On Tuesday, January 19, 6–7 p.m., New Stage Theatre will present a virtual showing of The Debate for Democracy, a conversation between Martin Luther King Jr., organizer Ella Baker, and activist Fannie Lou Hamer, written and directed by New Stage Theatre education director Sharon Miles. The debut performance will stream live from the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum Facebook page.
In 1964, a coalition of grassroots activists from Mississippi questioned the nation’s racially-exclusive political system with the formation of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) to challenge the state’s all-white Democratic convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey. This original play features a conversation between civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., renowned community organizer Ella Baker, and Mississippi’s own activist Fannie Lou Hamer. Explore behind-the-scenes dialogues and decisions that led the MFDP delegates to decline President Lyndon B. Johnson’s two-seat compromise.
Ashia Benford will play Ella Baker, Devin Hunter will play Martin L. King Jr., and Sharon Miles will play Fannie Lou Hamer.
Miles has served as education director at New Stage Theatre since 2011 and has worked as a professional actress, writer, and director for nearly twenty years.