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Columbus Area Arts Council presents an annual FREE program in honor of Martin Luther King Jr Day.
Student study guide can be downloaded HERE.
This year we bring you Living Voices’ production of The Right to Dream.
The struggle and sacrifice for civil rights in America is witnessed in this compelling story that mixes live theatre with photographs and video from the 1950s and 1960s. The Right to Dream is a play that recreates a student’s coming of age as an African American in Mississippi during the 1950’s and 1960’s. This program illuminates the issues of civil rights, leading audiences to understand how the fight against prejudice has shaped our history.
The Right to Dream is told either from the point of view of a young man (Raymond). Raymond Hollis is a young African American growing up in a small town in Mississippi on the brink of the American Civil Rights movement, the child of a World War II African American soldier and a domestic worker who is respected in their small Mississippi town.
Early on, Raymond feels and sees the daily impact of racism. As a child, his best friend is a young white neighbor to the house where his mother works—until they are separated and forbidden to see each other. Raymond is then introduced to leaders like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr., showing him that something different may be possible for blacks in America.
Dedicated to joining these leaders, Raymond receives a scholarship to attend Tougaloo College. Raymond begins his/her involvement in the movement when he leads a sit-in at a local lunch counter. When friends are hurt, and civil rights workers are killed, Raymond’s dedication to creating an equal society is tested. But he becomes a part of SNCC (Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee) and is a participant in the voter registration drive, the March on Washington, Freedom Summer and the March from Selma to Montgomery.
Raymond and the civil rights workers are rewarded with the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act—but Raymond is dedicated to continuing the fight against racism and raising America above intolerance.
About the Actor
Brian Anthony Simmons (New York): Brian is active in the New York theatre community. He holds a BFA in Theatre Performance from Virginia CommonWealth University. He is extremely humbled and thankful to be a part of Living Voices and explore the stories that this company shares with its audiences. Brian hopes to continue to “serve the story” and create art.
YouTube videos about the production:
Support for this program comes from