Friendship Council, TFACs We Are the Dream presented Jan. 14, 15

Published 5:58 pm Wednesday, December 29, 2010

We Are the Dream: The Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., a 45-minute dramatic production with music, will be presented Jan. 14 and 15 as a collaboration between Tryon Fine Arts Center and Thermal Belt Friendship Council.

A cast of 21 North and South Carolinians unite to bring to life the story of one man and his dream for all of us. People playing the roles of students and teacher narrate this story, which covers events in the civil rights movement from 1955 to 1968.

The teacher is played by Mary Meyers, and her students are Luke Umphlett, Regina Dotts, Eric Harrelson, Savanna McBurnett and Ryan Fox. Reactions to Kings peaceful resistance movement are demonstrated by a young girl named Julia played by Hannah Brown. Julia as a grown woman is played by Tamieea Brown, and her family is played by Jonai Miller and Marshall Lipscomb.

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The play explores attitudes and reactions toward segregation. Ryan Fox plays Martin Luther King Jr. as a boy with Fred Counts in the role of his father, Martin Luther King Sr., and Michelle Miller as his mother, Alberta.

There are several characters whose actions represent the segregationist attitudes which led to the civil rights movement. Emily Brooks plays the mother who wont allow her son to play with Martin Jr. Brooks also plays a shoe clerk who explains in what part of the store Martins family can be served.

National events are also shown through short vignettes that show the power of the media in the 1960s.

John Calure plays the TV announcer examining the situation and Jake Gilbert plays the southern sheriff who wants to keep things the way they are.

Rosa Parks is played by Sandy McDowell and the bus driver is played by Ingrid Tart-Remington. Joseph McNeill, one of the students involved in the Woolworth sit-ins in Greensboro, is played by Andrew Suber Brown, and the waitress is played by Petra Harrelson.

Vivian Jones, one of the first black students to attend the University of Alabama, is played by Sandy McDowell with John Calure playing Governor George Wallace. Roy Miller plays Martin Luther King Jr. as an adult and the part of Coretta Scott King is played by Michelle Miller.

The scenes in this 45-minute presentation are emphasized and enhanced with gospel music sung by the Friendship Council Unity Choir, directed by Dr. Joseph Fox and Peggy Alt, with accompaniment on the piano by Joy Gardner.

We Are the Dream will be performed Friday, Jan. 14 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 15 at 2 p.m. on the Veh Stage at Tryon Fine Arts Center. Admission is free, with donations accepted. A reception will follow the Saturday performance.

Call director Marianne Carruth for more information at 828-859-8322, ext. 213.