PURE Theater Presents Chautauqua Programs about Septima Clark

PURE Theatre will present a series of Chautauqua-style events about Civil Rights heroine Septima Clark in May 2024 as part of Charleston’s Piccolo Spoleto Festival. On Friday, May 24th, the performance will take place at Charleston Area Senior Center, and on Tuesday, May 28th, a livestream will take place at 11:00 a.m. SC Humanities supported this programming with a Major Grant.

Born in Charleston in 1898, Septima Poinsette Clarke was a noted educator and Civil Rights activist, sometimes called the “Mother of the Movement.” She created literacy and citizenship workshops and participated in a class action lawsuit that led to pay equity for black and white teachers in South Carolina, among many other accomplishments. The original play SEPTIMA by Patricia Williams Dockery honors the moments of Septima’s life that shaped her into one of the most important figures in American history.

In May, PURE Theatre will offer Chautauqua-style discussions around the life, work, and times of Septima Clark that will explore the importance of voter rights, both then and now, through the songs and script of the play. Panelists will include Sharon Graci (Director of the play and PURE co-founder), Dr. Patricia Williams Dockery (playwright and principal researcher), Donna Factor (League of Women Voters), Georgette Mayo (Avery Institute), Aaron White (Johns Island Progressive Club), and Zania Cummings (actress playing Septima).

Based on the Chautauqua movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a Chautauqua event combines dialogue and conversation with arts and entertainment. The panel discussion would be guided by portions of the Septima script, including monologues and music, which will be performed by Zania Cummings.

The first event will take place on Friday, May 24th at 10:00 a.m. at the Charleston Area Senior Center. The main opportunity to engage with this exciting program is through a Livestream, which will begin on Tuesday, May 28 at 11:00 a.m. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased HERE.

PURE Theatre is a professional regional theatre in Charleston that creates consequential theatre experiences by and for a diverse gathering of artists and audiences. PURE produces work that inspires thought, ignites dialogue, and heightens consciousness, and contributes to the urgent exchange of ideas, viewpoints, aspirations, and inspirations of our community. Learn more: https://puretheatre.org/.

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 Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state. It presents and 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.