The University of Akron (UA) Theatre Program kicks off its 2016-17 season with The America Play by Pulitzer Prize winning author, Suzan-Lori Parks.

Performance dates are Nov. 3 through 5 and 10 through 12 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 6 and 12 at 2 p.m. -- Sandefur Theatre in Guzzetta Hall, 157 University Ave.

For tickets, email or call the ticket office at (330) 972-7895. For more information, visit or

Akron theatre alumni are encouraged to attend the production on Alumni Night, November 5, free of charge.

The America Play follows the story of an African-American gravedigger whose startling resemblance to Abraham Lincoln prompts him to earn a living impersonating the president. Known as the Foundling Father, he abandons his wife and young son to venture into the world, eventually creating a sideshow act at The "Great Hole of History" where patrons pay a penny to reenact the assassination of Lincoln.

Parks' script is rich in symbolism and metaphor, blending the images of Lincoln and African-American heritage, while questioning audiences' historical memory. Guest director Jimmie Woody, a Cleveland native who received his MFA in Acting from Columbia University, envisions "The America Play" as a vaudeville-inspired haunted house. With performances directly before and after Election Day, the director intends the play to serve as a call to action concerning re-defining America, re-imagining history, and re-presenting our national identity. There will be post-show discussions following select performances.