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If you go
What: “Black Journey”
Where: Embassy Theatre, 125 W. Jefferson Blvd.
When: Community showing is at 7 p.m. Wednesday
Cost: Free. Groups of 10 or more should reserve tickets at will call by calling the box office at 424-5665. Walk-ins are welcome, but the Embassy cannot guarantee there will be tickets remaining.

Free play on black history at Embassy

For the first time since starting its “Learn It Live” educational series more than eight years ago, Embassy Theatre has scheduled a community viewing of the program that is intended for children.

“Black Journey,” a musical that chronicles 200 years of black heritage in the United States, will be performed at 10 a.m. Wednesday for grades 2 to 6 and at 7 p.m. for the community.

“We wanted to open it up to the community and make sure folks that weren’t tapped into schools could come in and enjoy the event,” says Dana Berkes, marketing director for the Embassy.

Part of the reason the Embassy decided to open “Black Journey” up to non-students is because of its tie into Black History Month.

The performance details black history, African-Americans’ contributions in fields like science and education and music from black artists throughout the decades, Berkes says.

The show is performed and produced by the American Family Theater, which calls itself “the nation’s premier producer of musicals for families and young audiences,” according to its website.

The traveling theater is based in southeast Pennsylvania and has traveled to and performed at locations including Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and Canada.

“Learn It Live” is the Embassy’s yearly free educational show – the community event is free, too – and it gives the theater the opportunity to introduce the Embassy to children.

The event is specifically for school groups to take field trips to view the musical.

Berkes points back to a detail in the theater’s mission, which states the Embassy aims “to provide a facility and performance center for use by presenters and civic, arts, educational and service-oriented organizations.”

“Part of it is to create programming that is vital to the community,” Berkes says. “We love to see kids in the building.

“As they grow up, they’re going to use the Embassy for different reasons, and they’re going to keep coming to shows their whole lives.”