by Byron Woods
But this little item came over facebook forty-five minutes ago:
"If anyone in the Triangle area would like to see The Parchman Hour before we head to Mississippi, come over to East Duke 209 tonight [on Duke's East Campus] and watch at 7:30."
Our 4-star review of this joint Duke and UNC production from December 2010 commends Wiley's probing work into the fates of the Freedom Riders, in a music/theatrical work which asks the question, "Did a prison-based variety show actually save the lives of civil rights activists in Mississippi in the summer of 1961?"
The original cast of talented actors and singers from both universities embark this Saturday on a week-long tour of Mississippi, performing at universities, colleges and churches through a grant from Mississippi's United Methodist Church. Tonight's performance is the final rehearsal before they leave.
Our critical response to their December premiere at UNC-Chapel Hill's Kenan Theatre noted, "Wiley’s new work is a strong—actually, make that necessary—reminder, not only of some of the starkest realities of the segregated South, but of the astounding resilience of those who chose to stand against it. The production’s scrupulous accounting of the very real divisions among the leaders of the civil rights movement, their own crises of conscience and cowardice, and the “measured” political responses of government representatives (including then-U.S. Attorney General Bobby Kennedy), adds appreciable depth, dimension and veracity to the times depicted."
The rest of the review's here. Check it out.