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Virtual Artsbridge tour continues with ‘Wings of Courage’

PARKERSBURG — The Artsbridge Artists-on-Tour series continues this school year with the fourth virtual arts education tours.

Mad River Theater Works will perform the play “Wings of Courage” for local elementary schools from April 5-7 at schools in Wood, Pleasants and Ritchie counties in West Virginia and Warren Local and Belpre City Schools in Ohio.

Mad River Theater Works is a professional touring theater company based in Zanesfield, Ohio. Since 1978 they have collected stories, molded that material into plays, and performed at community centers, schools, colleges, and theaters throughout the United States reaching an annual audience of over 90,000. Mad River Theater Works is one of only a handful of professional theaters in the United States based in rural communities.

“Wings of Courage” is an original play based on the true story of the life of African-American adventurer and patriot Eugene Bullard. Using storytelling, music, and drama “Wings of Courage” shows how Bullard’s determination and perseverance helped him to overcome discrimination throughout his life.

Bullard was a professional boxer and a World War I flying ace as well as a jazz musician and a spy. He joined the French Foreign Legion after being denied a place in the United States Army Air Corps in 1917 because of the color of his skin. It is an uplifting tale of vision and hope.

Artsbridge provides teachers with study guides which includes background information on the life of the character. Funding for this production is provided in part by The West Virginia Commission on the Arts, Ohio Arts Council and National Endowment for the Arts, The Ross Foundation, The Bernard McDonough Foundation, Highmark, Peoples Bank, and by contributors to the Artsbridge Fund.

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