On Wednesday, Nov. 16, actor/playwright Calvin Levels paid a visit to West Chester University and brought along with him his play, “Down from the Mountaintop.” The critically acclaimed play, which Levels performs entirely on his own, is based on the life of writer James Baldwin. Levels’ retelling of Baldwin’s story covers significant events in the life of this novelist, playwright, essayist and civil rights activist. Such highlights include growing up in Harlem, moving to Paris, and his involvement with such famous celebrities as Truman Capote, Norman Mailer, Lorraine Hansberry, Langston Hughes, and Marlon Brando. The play also digs deeper as it describes Level’s participation in the Civil Rights Movement along with Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr., Medgar Evers and Malcolm X.
Before coming to WCU, Levels had actually performed “Down from the Mountaintop” in many other theatres across the country, including the LAbased theatre known as the Mark Taper Forum. His performance was very well-received at WCU to say the least, and his audience deeply moved.
Levels has also been known to guest star on numerous television series. You may have seen him in the CBS five-hour mini-series “The Atlanta Child Murders.” Additionally, Levels has also appeared in such films as “Convicts,” “Johnny Suede,” and “Adventures in Babysitting”.For more information on”Down From The Mountaintop”, Calvin Levels, or James Baldwin, visit http://home. earthlink.net/cbarblert.