TURNING 15 ON THE ROAD TO FREEDOM
February 23, 2019 @ 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm
UA-PTC will present a special engagement of the national tour Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. at The Center for Humanities and Arts (CHARTS) at UA–Pulaski Technical College’s Main campus. CHARTS is located at 3000 West Scenic Drive in North Little Rock, Ark. The life story of Lynda Blackmon Lowery will also be followed by a 45-minute speaking engagement by Lowery herself.
Tickets are $50, $30, and $25 for reserved seats, and $15 for standing room only. Standing Room Only student tickets are $10. Tickets will be available at the CHARTS box office or online beginning Friday, Jan. 4 at 10 a.m.
As part of its tour celebrating the 90th birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the new play with gospel music tells the true story of Lynda Blackmon Lowery, the youngest person to march all the way from Selma to Montgomery in the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March. The story was developed for the stage by Ally Sheedy and is directed by Fracaswell Hyman. The stage adaptation is based on the award-winning memoir by Lynda Blackmon Lowery, as told to Elspeth Leacock and Susan Buckley and illustrated by PJ Loughran.
Jailed nine times before the age of 15 and embarking on the historic march for African American voting rights, Lynda Blackmon Lowery’s story is brought to life in this play infused with gospel music and freedom songs. Lowery recounts her youth in the segregated South—from being savagely beaten on Bloody Sunday to triumphantly marching with Dr. King to the state capital. Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom is a powerful reminder of the pivotal role young people play in shaping history and the impact of steady, loving confrontation in the ongoing quest for Civil Rights.
Ally Sheedy (The Breakfast Club, St. Elmo’s Fire, Psych, The Little Sister (2016)) developed the stage adaptation of Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School for Music, Art, and Performing Arts in 2015 with the commanding young actor Damaras Obi, who will reprise her performance as Lynda Blackmon. Since its first incarnation as a one-person show, and under the direction of Fracaswell Hyman, Turning 15 on the Road to Freedomhas been developed into a 6-character play full of stirring gospel and freedom songs, playing to sold-out audiences on the road. For more information, visit www.turning15ontheroad.com.
The 2019 tour began with four New York performances leading up to Martin Luther King Jr. Day at The Riverside Church, where Dr. King delivered his “Beyond Vietnam” speech to thousands exactly one year prior to his assassination in 1968. Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom continues performances across the country through the end of March, celebrating Black History Month and Women’s History Month with its hopeful and uplifting message.
This event is part of the Celebration of Black History month at UA-PTC and is co-sponsored by the UA-PTC Cultural Diversity and Community Involvement Committee.