$20 – $30

Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the 1965 Selma March

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The Riverside Theatre

91 Claremont Avenue

New York, NY 10027

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"A powerful story of the ordinary people who made the Civil Rights Movement succeed--proof that anyone can make history and no one is too young."

-Theater Development Fund, New York City


Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom tells the moving, true story of Lynda Blackmon, the youngest person to walk all the way from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, on the Voting Rights March in 1965. Jailed nine times before her 15th birthday, she fought alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to secure the right to vote for African Americans.


Exactly one year before his April 4, 1968 assassination, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood in The Riverside Church before a crowd of over three thousand to deliver his “Beyond Vietnam” address against the sins of poverty, racism, and militarism. In 1985, the Riverside Church congregation voted to rename the southern wing of the building The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Wing—The Riverside Theatre is housed in this wing. The church and the theatre in turn are dedicated beacons of activism and social justice and have been so since their founding.


Ally Sheedy (The Breakfast Club, High Art, Psych) adapted the award-winning memoir by Lynda Blackmon Lowery, as told to Elspeth Leacock and Susan Buckley (Dial Press, 2016) into a oneperson show with the powerful young actress, Damaras Obi.


Since its debut at Fiorello LaGuardia High School for Music, Art and the Performing Arts, and acclaimed performances in New York and Los Angeles, the show has been transformed into a musical, filled with Gospel and Freedom songs, Developed for the Stage by Ally Sheedy; Directed by Fracaswell Hyman


There is a talkback with Lynda Blackmon Lowery and the cast will be after the 2pm performance on Saturday.

A Panel discussion with Lynda, Pastor Amy Butler, and other Civil Rights Era Participants, will be after the 2pm matinee on Sunday.


Recommended for ages 10 and up. Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom tells the true story of the sometimes brutal period of the Civil Rights history in the United States. There is video of actual events and stylized dramatizations. Some of this content might not be appropriate for children under 10.



ABOUT THE RIVERSIDE CHURCH OF NEW YORK

The Riverside Church in the City of New York, led by senior minister Rev. Dr. Amy Butler, is an interdenominational, interracial, international, open, welcoming, and affirming church and congregation. Riverside commits itself to welcome all persons, celebrating the diversity found in a congregation broadly inclusive of persons from different backgrounds. The Church pledges itself to education, reflection, and action for peace and justice, and has been influential on the nation’s religious and political landscapes. The pulpit has welcome speakers from far and near: The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. preached his famous anti-Vietnam War sermon, “Beyond Vietnam,” from this pulpit; Nelson Mandela addressed the national during an interfaith celebration to welcome him to America; Marian Wright-Edelman of the Children’s Defense Fund spoke about the need to provide quality healthcare to all children; and the well-known Dr. Tony Campolo delivered a sermon concerning affluence in America.



ABOUT THE RIVERSIDE THEATRE

Founded on the belief that the arts can be a transforming power in peoples’ lives, The Riverside Theatre was built inside the historic Riverside Church in 1960. The church’s dedication to radical political action and civil rights are as integral to the theatre as they are to the church. Over the last half century, TRT has presented and provided access to performing artists from all over the world. TRT has always provided a space for the arts to open minds and hearts. They are dedicated to amplifying essential stories and providing equitable access to the voices that tell them—because when you change the stage, you change the world.

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The Riverside Theatre

91 Claremont Avenue

New York, NY 10027

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Refund Policy

Refunds up to 1 day before event

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