When I was studying to receive my Master’s in library science, I took courses of many varieties on children’s literature. In one such course, an area of children’s literature we had to investigate was that of multicultural literature. And so I was introduced to the African-American Cinderella in Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale by John Steptoe. What an inspiring and beautiful story! The story is set to come alive this Sunday, February 17 at 2pm with the StageOne Family Theatre’s performance at the Kentucky Center for the Arts.
Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale, was written by John Steptoe in 1987. John Steptoe was one of the first and earlier successful African-American picture book illustrators. He was the first of his kind to gain fame in the United States. He also authored Stevie, another title which earned him the respect he deserved. Steptoe received several prominent honors for his work on Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale, including a Caldecott Honor in 1988; he won the Coretta Scott King award for illustration in 1988. It is a distinctive piece of multicultural literature accentuating strong female African American characters.
The production of Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters is adapted by Priscilla Wood and directed by Lundeana Thomas; words and music are by Carol Artery and Priscilla Wood. It is recommended for children ages 5 and up. It is a joint effort between between the University of Louisville Department of Theatre Arts and StageOne Family Theatre.
There is only one public showing of Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters on February 17 at 2pm in the Center’s Bomhard Theater. Single tickets are $15.00 each for all ages; please call the Kentucky Center Box Office at 502-584-7777 or 800-775-7777 to inquire about purchasing tickets. There are two student matinee shows as well on February 18-19 at 10am. The Kentucky Center for the Arts is located at 501 West Main Street.
Photo Courtesy of Louisville Free Public Library, pac.lfpl.org