The New York premiere of Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj’s Little Rock officially opened June 14 at The Sheen Center for Thought & Culture. Six of the surviving members of The Little Rock Nine attended the opening, which included a special proclamation from the Mayor’s Office declaring June 14 “Little Rock Day.”
Little Rock brings to life the true story of the historic Little Rock Nine, a group of brave black students from Little Rock, Arkansas, who tested the Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court decision by attending the city’s formerly segregated central high school in 1957.
Written and directed by Maharaj, the Off-Broadway engagement is scheduled to play through September 8.
The cast is made up of Rebekah Brockman (The Bridge of Spies), Justin Cunningham (The Winter’s Tale), Charlie Hudson III (A Raisin in the Sun), Peter O’Connor (The Flick), Ashley Robinson (A Clockwork Orange), Damian Jermaine Thompson (English Vinglish), Stephanie Umoh (Ragtime), Anita Welch (Avenue Q), and Shanice Williams, who starred in NBC's 2015 broadcast of The Wiz Live, making her New York stage debut.
The creative team for Little Rock is made up of Darryl G. Ivey (music director), Rasean Davonte Johnson (scenic designer), Leslie Bernstein (costume designer), Anshuman Bhatia (lighting designer), Lindsay Jones (sound designer), Carissa Thorlakason (wig designer), Wendall K. Harrington (projection designer), Marshall Jones III (creative consultant), Nikkole Salter (script consultant), Robert Westley (fight direction), and Nikkole Salter (dramaturg). The production stage manager is Giles T. Horne.