The Friends of Magnolia Mound Plantation presents 9th annual Black History Month dramatic production

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

The Friends of Magnolia Mound Plantation in association with BREC will present their 9th annual Black History Month dramatic production, Matthew Henson, African-American Explorer: To the Pole and Back, written by Oneal Isaac and based on a true story. The event will be held on Saturday, February 22 at 2:00 on the grounds of the plantation, 2161 Nicholson Drive in Baton Rouge. The production is free and opened to the public.

Matthew Henson went to sea as a cabin boy on a merchant ship when he was 12 years old. The Captain took him under his wing and thought of him as a son. He subsequently sailed around the world for the next several years educating himself and becoming a skilled navigator. Henson joined Commander Robert E. Peary in 1887 on an expedition to Nicaragua. Impressed with Henson's seamanship, Peary recruited him as a colleague. It was on Peary's eighth trip to attempt to reach the North pole that Henson was made a member of the team of six who would make the final run to the pole.

Oneal Isaac will portray Matthew Henson. Mr. Isaac is an award-winning actor, storyteller and playwright. He has been the recipient of an Artist Fellowship in Theatre from the Louisiana Division of the Arts. He was also Arts Ambassador for the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge and was honored by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities with a Special Humanities Award. He has worked in motion pictures, professional and community theater, improvisational comedy and public radio. He worked extensively as the Assistant Director with PRIME TIME Reading Time and the LEH Family Literacy Program, now used throughout the United States. Oneal has been involved in each of the eight previous Black History Month productions.

The Friends of Magnolia Mound Plantation is a member organization of the Community Fund for the Arts. Magnolia Mound Plantation is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and accredited by the American Association of Museums. This programming is partially funded by the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge. For more information, please call Patricia Comeaux, Executive Director of the Friends of Magnolia Mound, at 225-271-4157, or visit the Friends web site at friendsofmagnoliamound.org.