Voices of Freedom Summer
Voices of Freedom Summer
February 16th, 6pm
Director: Francis Kuhn
Assistant Director: by Mitchel Sommers
Inspired by a collection of photographic images from the archives of the University of Southern Mississippi, Voices of Freedom Summer, is a powerful piece of theatre that documents the widespread efforts to register African-American voters in Mississippi during the summer of 1964.
Voices of Freedom Summer is comprised of a guitarist and a six person cast reciting monologues, interviews, and speeches from the Freedom Summer. The performance acts as a powerful portrait of an important part of American history.
Freedom Summer, also known as the the Mississippi Summer Project, was a 1964 voter registration drive sponsored by civil rights organizations including the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) and the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Aimed at increasing black voter registration in Mississippi, the Freedom Summer workers included black Mississippians and more than 1,000 out-of-state, predominately white volunteers. The Ku Klux Klan, police and state and local authorities carried out a series of violent attacks against the activists, including arson, beatings, false arrest and the murder of at least three people.
Frank Kuhn is a professor and professional stage director whose professional theatre work includes work for McCarter Theatre, Princeton Rep, Delaware Theatre Company, Warehouse Theatre, and numerous others. He was named “Best Director” of 2006 in the Denver Post’s statewide Ovation Awards for his production of Sweeney Todd at Creede Repertory Theatre, and in fall of 2010 the New York Times praised his “engaging” and “lively” production of W.H. Smith’s The Drunkard at New York’s Metropolitan Playhouse. Also that fall, he staged Handel’s Orlando for Sacramento Opera. His production of Godspell at Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre was named best professional musical of 2011 by the Lehigh Valley Press. He has also directed for Virginia Opera, OperaDelaware, and Opera Festival of New Jersey. He has served as artistic director for Allegheny Highlands Regional Theatre and producer for Gretna Theatre, as well as literary manager for Creede Repertory Theatre. He has had articles published in Othello: New Critical Essays and The Tennessee Williams Encyclopedia.
As part of 1960s Exploring The Limits
It was an era when the world charged full-speed ahead, fearlessly pushing boundaries and shattering expectations. The Space Race. Civil Rights. Feminism. Environmentalism.
Join UNC Greensboro for a year long series of events that examine, understand and celebrate the ’60s — an era that changed everything.
Cover photo by Herbert Randall Jr.