Memoir of Selma marcher transformed into play, tour to begin in New York

Published 11:35 am Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The true story of Lynda Blackmon Lowry, the youngest person to march all the way from Selma to Montgomery in the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March has been developed for the stage by Ally Sheedy and directed by Fracaswell Hyman. The stage adaptation is based on the award-winning book, “15 on the Road to Freedom,” by Lowery, and in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 90th birthday, the play will kick off with New York performances on Jan. 19 and 20.

Jailed nine times before the age of 15 and embarking on the historic march for African American voting rights, 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 marching with Dr. King to the state capital.

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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 at Riverside Church.

Since its first incarnation as a one-person show, and under the direction of Hyman, “Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom” has been developed into a 6-character play full of stirring gospel and freedom songs, playing to sold-out audiences on the road. This January’s New York performances mark the beginning of the production’s 2019 tour, through Black History Month and Women’s History Month, traveling to Little Rock, Arkansas; Millersville, Pennsylvania and more destinations to be announced.