Civil Rights drama to interact Winston-Salem local people in retelling the story of Selma

Civil Rights drama to engage Winston-Salem local community in retelling the story of Selma

A $10,000 Nationwide Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Problem America grant will assist help a collaboration between Wake Forest College and Loire Valley Theater Competition, Inc. (LVTF) to carry the civil rights musical drama, “Turning 15 on the Highway to Freedom,” to Wake Forest College in October 2023. 

Turning 15 on the Highway to Freedom” relies on the award-winning memoir by Lynda Blackmon Lowery. The play tells the story of the younger individuals in Selma, Alabama, who risked their lives in 1965 to win the proper to vote for African Individuals. 

Jailed 9 occasions earlier than the march and badly crushed on Bloody Sunday, Lynda Blackmon and her neighbors fought alongside Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to safe the proper to vote for African Individuals. She believed that “a voteless individuals is a hopeless individuals,” and put her life on the road, non-violently, to show that anybody can change historical past irrespective of how younger or powerless they appear. 

The present will function an ensemble of actor-singers who carry the Sixties to life on the stage by means of the music of the Civil Rights Motion. The play shall be held on Wake Forest College’s Tedford Stage and directed by Jackie Alexander, inventive director of the North Carolina Black Repertory Theatre in Winston-Salem.

Joshua Brian Campbell, director of music and humanities on the Wake Forest Faculty of Divinity and director of the College Gospel Choir and Miranda Barry, producer and founding father of Loire Valley Theater Competition collaborated on the NEA proposal awarded to LVTF to supply a brand new model of the play with a community-based choir. Campbell is the music director for the manufacturing.

“By shining a lightweight on racial justice giants like Lynda Blackmon Lowery, theatre can change into a strong truth-telling agent and group connector,” stated Wake Forest’s Vice Provost for the Arts and Interdisciplinary Initiatives Christina Soriano. “We’re excited to collaborate with LVTF and grateful to the NEA for recognizing the significance of this work and offering the monetary help to assist make our collaborative venture attainable.”

Led by Wake Forest’s Division of Dance and Theatre and in collaboration with the College’s Faculty of Divinity and the Loire Valley Theatre Competition, workshops with actors and refrain members from Wake Forest and surrounding universities shall be invited to hitch the group within the retelling of the story of Selma.

Whereas the efficiency shall be open to all, the supposed viewers is younger individuals and folks of shade who’ve restricted entry to the humanities. As a part of the occasion, Lowery plans to go to Wake Forest to talk to college students and group members.

Problem America provides help for initiatives in all inventive disciplines that stretch the attain of the humanities to populations which can be underserved.

“The Nationwide Endowment for the Arts is proud to help arts initiatives in communities nationwide,” stated NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson. “Tasks resembling this one strengthen arts and cultural ecosystems, present equitable alternatives for arts participation and apply, and contribute to the well being of our communities and our economic system.”

This grant is one in all 262 Problem America awards totaling $2.62 million that had been introduced by the NEA as a part of its first spherical of fiscal 12 months 2023 grants. For extra data on different initiatives included within the NEA’s grant announcement, go to

The Loire Valley Theater Competition (LVTF) was based by Miranda Barry in 2004 to supply theater applications that promote cross-cultural engagement, mutual respect and understanding. LVTF’s aim is to assist younger individuals develop an understanding of people that come from completely different occasions, locations or backgrounds, whereas providing a platform to discover points which have deep which means in their very own lives.