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January 28, 2015 : Actor Portrays Martin Luther King Junior on Campus
- Cheri Russo
Communications and Marketing Manager


Lancaster – About 100 students, faculty, staff and community members attended a special presentation on campus Wednesday afternoon to kick off Black History Month.  Ohio University Lancaster | Pickerington celebrated the accomplishments of Martin Luther King, Jr., when Actor Darryl Van Leer performed his one-man show where he portrays King in the Wagner Theatre. 
The show was called “The Norm of Greatness.” The stirring performance, based on the essential writings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., opened 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 was transported to the year 1963, to witness King’s historical speech “I Have a Dream.” It’s was a forty-five minute performance with a fifteen minute question and answer session.
king 2The event was 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.
Darryl 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.
After the performance, Van Leer met with OUL Theatre students to discuss his career as an actor and answer their questions. 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 was FREE and open to the public.