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IU Northwest to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday with civil rights play 'The Meeting' on Jan. 17

Imaginative discussion between Malcolm X and Dr. King portrayed on stage; One Book…One Campus…One Community reading initiative launched

Friday Dec 14, 2012

Indiana University Northwest will celebrate the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday with a presentation of “The Meeting” by Jeff Stetson, internationally acclaimed, award-winning playwright and screenwriter for film and television.

The campus and community are invited to this free event, scheduled for 6 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 17 in the Bruce W. Bergland Auditorium, located in the Savannah Center.

In this moving and thought-provoking stage production, the audience will envision what a clandestine meeting might have been like between two of the most influential men of their times: Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X. The time is February, 1965, and a shabby Harlem hotel room is the backdrop for this momentous confrontation between the two.

The play examines the pair’s public and private lives; the clash of their ideas and tactics for the advancement of freedom; and the humanity of two devout men of faith, loving fathers and husbands, and leaders willing to lay down their lives for the cause of justice.

Playwright Stetson adapted “The Meeting” for PBS and American Playhouse, where it received an Emmy award and was called “the perfect play” by The Los Angeles Sentinel, “an unforgettable evening of drama” by The New York Post and “eloquent and engaging” by The Chicago Tribune. He is currently writing a movie based on the play for Black Entertainment Television.

“The Meeting” stars Wesley Lawrence Taylor as Malcolm X.  A Boston native, Wesley trained at the New Theatre Conservatory and the Linklate Studio. Some of his favorite roles have been “Hoke” in Driving Miss Daisy with Wharf Rat Productions, and “Crooks” in Of Mice and Men with the Stanley B. Theatre Company.

Jeff Robinson plays Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He is a St. Louis native who wears many hats, including: award-winning saxophonist, playwright, poet, and composer. 

Michael Nurse plays the character of Rashad.  A London native, Nurse has appeared in several major motion pictures, such as Glory, The Departed and Mystic River.

A reception will take place immediately following the play in the Savannah Center Lobby.

The Indiana University Northwest Office of Diversity Programming and the Neal-Marshall Alumni Club are sponsors of the MLK Day celebration.

One Book…One Campus…One Community Reading Initiative

As a prelude to the production, the campus will launch the One Book…One Campus…One Community reading initiative, in which the campus and community are also invited to consider and reflect upon the themes, messages and teaching points of one book.

The selected book for the inaugural reading program is The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates, a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller, which will be the campus read throughout the Spring 2013 semester.

For more details on the book and the community-wide reading program, please click here.

For more information on the stage production “The Meeting,” please contact Phyllis Barlow at (219) 980-6596 or

The Savannah Center is located at 33rd Ave. and Broadway in Gary. For information about parking at IU Northwest, including a new practice for issuing temporary visitors’ permits, please visit

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