The Palm Beach Institute for the Entertainment Arts (PBIEA) is celebrating Black History Month by bringing the original play Intersection of Lincoln and Parks to the stage featuring Wellington resident Audrena Scurry. Production dates are Thursday, Feb. 25 through Saturday, Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. and Thursday, March 4 through Saturday, March 6 at 7 p.m. There will be two matinee performances on Sunday, Feb. 28 at 2 p.m. and Sunday, March 7 at 2 p.m.
Directed by Broadway star Avery Somers and written and produced by playwright Donna Carbone, Intersection asks the audience to imagine what would have happened the night Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus had the last living relative of Abraham Lincoln also been a passenger.
Carbone serves as managing director at PBIEA. Under her leadership, productions have grown in size and number. During the COVID-19 shutdown, she contacted friend and colleague Avery Sommers and asked her to help achieve the goals she had set for the institute.
Carbone and Sommers had been friends for a few years. They had worked together on Carbone’s successful play, Shell of a Man, which Sommers directed. When they discussed casting for Intersection of Lincoln and Parks, they agreed that the perfect choice was Scurry, a PBIEA repertory company member. Scurry appeared in Shell of a Man and, more recently, in Laughter: It’s What’s for Dinner.
“When you see someone who shines as a performer… someone who makes a performance seem effortless… that actor is a breed apart,” Carbone said. “They do not talk about sleepless nights or nervous stomachs. They become the character they are portraying to such a degree that the audience forgets they are watching a show.”
Sommers is also thrilled with the casting choices. “We are lucky to have been able to add two additional cast members who work as hard and give as much as Audrena,” Somers said. “David Barnhart will play the role of R. Todd Lincoln Beckwith, Abraham Lincoln’s last living relative. James Ferrigno will play the role of James Blake, the bus driver who was the catalyst for the events of Dec. 1, 1955. Both are a part of the institute’s repertory company.”
The institute is located at 115 U.S. Highway One in the Village Shoppes of North Palm Beach. More information and tickets, which cost $25, are available by calling Carbone at (561) 743-9955. Learn more at www.pbinstituteforentertainmentarts.com.