On Friday, February 22, 2019, at the Monroe Civic Center, the Monroe community will salute African-Americans in medicine with the staging of the annual heritage drama “The Root Doctor.”
The heritage drama and the annual black history parade are the centerpieces of the local community’s black history celebration in February. The drama has been staged annually since 1985 and always focuses on an aspect of local Black History.
Desiree Player will direct the orchestra for performance that includes original music written by Roosevelt Wright, III from New Orleans. Marilyn Cox is director of choreography for the 2019 production.
A Black-Tie affair will be held in the Jack Howard Theater and will begin with a meet and greet at 6:45 p.m. where the public will meet our doctors over Hors d’oeuvres and punch. At the conclusion of the production, our local medical practitioners will be recognized.
The play tells the little known story of Emily Howard, a former slave, who was the recognized healer in the local black community before the advent of black medical doctors. Howard will be played by Lanore Williams, a local grandmother, who has performed in many local productions. This will be her first leading role. The role of Bernice, the wicked Voodoo witchdoctor is being played by Florencine Carroll. The role of Addie Belle Leslie, Howard’s young assistant is being played by Sarai Boose.
In 1915, three new doctors came to Monroe fresh from Meharry Medical College and clashed with old traditions that included voodoo and dependence on root doctors.
Special performances for Northeast Louisiana Schools will begin on February 19th . A set of lesson plans, notes, projects and ways to use the production in preparation for state tests is available prior to the show. Student performances are $4 per student.
Tickets for the performance are $15 at the door. However, discount tickets are available from any member of the Top Gun Time Travelers for $10 for single or $20 for a group of four people. Call 318-388-1310.