–Expanded original theatrical play celebrates award-winning actress –
BROWARD COUNTY, FL – Back by popular demand – AARLCC’s original theatre performance celebrating the legendary Esther Rolle. Join the African American Research Library and Cultural Center (AARLCC) on March 25-27, 2022, for the expanded original play, Head Above Water: The Life of Esther Rolle based on the life of award-winning actress and Broward County native, Esther Rolle. Held in celebration of Women’s History Month and part of AARLCC’s activities celebrating their 20thAnniversary of Black Excellence, this special drive-in outdoor performance will be held at AARLCC, located at 2650 Sistrunk Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311.
Commissioned by AARLCC, “Head Above Water” is led by the talented creative team of Directors, Bianca LaVerne Jones, recent Associate Director of Broadway’s “Chicken and Biscuits” and Assistant Director, Darius V. Daughtry, writer/director of “The Happening: A Theatrical Mixtape, Volume III”. “Head Above Water” builds upon the 2020 original play to further explore Rolle’s life with additional scenes and casting.
Each night includes a specific theme with special curated experiences:
#LadiesNight with Lauderdale Lakes Commissioner Veronica Edwards Phillips – Friday, March 25, at 7 p.m. – REGISTER
#RolleWithAARLCC – Saturday, March 26, at 7 p.m. REGISTER
#BahamaMamaSunday – Sunday, March 27, 4PM, REGISTER
This drive-in event is free, but a $25 donation per person is requested. Donations support the Friends of African American Research Library and Cultural Center, and can be made in advance via Eventbrite. Share that you are coming to “Head Above Water” on social media with the hashtag #AARLCCFOREVER.
This event is first-come, first-park, so arrive early to get the best parking spot view of the stage. Local food trucks will be on-premise providing refreshments for sale.
“Head Above Water” and 20th Anniversary festivities was made possible through the support of JM Family Enterprises, the City of Lauderdale Lakes on behalf of Commissioner Veronica Edwards Phillips and Broward County Cultural Division. Additional support for 20th Anniversary programs throughout 2022 includes sponsorship from Bank of America, the Friends of AARLCC, Cigna and the Broward Public Library Foundation. To become a sponsor or volunteer, contact AARLCC Regional Manager Makiba J. Foster at email@example.com
To learn more about becoming a Friend of AARLCC, please visit their website at FriendsofAARLCC.org.
The Esther Rolle Collection is housed at AARLCC and includes artifacts documenting her best-known performance as matriarch Florida Evans on the 1970s sitcom Good Times. It can also be viewed online at The Esther Rolle Digital Collection.
About the African American Research Library and Cultural Center
The Broward County African American Research Library and Cultural Center (AARLCC) is located in the Sistrunk community, one of the oldest historically Black communities named for one of Fort Lauderdale’s first Black physicians. Opening to the public on October 26, 2002, AARLCC became the third public library of its kind in the United States dedicated to the study of Black history and culture. The 60,000 square-foot Center serves as a repository of materials related to the local, national, and international voices of the African diaspora with more than 85,000 books, manuscripts, artifacts, framed art, print, photography, audiovisual, and documents held in our Adult Services Section and Special Collections. The Youth Services Section features a special collection of Coretta Scott King Award books and the Ashley Bryan Art Collection from illustrators of African Descent. AARLCC also features a 5,000 sq. ft. museum, a 300-seat state-of-the-art theatre, and a Computer Training Center.