WESTPORT, Conn. -- By day, you'll find Kimberly Wilson overseeing administrative duties at an office job in Ridgefield but by night -- and when she's booked -- the Westport resident embodies the life of Maya Angelou, Harriet Tubman and Rosa Parks, among others, in her musical one-woman show, "A JOURNEY."
Wilson, a former Miss Black Minnesota, and a longtime actress and singer, developed her show 19 years ago for Black History Month [which occurs in February] as a way to bring awareness -- and a different perspective -- to these trailblazers.
Through dialogue and song, she channels the spirits of seven characters -- others include Abolitionist Sojourner Truth, a character she calls the African Queen, a slave character and, finally, herself -- examples of strong women and the power of story.
Over the years she's performed in local historical societies, in schools, theaters, libraries, as well as private homes. Along the way, she's tweaked the piece and had it copyrighted.
Because the story is also one about powerful females, her show has also been tied into Women's History Month, which takes place in March.
Despite its identity with those special event months, Wilson said "A JOURNEY" is one that can be told any time. "It's really a story about sharing our stories and our own unique journey," she said.
Bringing theater to audiences is one of her passions. It also fits in better with her schedule, allowing her flexibility to work, sing and perform on her terms.
Reviews have called her a capella vocals and ability to flawlessly move between characters as a draw in and of themselves.
"People tell me how surprised they are that an hour and a half go by so quickly and how I carry the piece," she said. "I never leave the stage. Even the songs take on a character and help move the story."
Because every performance ends with an audience talkback, Wilson gets additional feedback every time, information she writes down for possible script revisions. "I'm always humbled by people's opinions and comments," she added."That's what's great about the theater."
The simplicity of her set — basically herself and four armless chairs — affords her the opportunity to perform anywhere anytime. Her goal? To sing and reach people and share her story and her musical one-woman show "A JOURNEY." And the best, she said, is when you can bring the theater experience to them, in their own community.
"They [the audience] think I'm touching them when I do my show," she said, "But, in reality, it's the spirit of the message of celebrating their lives, their journey - by simply telling their stories."
For booking, visit www.thewilsonproductions.com.
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