‘Selma the Musical: The Untold Stories’ comes to MPAC

Published 8:05 am Tuesday, February 20, 2024

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“Selma the Musical: The Untold Stories” will appear in Alabama for one night only on Feb. 23 at the Montgomery Performing Arts Centre (MPAC) at 6 p.m. 

The event is co-hosted by the Civil Rights Memorial Center (CRMC), a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the Alabama State Office.

J.P. Haynes, writer and director of the production, said it is an honor to bring the musical into the area. The story is centered around the Wilsons, a Black family divided on how to approach 1965 voting rights in Selma. The Wilsons interact with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and John Lewis, overcoming segregation and anti-Black violence.

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“The work done by the SPLC in our communities is indispensable, and joining forces in partnership is humbling,” Haynes said. “Selma is a story of triumph and truth. This musical unveils the multi-layered dynamics of Black families and communities while shining light on such a pivotal point in American history.”

Lauren Blanding, manager of the SPLC’s Civil Rights Memorial Center, said the musical has a unique mix of gospel, jazz, and hip-hop music.

‘“‘Selma the Musical: The Untold Stories’ presents the story of Selma and citizens of the town as they prepare for one of the greatest endeavors of the Civil Rights Movement,” Blanding said. “To have cast and crew members bring this story to life is going to be emotional, yet encouraging as we still have work to do in our communities.”

SPLC’s Alabama State Director Tafeni English-Relf, said it is important to showcase the musical before a broadway debut.

“Alabamians know the story of Selma, the Civil Rights leaders and foot soldiers who led the way better than anyone,” English-Relf said. “Yet we know little about how average Black families in 1965 navigated those times. The characters’ untold stories allow us to live vicariously through conversations everyday families had about the direction of the Civil Rights Movement and how its work would affect their lives. We see a side of the Selma march on stage that isn’t taught in schools or written in history books.”

Tickets are $20, $10, and $5 and are available at either the MPAC box office or Ticketmaster.