The Watsons go to Birmingham – 1963

Birmingham has embraced its place in history as a key player in the struggle for civil rights. In 2017, the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument was established as part of the National Park Service, and more than one national media outlet has highlighted the city’s historic significance as a main reason to visit Birmingham.

Image courtesy of Birmingham Children’s Theatre

How can you teach your children about our city’s historical significance? One way: a new play, from Birmingham Children’s Theatre (BCT), called The Watsons Go To Birmingham – 1963. This show opens the MainStage season with a message that carries so much significance not just in our hometown of Birmingham, but resonates through history and into today with themes of perseverance and strength through difficult times.

Ten-year-old Kenny chronicles the events of a fateful summer for the Watsons as the family piles into their “Brown Bomber” and heads to Birmingham, only to find themselves caught up in the tragic bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church. Christopher Paul Curtis’s Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Award–winning book comes to life with the beloved story of a family’s bond and endurance amidst one of the darkest periods in America’s history.

Image courtesy of Birmingham Children’s Theatre

BCT is thrilled to welcome back Chalethia Williams to direct this picture of history, having previously directed the popular Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 2018. Ms. Williams is a Theatre Instructor at Miles College, Actress, Director, Writer, Workshop Instructor, and Arts Educator who has work to advance the arts in and around Birmingham for more than 30 years. 

The cast features an outstanding selection of local talent including Marc Raby (Encore Theatre), Sylvester Rickey Powell (Birmingham Heritage Band), Faith Frazier (Hot 1077), and Te’Shara Monique (The Academy of Gifted Arts). Joining the company are local youth performers Taj Johnson, Cole Hall, Gabrielle Burrell, Zion Carmichael, and Dadrien O’Neil.

The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963 will play to the public September 28th & 29th, and October 12th & 13th at the BJCC. Tickets and further information about the show can be found on BCT’s website.

Who: The Birmingham Children’s Theatre 
What: The Watson’s Go to Birmingham – 1963, Adapted by Reginald André Jackson, from the book by Christopher Paul Curtis
When: Saturday, September 28th @ 2:30pm; Sunday, September 29th @ 2:30pm; Saturday, October 12th @ 2:30pm & 7:30pm; Sunday, October 13th @ 2:30pm
Where: The Theatre at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC), 1001 19th St. N, Birmingham, AL 35203
Tickets: Also available through Ticketmaster; Adults: $20 – $28; Seniors & Students: $15 – $20; Children (under 18): $10


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