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Selma the Musical: A One-Night Only Event Celebrating Black Excellence and History

Selma the Musical: A One-Night Only Event Celebrating Black Excellence and History
Photo Courtesy: Infecting Change Productions & IC Theatre Co.

The journey of bringing pivotal moments of history to the stage is a testament to the power of storytelling and the arts as a medium for education and inspiration. “Selma the Musical: The Untold Stories” stands as a beacon of this power, a project seven years in the making, spearheaded by the visionary JP Haynes. Her belief that “Our stories deserve Broadway and Broadway deserves our stories” encapsulates the essence of this ambitious endeavor. Haynes’ journey with the story of Selma, a critical chapter in the Civil Rights Movement, reaches a climactic point with a one-night-only performance set for February 23, 2024, at the Montgomery Performing Arts Centre (MPAC) in Montgomery, AL. This special event, presented by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the Civil Rights Memorial, marks a significant milestone in the musical’s trajectory.

Despite its initial rise to prominence, including a national tour, a feature on Good Morning America, and numerous sold-out performances, the global pandemic of 2020 forced “Selma the Musical: The Untold Stories” into an unforeseen hiatus. The pandemic’s challenges, however, did not dampen Haynes’ spirit or determination. She continued to refine and reimagine the musical, constantly writing and rewriting, uncertain of when the opportunity to bring it back to the stage would arise. Her dedication and resilience have paid off, as the musical is set to make its triumphant return, bringing the untold stories of Selma back into the spotlight.

The creative team behind this production is a collective of industry veterans and rising stars, whose combined century of experience spans various genres and generations. This team, described by Haynes as a group of “creative Avengers,” includes talents like Brandon Alvión, the Associate Director and cast member portraying the late Congressman John Lewis. Alvión’s role extends beyond acting to shaping the narrative and presentation of the musical, likening his contributions to that of a sous chef meticulously blending ingredients to create a masterpiece. His involvement, along with that of Assistant Director Cherrie McRae and Company Manager Brandon Holland, underscores the collaborative spirit that drives this project.

The creative prowess extends to the choreography by Ty Walker, the musical direction by Patrick Preston, and vocal coaching by Corvious Scott. Together, they craft a performance that resonates with audiences on multiple levels, blending music, dance, and storytelling into a seamless and impactful experience. The production design by Chris Bell, along with costume design by Chamise-Renée and makeup design by Brandi Nycole, visually transports the audience to the 1960s, adding depth and authenticity to the narrative.

Selma the Musical: A One-Night Only Event Celebrating Black Excellence and History

Photo Courtesy: Infecting Change Productions & IC Theatre Co.

The cast of “Selma the Musical: The Untold Stories” embodies a wide range of characters, each bringing their unique perspective to the story of the Civil Rights Movement. From leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and John Lewis to lesser-known figures, the musical shines a light on the heroes of Selma, both celebrated and unsung. This dynamic ensemble performance is a testament to the enduring relevance and power of the stories being told.

JP Haynes’ vision for “Selma the Musical: The Untold Stories” is not just about revisiting a pivotal moment in history but about asserting the place of Black history within the broader American narrative. Haynes emphasizes the importance of recognizing and celebrating Black excellence and contributions to American history, not as a separate entity but as an integral part of the nation’s fabric. This production, taking place during Black History Month, is a poignant reminder of the struggles, sacrifices, and triumphs of the Civil Rights Movement, and of the ongoing journey towards equality and justice.

The upcoming performance in Montgomery is not just a theatrical event; it is a celebration of culture, history, and the power of storytelling. It represents a moment of reflection, education, and inspiration, inviting audiences to engage with the untold stories of Selma in a profound and meaningful way. As “Selma the Musical: The Untold Stories” prepares to take the stage once again, it stands as a beacon of hope and a testament to the resilience and creativity of those who strive to tell the stories that shape our world. This is a story of dreams, determination, and the unyielding belief in the power of art to enact change, a narrative that resonates as much today as it did in the past. The stage is set, the stories are ready to be told, and the legacy of Selma awaits its next chapter on the broad canvas of American history.


Published By: Aize Perez

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