"The Quincy Armstrong Show" is bringing black history to life in a new format this year.
Lynchburg playwright Teresa Harris has been performing "The Quincy Armstrong Show" since 2015. She has been working, in her own words, “to tell the Black Story in a way the history books do not.”
While it was originally intended for Black History Month, the show has been performed regularly since its first curtain call.
Though typically performed as a play, this February Lynchburg Parks and Recreation and the Legacy Museum of African American History are offering the show online and via public television to celebrate Black History Month.
Harris notes, “The show’s premise is centered around the mild-mannered professor, Quincy Smith, who teaches Black history at the local community college.” Smith is frustrated by the lack of interest his students show towards Black history.
Harris says, “During a dream, he imagines himself as Quincy Armstrong, a famous talk show host, who interviews historical figures throughout history from slavery to the present day. Whether imagined or real, that’s left up to the audience to decide for themselves. Quincy’s talk show features such guests as Langston Hughes, Fannie Lou Hamer, Madam C.J. Walker, Paul Robeson and Moms Mabley.”
Harris has most recently partnered with Lynchburg Parks and Rec, The Legacy Building, and Building Bridges Productions, Inc. Harris notes that, “This most recent partnership has been the most unique because the video format has afforded us options that are not available with live theatre.”
Harris has previous partnered with local colleges and Black Theatre Ensemble, and have, “even taken the show on the road, performing at First Baptist Church of Manassas,” she added.
The actors are chosen from, “among a pool of actors that I have used for other productions and we are always looking to add new actors to our team. We also are always looking for talented singers, musicians, and dancers to enhance our productions which always includes a musical performance as part of the entertainment portion of each show,” according to Harris.
Harris is no stranger to playwriting or the theatre. She began playwriting in 2013 and says, “I have always enjoyed writing poetry and have two published poems to date. In addition to several independent theatrical projects, I have written historical pieces for Poplar Forest and Old City Cemetery’s Candlelight Tours.”
Harris says, “We hope that, while watching the show, our audience will be inspired to delved deeper into the lives and legacies of the people depicted in our segments.” The show can be found on Xfinity Local Access Channel 15 on Sunday, or on YouTube at https://youtu.be/EYZ1Pqj_k5o.