FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Project Brave, in association with Learning Tree Productions and UPI (Unified Progress International) Life Skills Solutions™, is producing a main stage showcase of “FREEDOM SUMMER” as an homage to the 30th year anniversary of the legalization of our Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. state of Arizona holiday and the 30h annual MLK Youth Rally at Phoenix Community College.
In our initial BRAVE PERFORMANCE STUDIO production of FREEDOM SUMMER, playwright, Spencer Howard’s Multi-Media two Act play set in the civil rights Mississippi circa 1957 to 1965 the biggest challenges were the recruitment of interested community folks, primarily young but intergenerational in range, to fill these legendary roles and composite characters with intelligence, passion and authenticity.
Back in 2005, we engaged a group of performers in a convention that allowed audiences to learn more details about the Civil Rights period from a unique perspective.
Today, 2015, exactly ten years later we are meeting those same challenges with some of the same gifted performers, more experienced and more skilled along with a wonderfully inspiring new ensemble and a showcase directed with a greater emphasis on the dynamic songs, music & choreographed movement depicting the era.
The play infuses the elements of dramatic repartee’ with powerful testimonial style monologues, the fragility of young romance with authentic historical scenes depicting Rosa Parks during the Montgomery Bus Boycott. There is, for instance, a lunch counter ‘Sit In’ scene that is a parody, reminiscent of the overt violence that is the signature of racial tension during the period.
We are able to peek into our grandparents High school Home Coming “Sock Hop” and then experience the terror of little Elizabeth Eckford as she seemingly split the raging seas of White supremacy and walked into the caring arms of a parental white couple.
Spencer Howard, (The playwright) then brilliantly introduces white folk’s voices that ‘Negroes’ seldom encountered in daily life during those times. Voices like ‘Jolie’ the little white girl in a monologue called “The Awakening” in which the playwright gently suggests that maybe she represented the emergence of new generation of southern white women of moral conscience.
We then hear the powerful testimony of Pastor Jim, the Southern-born, Son of Red Necked Ku Klux Klan transformed into a new generation Christian humanitarian.
We are exposed to the force of nature that was the person of “Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer” who takes us on an auspicious journey from her humble and brutal beginnings in Ruleville Mississippi to the Halls of the 1964 Democratic Convention.
We are able through these narratives to hear the rise of Annie Devine who began her story as a curious young teen coming of age as a Freedom Party Registrar.
FREEDOM SUMMER finally provides our audiences with a chance to hear from some of the unsung giants of the movement that generations of Americans of every creed and color quite possibly had never heard about like E.D. Nixon who was the architect of the historic Montgomery Bus Boycott and who actually initiated the goal of searching for the face & voice of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which led them to the man who would eventually emerge as the spiritual leader of the most powerful movement for social justice and civil rights in the 20th century; the 26 year old Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The playwright very wisely engages us all, stage managers, stage hands, lighting & sound technicians, dance choreographer, musical director, ensemble performers and director alike in a classical civil rights camp experience that ultimately weaves this hypnotic story from the opening narrative of a young girl “Angela” who disarms the audience with her combination of vulnerability and keen intelligence, to the iconoclastic brutality that awaited these courageous people at the end of the Edmund Pettus Bridge in the summer of 1965!
Through this epic historical tale our audiences will certainly see, hear and correlate the injustices of yesteryear that are most certainly reflective of today as will be seen when the picket signs “We Want Equal Rights” “We Deserve the Right to Vote” from the 1960’s era shifts into our current signage “Black Lives Matter” ”I Too am an American Dreamer” “I Can’t Breathe” and “I Am Not Alien”….
At the conclusion of our journey our two young lovers, the irrepressible Angela and a next generation Martin are vowing to stand and continue the struggle for Freedom, Justice and Equality, together! (As so it ought to be Amen)
YOU don’t want to Miss “FREEDOM SUMMER”
Friday, January 29th, 2016 7:00 PM @ Phoenix Community College
Friday, February 12th 2016 7:00PM @ Estrella Mountain College
Saturday, February 13th 2016 7:00PM @ Estrella Mountain College
Sunday, February 14th, 2016 3:00 PM @ Estrella Mountain College
Wednesday, February 24th 5:30—6:30PM @ South Phoenix Youth Center
Monday, February 29th, 2016 7:00—9:00PM@ South Mountain College
Seating is limited. Make reservations at City of Phoenix, Project Brave offices:
Please leave your name, phone number & how many people you expect in your group
@ (602) 534-1963
(Thank you so much for your interest & cooperation)