The Best of Semple

Langston Hughes’ iconic character comes alive July 16 in downtown New Bern 

Langston Hughes’ iconic character Jesse B. Semple will come to life on stage at the North Carolina History Center Thursday, July 16, at 7 p.m. for “The Best of Semple.” 

Actor and journalist Thomasi McDonald will become Jesse B. Semple, a character who focuses on topics like race, love and politics to create a portrait of what Hughes called the “everyman,” and gave African Americans a sense of hope. A graduate of North Carolina Century University where he studied theatre, performance art, and journalism, McDonald has appeared in numerous productions including August Wilson’s “Fences” and “Gem of the Ocean.” 

This program is part of the Tryon Palace African American Lecture Series, which offers a free, new program on the third Thursday of each month. All performances begin at 7 p.m. in Cullman Performance Hall and are free, thanks to a generous donation from the Harold H. Bate Foundation. Special hearing devices are available if needed. Contact Tryon Palace 48 hours in advance of the performance to make arrangements. 

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