Calvin Levels portrays famous writer and civil rights activist in “Down from the Mountaintop”
Georgetown, KY – Jan. 4, 2008 – A one-man play tracing the impassioned life of writer and civil rights activist James Baldwin will be performed by Tony Award nominated actor Calvin Levels at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24, in the John L. Hill Chapel at Georgetown College. Admission to the performance is free and open to the public. No reservations required.
James Baldwin: Down from the Mountaintop is written and performed by Levels, a member of The Actors Studio in Los Angeles who studied with famed acting coach Lee Strasberg. Levels’ play chronicles Baldwin’s life, from his childhood in Harlem to his associations with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Medgar Evers and Malcolm X.
Born in 1924, Baldwin had become a young minister at the Fireside Pentecostal Church of Harlem by the age of 14. After graduating from high school, he worked as a journalist writing book reviews and essays. In 1948, he moved to Paris, France and published his first novel, Go Tell It On The Mountain, inspired by his experience as a teenage minister in Harlem. Other well-known works include Giovanni’s Room, The Fire Next Time and Another Country.
After returning to the U.S., Baldwin played an integral part in the struggle for desegregating southern schools. He also partnered with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Medgar Evers in the civil rights movement of the Fifties and Sixties.
Actor Levels has many television and film credits – including The Atlanta Child Murders, the CBS mini-series in which he portrayed central character Wayne Williams (working with Morgan Freeman, Jason Robards, Martin Sheen, Ruby Dee) and Adventures in Baby-sitting (playing a character named Joe Gipp) with Elizabeth Shue.
But, his first love is the stage and he has worked with many theatres across the country, including the Ensemble Studio Theatre, Lincoln Center Theatre and the Music Box Theatre on Broadway. It was at the latter where Levels appeared in Open Admissions, garnering him a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in 1984.
The Georgetown College Office of Diversity is sponsoring the play along with the Ed Davis Learning Center in Georgetown. For more information, call the College’s Office of Diversity at 502-863-7047.