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Cape May Celebrates Juneteenth with a Free Dramatic Reading at Rotary Park

Cape May Celebrates Juneteenth with a Free Dramatic Reading at Rotary Park

From East Lynne Theater Company

Part of an afternoon of free Juneteenth happenings, New York-based actor James Alton will portray Civil Rights activist and novelist James Baldwin in East Lynne Theater Company’s staged reading of ‘Citizen James’ at Rotary Park on June 22.
Part of an afternoon of free Juneteenth happenings, New York-based actor James Alton will portray Civil Rights activist and novelist James Baldwin in East Lynne Theater Company’s staged reading of ‘Citizen James’ at Rotary Park on June 22.

What: A staged reading of a Juneteenth story

When: Saturday, June 22 – live music at 1 p.m., reading at 2:30 p.m.

Where: Cape May Rotary Bandstand

For the second year in a row, East Lynne Theater Company will host a Juneteenth staged reading of “Citizen James, or The Young Man Without a Country” to honor the national holiday.

“Citizen James,” written by Kyle Bass, resident playwright of Syracuse Stage, is a one-man show that relays the story of acclaimed novelist and civil rights activist James Baldwin, played by New York-based actor James Alton. The reading is part of a day of activities co-hosted by the Harriet Tubman Museum of New Jersey.

“Juneteenth is an important holiday with deep, historical ties to the Cape May community,” said Craig Fols, artistic director at East Lynne. “We are honored to collaborate with the Harriet Tubman Museum for a celebration that our entire community can enjoy.”

“Citizen James” takes place in 1948, when a young Baldwin leaves the U.S. for Paris with $40 and no knowledge of the French language. Try as he may, he cannot fully leave his past behind, and it’s the violent reality of a racist homeland that sets him on a path to becoming one of the world’s most brilliant authors, as well as one of the most powerful voices of the Civil Rights era.

The event kicks off at 12:30 p.m. with updates from the museum on its summer programming, followed by the Eddie Morgan Trio, sponsored by the museum, at 1 p.m., then East Lynne’s staged reading of “Citizen James” at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets are free, however, advanced registration is recommended as there is limited capacity. Complimentary tickets can be found at bit.ly/HTMjuneteenth. Bring a beach chair or blanket.

Rotary Park can be found at 400-498 Lafayette St. in Cape May. East Lynne is located at the Cape May Presbyterian Church at 500 Hughes St. Information about East Lynne’s current season, as well as ticket reservations for upcoming shows, can be found at EastLynneTheater.org.

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