Doin' Dunbar as 'Lias' Mother

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'Lias' Mother, The Performance

Oni's most popular program, features the southern dialect spoken word poetry of poet & author, Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906). 


Set during the 1800's on a plantation in Cross, So. Carolina, the home of Oni's paternal grandmother. 'Lias' Mother is a highly interactive storytelling play.


It reveals the personal heartfelt experiences of a woman living on a plantation in America.  

Elias, or 'Lias for short, is a fictional character mentioned in Dunbar's most beloved and recited poem, In The Morning.  Lasana brings the poems to life, with music, movement and a simple yet elegant delivery with her engaging monologue.  


Since 1994, Oni studied Dunbar's life, poetry and performs with the Bob Jones Dance and Theater Ensemble of the Coatesville Cultural Society of Chester County Pennsylvania.


Some times 'Lias' Mother travels with her young son, most times she discovers 'Lias sleeping in the audience. "Lias' Mother brings out the best in her co-actor, be they a youngster or an elder. 


     The finale of "Oni Lasana Doin' Dunbar as 'Lias' Mother" culminates in a audience "rap-along" of Dunbar's most beloved standard english poem, Sympathy aka I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. 

Oni Lasana arranged the poem to the hip hop music of Timbaland, giving Dunbar's classic poem a modern unforgettable twist.  








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Peoples Light & Theater Co. Malvern Pennsylvania

Paul Laurence Dunbar's most loved and recited poem comes to life as Oni comforts Elias as only a mother can. With tender loving care, good advice and a little discipline. 


* REPERTOIRE *
In The Morning  
Possum
A Preference
When De Corn Pone's Hot   
De Way T'ings Come
Keep A 'Pluggin' Away
A Coquette Conquered
My Sort O'Man
When Dey 'Listed Colored Soldiers
Whistlin' Sam
When Malindy Sings
Philosophy
Angelina
De Critters' Dance  
An Ante-Bellum Sermon

~ ~ ~

"Oni is the voice of Dunbar" Professor & Author Nikki Giovanni, Virginia Tech

"Many hearts were touched by your rendition of 'Lias' Mother."  

Debbie Allen, Actress, Director & Co-producer of Amistad, LA, California


"I felt like I was in the cabin with you."  Audience member at African American Museum, Philadelphia 


"A MUST SEE!...Moving, enriching and a great addition to any college campus program...call her now!" 

Kim Poast, Community College of Denver, Woman Of Color Conference 






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Bose-Giles Family Reunion, Lancaster PA

VENUES 


Lincoln University, PA


Cheyney University, PA


Virginia Tech University, VA


Tobago Heritage Festival


Dunbar House - Dayton, OH


Philadelphia Museum of Art


Diego Martin Library of Trinidad


East Stroudsburg University, PA


Johnson House, Philadelphia, PA


Woman Conference, Community College of Denver, Colorado


Retirement Party - African American 


Museum of Philadelphia


Freedom Village Senior Living, Brandywine, PA


National Association of Black Storyteller Conference, Cinncinati, Ohio


Manassas Park City Schools, Virginia


DoDD Schools in Heidelberg, Hamburg, Kaiserslautern, Würzburg, Amburg, GERMANY


People's Light & Theater Co, Malvern PA


Indianola School District, Mississippi


Debbie Allen Dance Academy, Los Angeles


West Chester Historical Society & Museum


Foster and Muriel McCarl Coverlet Gallery, History Dinner Theater, Latrobe, PA


*!*


Many more, schools, family reunions, libraries, senior centers, residencies, workshops & storytelling festivals.





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History Dinner Theater

The Foster and Muriel McCarl Coverlet Gallery, Latrobe, Pennsylvania 2016


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South Philadelphia Library Philadelphia

Elias comes in all shapes, sizes and ages!

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Middle & Elementary Schools

Loves 'Lias' Mother as much as she loves them!

~ Recommendation ~

NIKKI GIOVANNI

Tenured Professor of English, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

25, March 1999

Dear Oni,

What a triumph! We actually had to turn fifty people away.

You were superb! The audience laughed and cried and laughed and got hungry and clapped and laughed some more. We all absolutely loved you and can't wait until you are able to schedule us again.

Paul Laurence Dunbar would be extremely proud to see this daughter of the north, as he himself was a son of the north, taking up his voice to keep the hope, joy and dignity of a people now gone alive. You made us all so very proud, Oni, to be children of the sun.

Your sister in poetry,

Nikki Giovanni


In The Morning

Paul Laurence Dunbar's most recited & loved southern dialect poem.

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GERMANTOWN HOME

SENIORS LOVE 'LIAS' MOTHER



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PHILADELPHIA FBI BLACK HISTORY PROGRAM


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BUCKS COUNTY LIBRARY SYSTEMS

Philadelphia 2016

~ Advertisment Statement ~

ONI LASANA DOIN' DUNBAR AS 'LIAS' MOTHER

This engaging one woman theatrical production mixes the pathos and humor of Paul Laurence Dunbar's most loved dialect poems. A literary and historian's delight, it is a highly interactive spoken word  experience. 

Set during the Civil War in the 1800's, Oni Lasana Doin' Dunbar as 'Lias' Mother is a unforgettable heartfelt journey in American History, Literature and Music. 

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"If Unique Is What You Seek"

Storytelling ~ Theatre ~ Language Art - Music ~ History

484.885.0153

Philadelphia ~ Coatesville, Pennsylvania