Rehearsing a scene from “Destiny” the heritage drama about three Monroe legends are: Bryan Williams, Jr. (Huey P. Newton), Kerrington Scurfield (Pershing Foster) and Kaleb McNair (Bill Russell)
Three local elementary students are tackling the hard task of portraying the boyhood lives of three local legends from Monroe who became famous.
When the annual Black Heritage Drama opens next month at the Tab-A-Torium, Kerrington Scurfield, Bryan Williams, Jr., and Kaleb McNair will tackle the man-sized job of portraying National legends Pershing Foster, Huey P. Newton, and William “Bill” Russell, all Monroe natives.
The drama “Destiny” tells the story of the childhood experiences of the three legends who were all born in Monroe.
McNair, plays NBA Basketball Hall of Famer, Bill Russell, who was reared in West Monroe until his mother passed prompting his father to move the family to California. Russell has been cited as the greatest NBA player of all times with 11 NBA championship rings to his credit. McNair who has appeared in heritage dramas before including his 2018 performance in “Miss Lula’s Centennial.”
This is McNair’s largest role so far in his acting career. He is a 6th grade student at Madison James Foster Elementary School. He is the son of local educator, Theresa McNair.
Scurfield plays Pershing Foster, son of Madison James Foster, principal of Monroe Colored High. Foster left Monroe in the aftermath of a church shooting over the pastorship of the Zion Traveler’s Baptist Church that surrounded his father’s candidacy for church pastor. In the aftermath of the shooting, he left Monroe and landed in California where he became a nationally recognized surgeon.
This will be Scurfield’s first Heritage Drama performance. Scurfield is a 5th grade honor student at Sallie Humble Elementary School. He is the son of Keith and Wanda Scurfield.
Bryan Williams, is only 3rd grade, but is stunning look-a-like to the young Huey P. Newton, who lived in Monroe as a child and was known for his “baby-face.” Tough times caused his father, Walter Newton, Sr., then pastor of the Bethel Baptist Church, to pack up the family and move to Oakland, California where an adult Huey Newton founded the Black Panther Party.
Williams is a student at J.S. Clark Elementary School. He is the son of Bryan Williams, Sr. and Takisha DeBurr.
“Destiny” is a musical written by Roosevelt Wright, Jr. with music by Robert Kenneth Wright and choreography by Seletta McClinton.
The drama focuses on the family life of the boys during their Monroe years, most of which is detailed in books they have written or authorized.
“For children the story of the families life of these three boys should be inspiration to youth of Northeast Louisiana. Russell, hated school, but graduated college and joined the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. Newton couldn’t read and write, but later educated himself an earned a PhD. Foster, was a scholar who became a medical doctor and surgeon,” said Wright.
“What’s inspiring is that all three were born in Monroe, but stepped into their “Destinies” and shaped the world we know.
The play will open for public performances on February 14th and 15th at the Fabulous Tab-A-Torium. School performances will begin on February 11-14th.
“If you like a great story with plenty of laughter, singing and dancing, as you are spoon fed a flash back of Monroe in the 1930’s and 40’s, don’t miss this production,” Wright said.