UF School of Theatre and Dance Presents Gator Tales 

Gainesville, FL— From February 13 to 22. 2015, the UF School of Theatre and Dance will perform a new drama entitled Gator Tales, an original play devised and directed by Professor Kevin Marshall in conjunction with the UF Samuel Proctor Oral History Program (SPOHP). This is the first time that interviews from the SPOHP collection have been adapted to a full-length theatrical production. Inspired by the unique experiences of African American students at the University of Florida, from the first students who attended more than 50 years ago to members of the current student body, Gator Tales dramatizes honored stories from SPOHP’s African American History Project archive. This live theatre performance brings vividly to life the voices of local people who struggled for civil rights and the generations that followed. Featured voices include:

gator tales

  • Joel Buchanan
  • Ron Coleman
  • Bernard Hicks
  • Thomas Holland Fay
  • Joseph McCloud
  • Maime Lee Meath
  • Evelyn Moore Mickle
  • Stephan Mickle
  • Leitha Nichols
  • David Padgett
  • Laura Scott Reaves
  • Samuel Taylor
  • Gladys Thompson
  • Albert White

Gator Tales will premiere on Friday, February 13, 2015, at 7:30 pm in the Blackbox Theatre at McGuire Pavilion (1800 McCarty Drive). Performances will follow on February 14 and 17-21 at 7:30 pm and on February 15 and 22 at 2:00 pm. Tickets are $17 for the general public and $13 for seniors and UF students, faculty, and staff. Parking is available in the Reitz Union parking garage and the parking lot at Center Drive and Museum Road.

To purchase tickets visit the University Box Office website at http://oconnellcenter.ufl.edu/BoxOffice/University_Box_Office.aspx.

For more information about the UF School of Theatre and Dance, visit http://www.arts.ufl.edu/welcome/td/

For more information about the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, visit http://oral.history.ufl.edu/  or call 352-392-7168

Professor Kevin Marshall’s synopsis of Gator Tales: 

Gator Tales will open February 13, 2015 for a two week run through February 22nd as part of the School of Theatre and Dance mainstage season. Gator Tales is a highly provocative drama that raises questions and spotlights a very uncomfortable part of Florida history that needs to be shared with a large audience.

One of the major projects of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program is the African American collection.  Gator Tales centers on Gator Pioneers: Celebrating the Firsts and the unique history of the first African Americans who studied and worked here at the once all white University of Florida. Bringing to life their fascinating stories has been a journey filled with drama, some comedy and tales of opportunity, disappointment, humanity and achievement. Gator Tales examines Jim Crow era Florida through the Civil Rights era up to recent local history. The production will showcase media and visual representations of the period using photographs, newspaper clippings, film footage and other media that can provide a historic visual context for this devised theatrical piece. Material from the UF archives and other public media archives will create an immersive environment to enhance understanding and emotional impact for the audience.