The Gordon Center for Black Culture and Arts


Charles White - The Centenary Year Celebration


Charles White Exhibit Press Release - Download

CW Press Release (pdf)


Play by Samuel Harps Prologue by Bill Baston


February 2019

Antigone on Robben Island: Nelson Mandela Takes the Stage.


Event Details

February 2019

Antigone on Robben Island: Nelson Mandela Takes the Stage.

Nyack: Recalling Mandela's stage role that presaged presidency

Robert Brum Updated 3058 p.m. ET Feb. 5, 2019

Bill Batson, artist-in-residence at Nyack's Farmer's Market, talks about his role at the weekly market, and the Nov. 27 book launch at Hudson House. Peter D. Kramer,

NYACK - In the late 1960s, apartheid-era prisoners in South Africa's notorious Robben Island prison staged a production of Sophoclesʼ tragedy, "Antigone."  

The cast included a freedom fighter named Nelson Mandela, playing King Creon, a prescient role for the man who would become his country's first democratically elected president. 

The staging of the tragedy and its overtones of the prisoners' struggle for freedom are captured in a drama by playwright Samuel Harps that is being staged this month in Nyack.

"Antigone on Robben island: Mandela Takes the Stage," explores how humans, in the most difficult circumstances, reconcile fidelity to self, family, government, and social justice movements, according to the producers, " It was Antigone who symbolized our struggle; she was, in her own way, a freedom fighter, for she defied the law on the grounds that it was unjust,"

Mandela wrote of the playʼs heroine.

Harps realized that "Antigone" was the perfect play to be staged on  Robben Island because of its themes of political struggle and loyalty to country.

The staging at the Nyack Center includes a prologue by artist and author

Bill Batson.  

"Mandela is the perfect historic figure to contemplate during Black History Month, because he demonstrates that a racist system as entrenched and

evil as apartheid can be dismantled by freedom-loving men and women as

long as you keep the faith, and your principles." said Batson, who co￾produced the play with Janey Tannenbaum.

The production marks the 20th year for Shades Repertory Theater, which

Harps created to present reimagined classics and the works of emerging


Harps interned at New Yorkʼs New Dramatists, studying with noted

playwrights August Wilson, John Patrick Shanley, and Charles Oyamo  Gordon. He was later accepted into the Negro Ensemble Company playwrights program and the National Black Theater.

Harpsʼ first major production, "Don't Explain," about the death of trumpeter Lee Morgan, was staged at New Yorkʼs Nuyorican Poets Cafe.

If you go

What: "Antigone on Robben Island: Mandela Takes the Stage"

When: 8 p.m. Feb. 8

Where: Nyack Center, 58 Depew Ave., Nyack

Tickets: $22 in advance; $25 at the door. Available


Other performances: 8 p.m. Feb. 15 and 16

Where: Garnerville Arts Center, 55 West Railroad Ave., Garnerville

Tickets: $18 for students and advanced purchase, $20 general admission: Shades Repertory Theater, or 845-675-8044




Left to right: Keith Bulluck (as Nelson Mandela), Kevin Barksdake, Steve Allen (kneeling) and

John DeBlasio from the production of "Antigone on Robben Island: Nelson Mandela Takes

the Stage." (Photo: Contributed)



Left to right: Richard Troiano (kneeling) Rick Levi (standing), Steve Allen (kneeling) John DeBlasio (background) Keith Bulluck (standing), in a scene from "Antigone on Robben Island: Mandela Takes the Stage." (Photo: Contributed)

MLK Celebration 2019


MLK Celebration 2019


Sponsors for MLK Celebration

Sponsors List for MLK Celebration - Download

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Menu of Table Activities 3 - Download list

Description: This list provides information about the various sponsors that have tables and are represented at our MLK Celebration. They have provided information about what will be at their table to share with the community so please take a look and enjoy. (pdf)