Fannie Lou Hamer, Speak On It!

By John Wooten posted 10-16-2020 10:10

Theatres have rightly been focusing on how to reopen safely, how to center BIPOC artists, and how to support #GetOutTheVote efforts. With our production of ​Fannie Lou Hamer, Speak On It!, Premiere Stages, the professional Equity theatre in residence at Kean University, is working toward all three.

As an outdoor production of a one-woman show, Fannie Lou Hamer, Speak On It! is an example of how theatres can safely provide live, in-person productions that speak urgently to our current moment. Part battle cry, part spiritual, this timely and poignant play brings to life civil rights activist Fannie Lou as she leads a rally to fight for voting and racial equality. Her call to action was one that resonated with Americans in the sixties and is equally powerful today. Our production stars Rema Webb as Fannie Lou Hamer and features Kena Anae as Music Man. The production has been adapted by Cheryl L. West from her play, Fannie. It is being directed by Marshall Jones III, who is very well known to the theatre scene as he was formerly the Producing Artistic Director of Crossroads Theatre.

And, through talkbacks after our performances on the 17th and 18th, we're going deeper into the plays' themes of voting rights and racial justice:

October 17: Voting Rights and Fannie Lou Hamer's Legacy with Dr. Pat Reid-Merritt, distinguished professor of Africana Studies and Social Work at Stockton University and organizer of the annual Fannie Lou Hamer Human and Civil Rights Symposium, in conversion with Dr. Lauretta Farrell, Director of the Human Rights Institute at Kean University.

October 18: Representation, Inclusivity,  and Equity in the Arts with Marshall Jones, director of Fannie Lou Hamer, Speak On It! in conversation with Deonté Griffin-Quick, Manager of Programs and services at the NJ Theatre Alliance.

We're proud to be a part of the movement to center BIPOC artists and stories, and to join the growing number of theatres speaking to voting rights and #GetOutTheVote efforts.  If you're in the area, please join us at one of these performances! ​