Despite postponement of MLK event, play set for tonight in D.C.
by Lindsay Field
lfield@mdjonline.com
August 26, 2011 12:00 AM | 2636 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Despite organizers postponing the dedication of the Martin Luther King Memorial in Washington, D.C., due to Hurricane Irene, a play co-written and produced by two Cobb County teachers will be performed tonight.

Pebblebrook High School teachers Kenneth Green and Robert Adams helped create the production, called "MLK: A Monumental Life," which begins at 7 p.m. at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. The performance, sponsored by the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, was part of the weekend festivities to celebrate the unveiling of the monument that was scheduled for Sunday morning.

"Because we're inside, we're okay," Adams said Thursday night. "There's too much rolling with this now. We have all these celebrities coming in. I just can't see it being canceled."

Through song, dance and theater, the production will tell the story of Dr. King's childhood in Atlanta to his civil rights marches and speeches across the United States.

Sunday marks the 48th anniversary of Dr. King's "I Have A Dream" speech, which he gave on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

"I'm humbled and honored to be a part of this historic moment," Green said. "The opportunity to work with the best creative minds in the country is something I could have never imagined. Everyone involved feels honored."

Adams said the chance to tell Dr. King's story is a high point in his career.

"It's a huge deal, and I can tell you that I've never been involved in this magnitude of career and theater," Adams said. "It's so big for the country. It's not such a big deal because it involves so many important people, but it just means so much to our nation because he literally changed this country, dramatically, and in a very short time."

Green is producing the play, while his assistant director, Adams, is helping with its staging.

Five Pebblebrook alumna involved in the production, Jared Brown, Darian Clonts, Jeffrey Duffy, Milan C. Green and Sterling McClary, began rehearsing two weeks ago in Atlanta.

"This is a surreal experience for me because we've spent our entire lives learning about the remarkable life Dr. King led, and the sacrifices, along with many others', made in order for us to enjoy the freedoms and luxuries that we have today," said Brown, who graduated from Pebblebrook in 2009 and is playing MLK Jr. as a teenager. "I am so blessed and thankful to be a part of such a monumental occasion.

The production, which Green and Adams have been working on since January, was suggested to Green by Herman "Skip" Mason, president of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, last December. Dr. King pledged Alpha Phi Alpha at Boston College in 1952.

The cast also includes notable black celebrities - who Adams said will be a surprise to the audience so their names cannot be released - a 50-member ensemble that includes an orchestra, 62 members of the Morehouse College Glee Club and 29 members of the Dream Choir.

Adams said that they have been practicing with everyone, except for the celebrities, at Spelman and at Pebblebrook for the last two weeks.

"They actually brought the set into Pebblebrook," Adams said. "They drove it down from New York."

The production crew also includes a Broadway lighting designer and professional set designers, Adams said.

Green teaches dance at Pebblebrook and dance and drama at Spelman College in Atlanta. Adams is Pebblebrook's drama teacher.

The Cobb Chapter of the NAACP is also taking charter buses to participate in the unveiling festivities this weekend.
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