best-of-enemieswritten by       Mark St. Germain

August 17-September 2, 2017

Based on the best-selling book by Osha Gray Davidson, The Best of Enemies is a true story about the relationship between C.P. Ellis (a Grand Cyclops of the KKK) and Ann Atwater (an African-American civil rights activist) during the desegregation of the Durham, NC, schools in 1971. The Best of Enemies exposes the poison of prejudice in the hearts of Atwater and Ellis who, by facing each other, are forced to face the worst, and best, in themselves.

“Ann and C.P.’s journey – while a beautiful and hopeful example of human change and forgiveness – was not without pain and sacrifice. Ann remembers that C.P. was lonely when he died of Alzheimer’s in 2005. “His grandchildren knew nothing about what their grandfather was up to … I was trying to explain to them what he was like. They didn’t know a clue about him at all. When he was in the Klan, the family didn’t like it, so they just turned him loose…[after he left the Klan] He kind of had a nervous breakdown because he lost all his friends,” she says. “His wife died. He had nothing but his puppy–his little dog,” she says. Ann also continued to struggle against poverty for most of her life. In her 70’s and with deteriorating health, Ann had over 200 plaques hanging across her walls, but no money to live on but social security.” Taproot Theatre Company Playguide

Directed by Ashleigh Millett-Goff

 

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