Nov. 15: Memoir of growing up in the segregated South

By Gail Siegel, WSU Performing Arts

tarantino-smith-headPULLMAN, Wash. – A dramatization of the 1943 book “Black Boy,” Richard Wright’s searing autobiography spanning childhood innocence to adulthood in the Jim Crow South, will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, in Jones Theatre at Washington State University. It is recommended for ages 12 and older.

Reserved seating costs $16 adults, $12 seniors (ages 60+) and $8 non-WSU students and youth. WSU student admission is free with valid ID. A discounted rate of $10 per person is available to groups of eight or more. The Daggy Hall box office opens for ticket sales and will-call beginning two hours before the performance.

Tickets are on sale at TicketsWest outlets, including online at, by phone at 800-325-SEAT (7328) and in person at WSU’s Beasley Coliseum (open 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday) and the Rosauers Supermarket in Lewiston, Idaho. Advance tickets are subject to convenience charges unless purchased at the Beasley Coliseum.

Tarantino Smith in “Black Boy.”

Actor Tarantino Smith embodies more than a dozen characters in addition to the author in the performance, which is a Literature to Life ( stage presentation, a program of Young Audiences New York. Adapted and directed by Wynn Handman, the show is presented by WSU Performing Arts (

“Through Literature to Life, I’ve discovered more about myself – things that I could only feel … that I now have words for,” said Smith. “And many of the students and communities I’ve encountered have discovered the same.”

“Black Boy” explores themes of racism and injustice that continue to resonate. Interactive discussions led by a master teaching artist will bookend the performance, offering further insights into the narrative and its social context.

Literature to Life presents professionally staged verbatim adaptations of significant American literary works, emphasizing minority and immigrant experiences. It offers a new way for audiences to access and experience literature, bringing to life the world of books through live performances that encourage discovery and spark the imagination.

This project received support from the Western States Arts Federation, Washington State Arts Commission, National Endowment for the Arts, Residence Inn by Marriott Pullman and WSU Office of Equity and Diversity.

Parking will be available without permits or fees in the Daggy Hall parking garage and in the Green 2 lot across the street from Daggy Hall.

See an excerpt from “Black Boy,” performed by Tarantino Smith, at


News media contact:
Gail Siegel, WSU Performing Arts, 509-335-8522,


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