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Actor, writer, speaker Barry Scott to perform at Motlow State for African American History Month

Barry Scott

LYNCHBURG, TN (Jan. 26, 2017) — Barry Scott, successful actor, writer, producer, director, motivational speaker, lecturer, and voice-over artist, will be the guest artist during Motlow State's celebration of February: African American History Month, according to Brenda Cannon, director of Special Events. The national theme for the month is The Crisis in Black Education.

"Motlow State proudly joins in the celebration of African American History Month," Cannon said. "It's another opportunity to engage, educate, and celebrate diversity, inclusion, accomplishments and contributions of African Americans, known and unknown. There are many hidden figures who make the world go around every day. We invite each community to celebrate with us."

Scott, the actor and lecturer, will bring to life the words, work, and legacy of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. when he performs on all Motlow State campuses in celebration of African American History Month. Portraying King and engaging audiences in dialogue, Scott will present Courage to Lead on Monday, Feb. 6, Motlow State Smyrna Campus, at 10:50 a.m.; Tuesday, Feb. 7, Motlow State Fayetteville Campus, at 1:30 p.m.; and Wednesday, Feb. 8, Motlow State McMinnville Campus, at 10:50 a.m. With a focus on leadership, Courage to Lead is a regular part of the curriculum at the prestigious Owen School of Management at Vanderbilt University.

The performance A Tribute to Martin will be presented on Tuesday, Feb. 7, on the Motlow State Moore County campus, Eoff Hall, Powers Auditorium at 11 a.m. All performances are open to the public.

A native of Nashville, Scott is a graduate of Tennessee State University (TSU) with a degree in Speech Communications and Theatre. He is the founder and producing artistic director of The American Negro Playwright Theatre, the professional theatre in residence at TSU.

For years, Scott has been speaking the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His performances have taken him throughout the country, including two venues that were near and dear to King: the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta and the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Ala., both churches where the slain civil rights leader pastored. Scott has performed excerpts of King's speeches for the Humanitarian Awards Ceremony honoring President Jimmy Carter and was recorded on the March On album benefiting the National Civil Rights Museum. Prominent venues in which Scott has recreated Dr. King's speeches include Beacon Theater in New York, Fox Theater in Atlanta, Seattle Children's Theater, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Boutwell Performing Arts Center in Birmingham, National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Masonic Temple in Memphis, Edmund Pettis Bridge in Selma, and Actors Theater in Louisville.

According to Scott, "Researching Dr. King's legacy and delivering his speeches have always afforded me purpose and a sense of well-being. I can do King speeches for hours on end," Scott says. "They are in my consciousness. Doing this has made me the kind of person I am. It's all about the healing."

Scott is a versatile actor. He has performed for the Tennessee Repertory Theatre in many productions including August Wilson's "Fences", "Macbeth", "Othello", "Taming of the Shrew", "Blood Knot", "Man of La Mancha", "Camelot", "Jesus Christ Superstar", "Pirates of Penzance", "Evita", "Ain't Misbehavin'", and "Big River". He has conducted workshops on acting and has received several awards including the Ingram Fellowship Award for Theatre and the Partnership in Access and Appreciation Grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission. He also won the Ralph Edmondson National Award for Play Writing for "Lisa's Story", which he wrote, produced, directed and starred in.

Tony Award winning producer-director Woodie King Jr. said in an interview with The Tennessean newspaper about Scott, "Barry Scott is a brilliant artist. He easily moves from actor to playwright to director. In a unique world of theatre, Barry has mastered each, and he is so giving. He shares his knowledge with younger blacks who want to be a part of the black theatre. He always brings new insights into a rehearsal."

Scott's friend and colleague, actor Kenneth Dozier, offers a similar assessment. He said, "I think Barry is a very sincere artist. He approaches the craft with dignity and intensity and thoroughness. He challenges you to go further."

Scott's voice can be heard on commercials and PSA's around the country for companies such as NBA, NFL, PGA, NHL, The National Arbor Day Foundation, Columbia/HCA Hospitals, Bristol Myers-Squibb Pharmaceuticals, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Burger King, McDonalds, The American Heart Association, ESPN, The Discovery Channel, TNA and many more.

Scott says, "Our work is about—and for—the community."