Performance explores issues of racism as it reaffirms the importance of humanity

  • February 16, 2023

Performance explores issues of racism as it reaffirms the importance of humanity


The first line you’ll hear when noted actor LeLand Gantt brings his inspirational life story to the Gracie Theatre on Friday, February 24, 2023 at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., in celebration of Black History Month is, “I just want to start a conversation.”


“Rhapsody in Black,” is a one-man show written and performed by Gantt. Directed by Estelle Parsons, the woman who played Roseanne’s mother on the award-winning sitcom “Roseanne,” the play explores Gantt’s personal journey as he works to understand and eventually transcend racism in America. A one-hour, abbreviated version of the play will be performed at 11 a.m. and is open to members of the Husson campus community as well as the general public at a reduced rate. The complete version of the play is open to the general public at 7 p.m. that evening.


The performance is a journey through Gantt’s life as he explores issues of racism and reaffirms the importance of humanity. This includes being a child in a rough neighborhood, as a member of a financially distressed family living in working-class McKeesport, Pennsylvania; to becoming a teenager experimenting with crime and drugs. Later the audience will see portrayals of Gantt’s life as he finds success through scholastic achievement and then career fulfillment as an actor.


As part of this journey, the audience will come to better understand what it means to be “the only African-American in the room.” The play will provide insight into how Gantt managed to cope after being marked as "the other." “Rhapsody in Black” recounts with authenticity and integrity, and in remarkably exquisite detail, the trials and tribulations Gantt experienced over the course of his life – challenges that left lasting impressions that he continues to carry with him today. Gantt has won critical praise for the charming, self-deprecatingly funny, and passionate ways he confronts heavy issues.


Pasted into this email below is a press release with more information about Gantt, Parsons, the play, the Gracie Theatre and Husson University. A link to a video teaser of the performance can be found at Photos associated with this upcoming performance can be downloaded from an online album/folder located at Interviews with Jeri Misler, the managing artistic director of the Gracie Theatre and actor LeLand Gantt can be arranged upon request.


I hope we will have the opportunity to work together on this story. Thank you for your consideration.



Filter Press Releases

Name or Keyword


Date Range

Contact Information

Eric B. Gordon

Husson University
1 College Circle
Bangor  ME  04401