events and Diversity Committees.  The committees work to bring in presentations, speakers and acts throughout the academic year to enhance the cultural experience on campus.