Merced County Times Newspaper
The Power of Positive Press

Black History Month series ends on another high note


The Multicultural Arts Center in downtown Merced concluded its insightful and entertaining Black History Month Lecture Series last Saturday with a performance consisting of excerpts from the play “Voyages.”

The play is a compilation of songs, poems, monologues, and dialogues about Blackness in America, art, love and death, and the soul’s journey and reincarnation.

Originally over two hours in length, Voyages was first presented at the Nova Theatre in San Francisco in 1986, and at UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Playhouse in 1987. The play was written, directed and produced by Dr. Kim McMillon, a Merced resident who is also known as an author, editor, and performer.

Dr. McMillan said she wrote the play in response to the challenges faced by many of her friends at the time, friends who were gay, depressed, and suicidal, and who felt that no one was there for them.

“I created a play where people could see that they were a part of something greater, and could see that they mattered and had value.”

Voyages took place inside the MAC’s Black Box Theater with an enthusiastic crowd of more than 80 guests who filled the seating. Three local renowned artists and community activists starred in the production: Cheryl Lockett, Michelle Allison, and Necola Adams.

“Voyages” is a project that was made with the intention to help people heal as well as feel seen and included. The play tells the story of an entity going through multiple lifetimes as they reflect on and learn from a myriad of difficult life experiences. Through which, Dr. McMillon discusses the consequences of our actions, imposter syndrome, ignorance, and more.

“On one level, this is a play on the struggle of the artist to survive,” McMillon says. “On another, it is the soul’s search for perfection … In this play, there is no past, future, or present. Time is at a standstill. It is not linear, but the past, future, and present become one. This is a moment in which the separate parts of the High Priestess come together with the hope of integrating and healing.”

The performance was fun and full of soul. Each of the performers relied on various hand instruments and primarily their voice, for this largely acapella show. Although this performance was only a fraction of the full show, the bits and pieces that were shown gave a great, as well as memorable, taste of the music, themes, and overall ideas of the play.

Dr. McMillon expressed her gratitude to everyone in addition to giving some important context to the development/making of “Voyages.” McMillon said she faced a lot of difficulty getting the play going in the beginning as she faced quite a bit of resistance due to systematic issues that were much worse at the time. This was not only a reaction to the fact that she is a woman of color working in field that often shuns that, but she also focused on materials that were (and still are) quite controversial, such as sexuality, faith and community.

“Voyages was created as a healing for myself and others,” McMillon said. “It is my hope that the audiences come away from the production feeling enriched.”

For those of you interested in more Black History Month events, the MAC will be hosting a Mardi Gras event on Saturday, Feb. 18, from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. The event will be featuring live music on all three floors  as well as themed menus. Tickets are available for $45 ($40 for MCAC Members) at the MAC (2nd Floor), Second Time Around Used Books (524 W. Main St.), and online at:

You might also like

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

small payday loans online no credit check no credit check loans guaranteed approval