Rosa, a new musical based on the life of American civil rights icon Rosa Parks, is in development in London.
Written by Victoria Gimby (book and lyrics) and Stuart Matthew Price (music and lyrics), it is being developed under the stewardship of producer United Theatrical.
It tells the true life story of Parks and her journey from quiet seamstress to the mother of the U.S. civil rights movement. By refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger in 1950’s Alabama, Parks took her place in history as an international symbol of hope that has inspired future generations to continue the fight for equality.
In a press statement, producer James Yeoburn has commented, “We have been passionate about telling Rosa's story since meeting Victoria last year. Victoria and Stuart have captured in their work the rise of one of history's most powerful women whose life was spent campaigning for equality not only for her race but for her gender and class. We are delighted to see how beautifully this translates for the stage.”
He adds, “This is a human story about an everyday person investing fearlessly in what she felt was right and her contribution has never been more relevant. Rosa's story is taught to all ages throughout the education systems both in the US and here in the UK. Her message remains strong and continues to empower our leaders of tomorrow.”
The workshop that has been in progress throughout July and August has been directed by Matt Ryan, with musical direction by Tom Brady, and a cast that comprises Simbi Akande, Ricardo Coke-Thomas, Sophie-Louise Dann, Jason Denton, James Gant, Cornell S. John, Abiona Omonua, Jenny Perry, Cat Simmons and Jos Slovick.
A full-scale production is being planned following interest from both sides of the Atlantic. For more information, visit rosamusical.com.