Feb. 17, 2004 Carabana Ensemble Theater Company celebrates Black History Month with performances of "Nenie Myrah" at four St. John schools, Cinnamon Bay Campground, and UVI's Little Theater.
The play tells the story of noted midwife and herbalist, Myrah Keating Smith. St. John's health facility, Myrah Keating Smith Community Health Center, is named in her honor. Nenie Myrah was just one of her several nicknames.
"Lots of children know of Myrah Keating Smith, but they don't know who she is," said Clarence Cuthbertson, who wrote and directed the play.
He said that Keating Smith probably delivered half the people now living in St. John. Born June 1, 1908, she died May 4, 1994.
According to Cuthbertson, the play emphasizes Keating Smith's role as an herbalist.
The one-woman play stars St. John actor Carla Sewer as Myra, a market woman with a similar first name to Keating Smith. In the play, Myra tells Keating Smith's story.
Performances are scheduled for 8 p.m. every Thursday until April 29 at Cinnamon Bay Campground. An additional performance is scheduled for Friday at 6 p.m. at UVI's Little Theater.
At the schools, Feb. 24 performances are scheduled for 11 a.m. at The Coral Bay School and 1 p.m. at Julius E. Sprauve School. Feb. 25 performances are planned for 9:30 a.m. at Guy Benjamin School, 10:45 a.m. at Pine Peace School and 1 p.m. at Julius E. Sprauve School.
The performances are made possible by a grant from the Friends of the V.I. National Park.
Admission is free.
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