Island Culture Project – Mitchelville Theatrical Production

The Office of Cultural Affairs at the Town of Hilton Head Island will partner with the Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park, Lean Ensemble Theater, and several other organizations to provide an educational experience for 200 high school juniors to see the new play “Mitchelville” at the Lean Ensemble Theater. Performances of the new play will take place between March 17 and March 26, 2023. SC Humanities helped support this program with a Mini Grant.

“Mitchelville” by Aurin Squire tells the story of a young man trying to save his Gullah family home. He dives into the history of his family lineage, the Civil War, and the first town of Black freedmen in America. “Mitchelville” is a story about learning from the past, saving for the future, and keeping a tradition going. Tickets for the play are available here: The play is having its world premiere at the Lean Ensemble Theater.

The “Island Culture Project” will start with school visits by humanities scholars from Historic Mitchelville, and then 200 high school juniors will attend a special matinee production of “Mitchelville.” Finally, students will attend a post-play site visit and tour of Historic Mitchelville.

Project Director Natalie Harvey said, “The Island Culture Project will help build knowledge of the Mitchelville story throughout the community. While the participants are students, the broader community will learn about the story through media coverage, social media postings, and community conversations. The
organizers expect that this initial project will enthuse the community to support the larger plan of a grade-specific experience for K-12 students on Hilton Head Island. The Hilton Head Arts and Cultural Council education committee have been instrumental in coordinating this program. They’re truly dedicate to expanding the opportunity for these kinds of experiences for all Hilton head Island students.”

The Office of Cultural Affairs at the Town of Hilton Head Island promotes and supports Hilton Head Island as a vibrant and diverse Island that is celebrated locally, regionally and nationally for the ways in which arts and culture enrich and enhance the community.

Lean Ensemble Theater embraces theater’s vibrant relevance through diverse, ensemble based programming which compels thought, sparks emotion and inspires dialogue.

The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Established in 1973, this 501(c) 3 organization is governed by a volunteer 20-member Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state. It presents and/or supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 250,000 citizens annually. South Carolina Humanities receives funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities as well as corporate, foundation and individual donors. The National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom.