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Two-Act Play about Civil Rights Movement Premiers in Evansville, IN
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10/31/2012 at 7:59:56 PM GMT
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Two-Act Play about Civil Rights Movement Premiers in Evansville, IN

The premiere of a two-act play based on the civil rights movement in 1964 will be presented Nov. 10-11 and Nov. 17-18 at the Evansville Civic Theater Annex in the Washington Square Mall. Saturday performances will begin at 7 p.m. Sunday shows will start at 2 p.m.

"Jubilee in the Rear View Mirror” is written by Garret Mathews, retired metro columnist for the Evansville Courier & Press. Admission is $12. A free educational pre-show will be offered 45 minutes before each production that will feature varied exhibits to include videotaped interviews with four African-Americans from Evansville who talk about what it was like to grow up under segregation. For more information, go to

The drama is set in the fictional town of Jubilee, Miss., during Freedom Summer when hundreds of activists headed South to register African-American voters and to desegregate schools, bus stations and businesses. Beatings and arrests were common. The Montgomery, AL-based Southern Poverty Law Center lists more than 40 murders during the 1950s and ‘60s, including several at the hands of local law enforcement.

"In the play, a young black civil rights worker from the North finds himself in a cell with a white racist who is behind bars for beating his wife,” Mathews says. "The background comes from dozens of interviews I conducted with men and women of both races who risked their lives to challenge the deeply-rooted segregationist social and political structure in the South in the 1960s.

"Before pressure was brought to bear, black children in department stores were not allowed to try on new shoes,” Mathews goes on. "Salesmen traced the edges of their old shoes onto butcher paper and fetched an approximate fit from inventory. Many African-Americans who attempted to vote were fired from their jobs by white employers. Some had their homes fire-bombed by the Ku Klux Klan.”

Last edited Wednesday, October 31, 2012

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