Martin Luther King Jr.’s Message Portrayed Through Many Characters

On Monday, January 16th, I attended a celebration for Martin Luther King Jr. Before the main speaker came on, singing by two choirs was performed. An award was also received by a woman who has been active in community justice acts. Finally, Mr. Patrick Sims came on. I could tell right away he was the energy of the entire celebration ceremony. Patrick Sims is not only a director of the theatre for Cultural & Social Awareness, but he is also an associate Professor of acting at UW-Madison. The main theme of his performance, rather than a speech, was to tell the story of a civil rights activist who rose from being an African American slave. His name was James Cameron. Professor Sims explained his credibility of knowing this story immediately. He told us his status at Madison, that he met James Cameron, and how James Cameron and his story changed his life. This caught my attention because I wanted to find out what could have been so moving. This keynote performance was called 10 Perfect: A Lynching Survivor’s Story.

Overall, Patrick Sims was very intriguing and entertaining to watch. It was amazing to see that he could use his humor and acting skills to tell such a moving and inspirational story. A few other great aspects of his speech were his energy, eye contact, movement and how well he could stick to all of his characters. Obviously, his delivery was nothing but fantastic due to his background of being a drama professor at a top school. However, there were some improvements that could be made for a next presentation based on organization. Patrick Sims put on a one man production telling a story with 18 characters. Impressive, yes, but confusing as well. He used a different voice and body posture for each character. However, at times the switching from one character to another was a bit overwhelming. Another improvement could be the music choice. I felt as if the music he chose came at random times and did not really have much to do with those parts of the act. It actually came off as a bit distracting.

Yet even with these improvements, I still could not stop listening and wished that our entire class could have been at this celebration. I, myself, would love to see Professor Patrick Sims perform his own playwright multiple more times.

*I got the permission to use this bottom picture from Brooke Allen**

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