Maya Angelou “I Rise!” to be presented at Greenville schools

Seven Greenville public schools will celebrate Black History Month with Chautauqua History Alive performances of Maya Anglou “I Rise!” by historical interpreter Becky Stone from Fairview, NC. South Carolina Humanities supported this program with a Mini Grant in December 2017.

Seven different public schools will experience this entertaining and educational show:

  • Legacy Early College High School (Feb 14 at 8:30am)
  • Legacy Early College Middle School (Feb 14 at 10:30am)
  • Legacy Early College Elementary (Feb 14 at 1:30pm)
  • Carolina High School (Feb 15 at 9:00am)
  • Tanglewood Middle School (Feb 15 at 11:00am)
  • Hillcrest Middle School (Feb 16 at 8:30am)
  • Juvenile Detention Center (Feb 16 at 11:00am)

Greenville Chautauqua has presented History Alive performances during Black History Month in prior years at The Legacy Early College School, Carolina High School and Tanglewood Middle School. After an outstanding performance of Cesar Chavez during the June Festival at the Juvenile Detention Center, Chautauqua will return as a part of their school curriculum. In November Chautauqua coached Hillcrest eight graders in research and performance of historical characters as part of their Fight for Freedom unit to lay groundwork for developing a South Carolina Young Chautauqua program. Becky Stone, who will perform as Maya Angelou was one of their coaches. This will be Greenville Chautauqua’s first performance at Hillcrest Middle School.

Becky Stone will appear as Maya Angelou and speak in Angelou’s words. This performance is a powerfully uplifting glimpse into a personal struggle spoken in words that express the struggle in human hearts and in American identity. The audience will be able to question and dialog with this expert on the life of Maya Angelou and share their own experiences. Poet Maya Angelou urges us to “Rise Up and Sing” giving voice to the caged bird inside us all. From the quintessential Everywoman (author of over 20 books, activist, poet, professor, film director and mother,) the audience hears startling truths that have affected all. Maya Angelou was a woman of words: she was named and renamed, she lived with and without words, she was provoked by and a provoker through words, she was a crafter of and a woman redeemed by words. She opened herself to the world through words – written, spoken, sung – and revealed herself to all who were willing to wrestle with her thoughts and language.

Becky Stone is a nationally acclaimed historical interpreter who holds a BA from Vassar College in drama and a MA in Education from Villanova University, and is a retired high School Theater and English teacher. For over 20 years she has been is a regular storyteller at the Biltmore Estate and since 2003 has performed nationally as Maya Angelou, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks and Pauli Murray.

Greenville Chautauqua’s Mission is to bring history to life, through interactive theater, where compelling discussion stimulates critical thinking. We celebrate the diversity of our culture through a variety of voices from the past. Because our history belongs to all of us, we are committed to keeping our events free, fun and accessible to the entire community. Learn more at:

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.