THE MARCH Civil Rights Arts Project
Dramatizing the events of the Civil Rights Era
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Metropolitan A.M.E. ChurchWashington, DC, United States

"Prelude to a Dream" Mass Meeting Performance & Concert In Washington, D.C. at Metropolitan A.M.E. Church

Tuesday, August 27, 2013, 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Metropolitan A.M.E. Church, 1518 M Street N.W., Washington, DC 20005
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On August 27, 2013, at Metropolitan A.M.E. Church in Washington, D.C., THE MARCH Civil Rights Opera Project will stage a free mass meeting performance called Prelude to a Dream to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington. Prelude to a Dream is a dramatization of the tension and uncertainty during the final preparations for the march and the stories of ordinary Americans who planned to attend the march.

THE MARCH: A Civil Rights Opera is a new American opera project exploring the personal and political circumstances surrounding the 1963 March on Washington. THE MARCH is being developed in Chicago and will premiere there in the fall of 2014, followed by performances in Washington, D.C. and Atlanta.

While the opera is developed, creator and librettist Alan Marshall has been producing theatrical based "mass meetings" which dramatize various episodes of civil rights movement during the long, hot summer of 1963. These performances include freedom songs (solos & audience participation), speeches, testimonies & character driven drama, all happening around the audience. Prelude to a Dream is the fourth installment of these mass meetings.

Prelude to a Dream offers a diverse cast of characters: Bayard Rustin, A. Philip Randolph, Courland Cox (SNCC), Joyce Ladner (SNCC), Clarence Mitchell (NAACP), Andrew Young (SCLC), Anna Hedgeman, a Justice Department official, an aide to Archbishop Patrick O’Boyle, an aide to Senator Strom Thurmond and a host of other civil rights figures and individual march participants.

After the mass meeting performance, librettist Alan Marshall and composer D.S. Jones will give a preview of the grand finale of THE MARCH: A Civil Rights Opera. This scene at the Lincoln Memorial includes several opera singers portraying characters who delivered speeches at the 1963 march including A. Philip Randolph, John Lewis, Martin Luther King Jr. and Roy Wilkins.

Alan Marshall created THE MARCH to call attention to a pivotal period in this nation’s history when Americans of different, races, genders and classes helped to produce the landmark civil rights legislation that brought full citizenship to all Americans.

“It is extremely important to this project to have the support of civil rights movement veterans,” said Librettist Alan Marshall. “Our mission is to honor those who participated in the civil rights movement and to inspire new generations to face the social challenges of today.”

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