Speakers/Chautauqua Catalog

Name Mr. Bill Martin
Email billm0688@gmail.com
Website http://mindreachentertainment.com
Phone 505/896-0100
Address PO Box 44547
Rio Rancho, NM  87174
Biographical Info Bill Martin is a magician, escapeologist, and retired Naval Aviator. He has been a Golden Gloves boxer, carnival wrestler, hardrock miner, tractor mechanic, and nightclub entertainer. He has performed Houdini’s famous milkcan escape on national television.
Program Title tHE PORGY AND BESS OPERA WORLD TOUR, 1952-1956: Defeating Segregation in America and the Cold War in Russia
Program Description The Robert Breen production of the Porgy and Bess folk opera was a surprising force in desegregating theaters, hotels and public accommodations in America during the 1950's. Director and co-producer Robert Breen fought relentlessly to ensure that the public establishments treated his cast of 60 African-Americans with dignity and respect. The cast of talented artists included Leontyne Price, Cab Calloway, Martha Flowers, William Warfield, Maya Angelou and others who went on to open many doors previously closed to black actors. This highly acclaimed production toured five continents in four years and was the first American company to tour Russia since the Bolshevik revolution. Each cast member became an ambassador of good will as they played extended tours to packed houses and standing ovations. Often members of the cast would entertain impromptu in local clubs much to the delight of the local population. Overcoming racial tensions in America, and Communist intrigue during the height of the cold war, are part of this untold story. The history of the opera by Dubose Heyward and George and Ira Gershwin will be discussed with emphasis on the Breen production. This presentation is in Power Point format with photos of the cast throughout the tour. Related international correspondence and colorful posters will be on display.
Series Conversations With the World; Art, Music and Dance; American Icons
Chautauqua Program Application (Booking) Click here to fill out a funding application for this program »
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