The Hampton Years offers opportunity for education and conversation between local Jewish and African American community

by | Dec 18, 2015 | Other News

Playwright Jacqueline Lawton. Photograph by Jason Hornick

Playwright Jacqueline Lawton. Photograph by Jason Hornick

Sunday, Jan. 31, 2 pm, Wells Theater, Norfolk

Emerging from Washington D.C.’s Theater J’s Locally Grown Festival in 2013, The Hampton Years by Jacqueline E. Lawton explores the development of great African American artists John Biggers and Samella Lewis under the tutelage of Austrian Jewish refugee painter and educator Viktor Lowenfeld. Focusing on the pivotal years at Hampton Institute (now Hampton University) during WWII , this richly researched tapestry of African American luminaries reveals the dreams and travails of young artists in a still segregated society. The play also examines the impact of World War II on a Jewish immigrant and his wife finding shelter in the U.S. and his controversial influence in shaping the careers of African American students.

The United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Community Relations Council and Holocaust Commission, in partnership with Congregation Beth El’s HAZAK, the Urban League Guild, and the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (VCIC) are joining together for this performance. Following the show, a discussion led by VCIC will take place.

For more information about the play, or to reserve tickets (discounts available) for this performance and discussion, contact Gaby Grune, CRC program associate at 965-6107 or