Master storyteller Mitch Capel brings to life stories of unsung heroes from the Civil War and brave African Americans following the war. The afternoon of storytelling will be at the Sunrise Theater, Sunday, February 16. Our Story, as Told by Mitch Capel, is sponsored by Penick Village.
Also known as “Gran’daddy Junebug”, Mitch is a storyteller, recording artist, published author and poet. He began writing and performing skits at the age of 12 and has over 35 hours of stories stored to memory. In Our Story, he will perform the words of Paul Laurence Dunbar and other poets in a heart-wrenching portrayal that illustrates how the “colored soldiers sacrificed their lives in various battles to save the Union and to make our people free.”
Poet Paul Laurence Dunbar was born in Dayton, Ohio in 1872, the son of former slaves. He was known as a poetic genius from a very young age. He graduated from high school in 1890 as the only African American in his school which he attended with Orville Wright.
Dunbar became the first African-American poet to earn national distinction and acceptance. Since his death in 1906, Dunbar has continued to influence other writers, lyricists, and composers. Maya Angelou titled her autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), from a line in Dunbar’s poem “Sympathy“. She returns to his symbol of a caged bird as a chained slave in much of her writings.
Mitch Capel has a special place in Sunrise history as the son of Felton Capel who, with his friend Voit Gilmore, integrated the Sunrise and many other Moore County establishments following the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Plaques remain on two seats in the theater’s front row to show where the men, one white and one black, sat in protest.
Mitch attended A&T State and Howard Universities where he studied Speech and Theater. His journey as a professional storyteller, motivational speaker, playwright, comedian and emcee began in 1985. He has performed at events all over the world including The Smithsonian’s Folklife Festival, The National Association of Black Storytellers Festival, The Kennedy Center, The National Storytelling Festival, and the first Inauguration of President Barack Obama.
Tickets to Our Story, as Told by Mitch Capel are $15 VIP / $10 reserved seating and are available at SunriseTheater.com, the Sunrise office, or by calling 910-692-3611.