Roger Guenveur Smith Brings One-Man Show to UNC Charlotte

Monday, December 5, 2016

Award-winning actor, writer, and director Roger Guenveur Smith will come to the UNC Charlotte campus on January 10 to work with students in the Department of Theatre and perform his one-man show, Rodney King. Smith, who has a successful career in film (American Gangster, Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X, The Birth of a Nation), television and on stage, was invited to UNC Charlotte by Assistant Professor of Theatre Kaja Dunn, whom he has mentored since 2012 and whose research focuses on the role of theatre in addressing social issues.

Smith created Rodney King in 2012, shortly after King was found drowned in his swimming pool. He describes his fusion of archival narrative and lyrical movement as “a journey through the many lives and times” of King; The New York Times has called the show "sinuous, complicated, and deeply moving.”

In 1992, the trial and acquittal of the police who had brutally beat Rodney King the year before sparked violent protests in Los Angeles. Twenty-five years later, Smith’s dramatic and poignant “interrogation” of King speaks to both the past and the present. 

The performance on Tuesday, January 10, will take place in the Anne R. Belk Theater of Robinson Hall. Admission is free, and no reservations are required. Immediately after the performance, Steve Crump of WBTV will lead an audience conversation with Smith, addressing the actor’s work in light of the recent unrest in Charlotte that resulted from the Keith Lamont Scott shooting.

The performance of Rodney King is sponsored in part by a grant from the Chancellor's Diversity Fund and support from the Cato College of Education.