The Howard drama faculty "Portrait of a Woman," continuing through the month in Ira Aldredge Theater, proves that the students can trust the professors there. The title part in this collaburation is played by a very capable actress who ranks as an associate professor, Carole Singleton.

University President James Cheek suggested the drama staff launch a production, and department head Theodore G. Cooper chose one he'd written at the University of Miami's Playboy Theater.While a specific turn of the plot has since been altered by the legalization of abortion, the play is revealing and provides a half-dozen roles acted ably by the instructors.

Set in Washington, centering on two well-educated and successful blacks, the story reflects how money and intellectual position have begun to separate them from the less fortunate - and how past roles affect present behavior. Since her husband seems unable to give her a child, Cany Battle determines that his distant cousin should provide the seed. Her devious plot will misfire.

Cany and Tony (her distant cousin-by-marriage) are interesting people and Singleton makes Cany's unreal situation fairly plausible for her major scenes. Designer St. Clair Christmas, a Howard actor in his student days, shows he has not forgotten the ease a player must have. Joe Selmon, as Cany's husband; Joyce Mattison and Sandra Bowie, as two stray girls; and Cooper, as the sort of man Cany doesn't want, complete the assured cast.

The students can relax. They're in capable hands.