Martin Luther King campus play series to present ‘Miss Lydia’s Church’

This is the 26th and final production of the annual series
black and white image of a church on a snowy moonlit night
Credit: Sharon Siegfried

MIDDLETOWN, Pa. — Penn State Harrisburg and PenOwl Productions Theatre Company will present the 26th and final production in its annual MLK campus play series, “Miss Lydia’s Church,” at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20, in the Mukund S. Kulkarni Theatre on campus.

The play was written and produced by Dorothy King, founder of PenOwl Productions Theatre Company and retired assistant professor of sociology. Joy Christos and Jack Eilber lead the cast. King, who has written and produced every play since the series' inception, has decided to retire the series. 

From the synopsis of the play: "Miss Lydia's Church" takes place in the middle of January 1924, in the middle of a snowstorm, in the middle of the night, when four people, two sets of strangers, came together. Two were white; two were Black. Two were women; two were men. Two were steeped in religion; two were centered in astronomy. All were wishing for better relations between the races. What brought these strangers together? Was it a moon phase or a planetary shift or was it something deeper and farther away? “Miss Lydia’s Church” centers on the need to talk about the hard issues of racial relations in America, to face the fears that keep us silent, and to prepare a world for the next generations where all children are accepted and cherished. That was, after all, the dream Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King challenged us to envision and create.

This annual production supports Penn State's commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion and celebrates the Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday.

The production is sponsored by Penn State Harrisburg’s School of Humanities, American studies program, and PenOwl Productions Theatre Company. The production is funded by the Penn State Harrisburg Diversity and Educational Equity Committee and the School of Humanities.

The event is free and open to the public. Reservations can be made at this link. For more information, call 717-948-6470.