FLORENCE – It’s mighty hard to envision singular performances by a poet and short story author, a character actor and a songwriter being offered on a single bill.
But that’s what is in store for Pee Dee residents at the Francis Marion University Performing Arts Center Black Box Theatre this Thursday, Sept. 29 when Minton Sparks takes the stage. She is a lean, literate livewire in a flower print church dress who balances writing, theatrical and musical gifts as easily as she balances the prop pocketbook on her slender wrist.
Sparks describes herself and her show as a speaker-songwriter in action. She writes flesh-and-blood vignettes about small town Southern family members, teasing out the complexity below the surfaces of people’s lives in ways that tickle the sense of humor, prick the conscience and lodge in the soul. She inhabits each character in full-bodied fashion; now buck dancing, chicken strutting, and delivering gossip with a self-righteous shrug.
The reception Sparks has gotten in the separate spheres of literature, storytelling and music ought to say something about the quality of all three elements in her work. She’s performed in the American Songbook Series at the Lincoln Center, appeared at the venerable Old Towne School of Folk Music, served as teller-in-residence at the Jonesborough National Storytelling Festival and been featured on national public radio.
Her performance will be held in the smaller, more intimate Black Box Theatre for 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 29 . Tickets are $20 and $10 and may be purchased at www.fmupac.org, via telephone at (843) 661-4444, and at the FMU Performing Arts Center Box Office. Telephone and personal ticket sales are available Monday through Friday between 12-5 p.m. Subject to availability, tickets may be available for purchase at the door. For more information about Sparks visit www.mintonsparks.com
The PAC is located in downtown Florence at the intersection of Dargan and Evans Streets.