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Civil rights play to be staged

Play's theme focuses on meeting between Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X

01/08/03

What would have happened if Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. were locked in a hotel room together before they were both assassinated? This intriguing idea is the premise behind "The Meeting," a powerful and critically acclaimed drama about the lives, philosophies and times of King and Malcolm X. "The Meeting" is being presented Jan. 15 at 7:00 p.m. in the Cintas Center banquet center. The play, which is free and open to the public, is the creation of Jeff Stetson and explores the possibilities of these two men who shared a vision, but had sharply different views of how to reach it. A Harlem hotel room is the backdrop for this momentous 1965 confrontation between King, a Baptist minister and champion of non-violent protest, and Malcolm X, advocate of self-defense by any means and himself the center of factional warring within his own Muslim faith. In real life, King and Malcolm X crossed paths only once. The two met in 1964 in New York City while traveling to speaking engagements. Although the encounter took less than a minute, the press clamored for a photograph. The two never met to discuss their views or work together. "The Meeting" has received a Louis B. Mayer Award, eight NAACP Theater Awards, and six New York Audelco nominations. It has been produced throughout Asia, Europe and the United States. Xavier University's office of multicultural affairs is sponsoring the presentation of "The Meeting."