Four Little Girls: Birmingham 1963, Commemorating Alabama Church Bombing, Receives Free Staged Reading Feb. 3
By Carey Purcell
A one-night only staged reading of Four Little Girls: Birmingham 1963, written by Christina Ham, is held Feb. 3 at 7:30 PM at First Corinthian Baptist Church as part of Black History Month.
Presented by Actors Equity Association and its Eastern Region Equal Employment Opportunity Committee, together with First Corinthian Baptist Church and executive producer and artistic producer Project1Voice, Four Little Girls: Birmingham 1963 is directed by Seret Scott.
The play commemorates the church bombing that took the lives of Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley, which helped to motivate the American Civil Rights Movement in 1964.
The reading features Nia Ashleigh (Addie Mae Collins), Khail Bryant (Cynthia Wesley), Eden Duncan-Smith (Denise McNair) and Madai Monica Williams (Carole Robertson).
The female ensemble includes Inga Ballard, Stephanie Berry, Terry Burrell, Leanne Cabrera, Alex Chester, Britney Coleman, Mamie Duncan-Gibbs, Olivia Ford, Tanesha Gary, Alexis Holt, Michelle M. Robinson, Desiree Rodriguez, Danette Sheppard, Imani Smith, Gayle Turner and Virginia Woodruff.
The male ensemble features Adrian Bailey, Chris Berry, Austin Ku, Andrew Mayer, Kevyn Morrow, Gregg Mozgala, Eric Mark Olson, Paul Thomas Ryan and Hansel Tan.
"Four Little Girls: Birmingham 1963 examines the lives of four children in a time of intense political and civil unrest," press notes state. "The play centers on Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley, four little girls bursting with promise who share their hopes and dreams against the backdrop of the civil rights movement. While Denise dreams of becoming a doctor, Carole looks forward to the dress she will one day wear at the cotillion. Cynthia imagines her life as a mathematics professor at the local university, and Addie Mae envisions a life as a professional baseball player. The realities of the segregated political climate swirl around them and eventually culminate in the fateful events of September 15, 1963."
The reading features sign-language-interpretation for theatregoers who are deaf or hard of hearing; Alexis Marnel is sign language/braille coordinator. A panel discussion will take place immediately following the reading, moderated by Flo Wiley.
Kathryn Bostic provides original music and arrangements. Greg Watkins is musical director, and Yan Li is assistant musical director.
Erich McMillan-McCall is supervising producer, Gwen Gilliam is executive producer, Desiree Allen is producer and Denise D. Saunders Thompson is production supervisor. The panel discussion producers are Kimberly Dillon and Tony Melson.
Renee Alexander is stage manager, and Michelle M. Robinson is assistant to the director.
Four Little Girls: Birmingham 1963 is free of charge. Ticketing and entry is on a first-come, first-served basis.
Visit project1voice.org for more information. The First Corinthian Baptist Church is located at 1912 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd., between West 115th and 116th Streets, in Harlem.
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