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Renowned African-American actress to perform at Purdue

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Vinie Burrows, hailed as a living legend by Larry Leon Hamlin's Black Theatre Festival and proclaimed a "world treasure" in the Netherlands, Japan and Germany, will bring her latest solo production, "Rose McClendon: Harlem's Gift to Broadway" to Purdue University.

The one-woman production, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 17, in Stewart Center's Fowler Hall. Renee Thomas, Black Cultural Center director, says she is looking forward to the performance.

"Ms. Burrows' appearance is a highlight of our fall season-long celebration of the Harlem Renaissance," Thomas says. "She gives a fascinating and intimate look at the life and times of a brilliant performer who was one of the shining lights of the cultural phenomenon known as the Harlem Renaissance."

McClendon, who headed the Negro Unit of the Federal Theatre, starred in 11 plays on Broadway, including the original play "Porgy" before it was turned into the musical "Porgy and Bess." Paul Robeson, who was one of her leading men, acknowledged in a New York interview that McClendon was the "leading actress of the Negro race." Langston Hughes also wrote his play, "Mulatto" for her, after stating that Broadway had never given her the roles to fit her talents.

CONTACT: Renee Thomas, (765) 494-3091,

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: A publication-quality photograph of Vinie Burrows as Rose McClendon is available at

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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