Daughter of Katherine Coleman Johnson to speak at Lewis Theatre

Neely Seams, Laurie Hylick Braxton, granddaughter of Mrs. Johnson, and Pamela Barry with Katherine Coleman Johnson after the performance of the monologue in August, 2017

The popular monologue about the life of Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson, sponsored by the Greenbrier Historical Society (GHS), will be presented at the Lewis Theatre on Mar. 24 at 2 p.m. and again at 7 p.m.  As an addition to the performance, Katherine Goble Moore, daughter of Katherine Johnson, will present a 20 minute talk about what family life was like in the home of the storied mathematician.

GHS Board Member Janice Cooley said, “We are so excited at this addition to the program. Between Neely’s stellar performance and Kathy’s deep personal knowledge, the program will be an inspiration for all who come.”

The short play, written and directed by Pamela Barry and performed by Neely Seams as Katherine Johnson and featuring Danny Seams as her father and a professor at the West Virginia State College in Institute, WV, was first presented as part of the Greenbrier Historical Society’s Homes Tour Weekend events in June, 2017. The two performances in the St. Thomas Episcopal Church in White Sulphur Springs were sold out. Now, those who may have missed the performance or just want to see it again will have another chance. The $20 tickets are available at the Greenbrier Historical Society/North House Museum or by calling 304-645-3398.

The performance of Azimuth Angles, Orbit Calculations, Trajectories, Moon Landing: “The Right Stuff” is now awarding winning. On Monday, Jan. 15, The Martin Luther King, Jr. State Holiday Commission presented Pamela Barry and Neely Seams the 2018 “Living the Dream Award” in the area of “Sharing of Self-Selfless Leadership in the Public and Private Sector.”

Danny Seams and Neely Seams just before they perform in the monologue about the life of Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson

The commission said, “The script and performance have made an impact on all who have viewed the presentation of the monologue.  It clearly provides inspiration to minorities, women, and those considering careers in science and math. The education of the public about the constraints of Jim Crow laws, racism, and sexism exemplifies the principles of Dr. Martin Luther King.”

The Greenbrier Valley Community Foundation also thought this performance was extremely worthwhile for high school students to see. They have provided grant funding to cover some of the costs to enable the Greenbrier Historical Society to present the monologue to all the high school students in Greenbrier, Monroe, and Pocahontas Counties. Each county’s superintendent of schools was extremely excited at this opportunity and echoed the words of Jeff Bryant, Superintendent of Greenbrier County schools, when he said, “This is not an option. It is a privilege.” The performances at the high schools occurred Mar. 21-23.

Pamela Barry, writer and director, said, “I am so proud of this monologue.  It was a great honor to receive the state-wide MLK award. I hope everyone comes to see Neely. Her performance is brilliant.”

Seating is limited at the Lewis Theatre so please purchase your tickets now.