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December 09, 2014 : VIDEO: Actor to Portray Martin Luther King Jr. in One-Man Show at OUL January 28
- Cheri Russo
Communications and Marketing Manager
Lancaster – Ohio University Lancaster | Pickerington will celebrate Black History Month and the accomplishments of Martin Luther King, Jr., with a special presentation on January 28.  Actor Darryl Van Leer will perform his one-man show where he portrays Martin Luther King Jr. at 3:30 p.m. in the Wagner Theatre.  The event is FREE and open to the public.
The show 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.
Darryl_Van_Leer1Darryl 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.
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 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.
“We think this is a wonderful event to hold right after Martin Luther King, Jr., Day and right before the start of Black History Month,” said Diversity Committee Co-Chair Lisa Skeens. “Van Leer makes history come alive, and we want to give our students and the community a chance to experience the importance of King and black history, especially during this time of the year.”
The OUL Cultural Events Committee seeks to augment the educational mission of OUL through its sponsorship of special events in drama, music, art, and scholarly and creative lecture, readings or presentations. Further, the committee engages in these activities for the benefit of the student population as well as that of the local and regional communities.
The OUL Cultural Events and Diversity Committees have hosted speakers in fields such as bullying prevention, civil rights history and deaf culture.