Due to Overwhelming Response, All Performances Are Sold Out
Censorship, Racism, and “Sepia Toned” Leadership.
On the heels of last season’s resoundingly successful Best of Enemies, by Mark St.
Germain, Different Strokes Performing Arts Collective opens their 8th season, with
the North Carolina premiere of Alabama Story, by Kenneth Jones. While it is
not that Alabama story, this Alabama Story is based on a true event that
happened in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1959.
“I view Alabama Story as a mash-up of some of my favorite kinds of plays —
courtroom thriller, memory play, romance, historical drama — but underneath all
of that is a script about how character is tested in a time of great social change.
How will you behave toward others when your world is turned upside down?”
=Kenneth Jones, July 2017
When Alabama Senator E.O Eddins Sr. (renamed E.W. Higgins in the play) learns that a
children’s book called The Rabbits’ Wedding, featuring the marriage of two rabbits –
one white, one black, is among the books available for check-out in Alabama libraries,
he determines to have it banned. Calling it subliminal propaganda for interracial
marriage, Eddins engages Emily Wheelock Reed, the director of Alabama’s Public
Library Service, in a conflict that becomes known as the “bunny book crusade”.
A secondary story-line involves the chance meeting of two childhood friends who grew
up together, yet were separated because of an incident that happened when they were
children. Their role in the play is best described by Jones, himself – “Lily and Joshua, a
black man and a white woman who were once childhood friends in that small town,
reunite in Montgomery the same year that the library battle is being waged. They are
meant to suggest the private heart of the public controversy… the quality of their
character will be challenged in their 30 exchanges”.
Pictured:(back) Molly Graves, Jon Mendenhall, and David Mycoff, with Daniel Henry, (front) Sonia Rose D’Andrea,
and Bjorn Goller. Photo courtesy of Sean David Robinson Photography
Due to limited seating, advance purchase is recommended.