Ebony Road Players presents play and event in honor of Loving Day

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Gina Boscarino, and Noah King-Bates will star in Ebony Road Players production Alabama Story. Courtesy photo.

In keeping with its mission to engage the Grand Rapids community with high-quality theatrical productions, Ebony Road Players will present a play, and events focused on the Black experience.

June 8-11, “Alabama Story,” a play by Kenneth Jones, will be presented at the Grand Rapids Public Museum, 272 Pearl St. NW.

Set during the early days of the civil rights movement and inspired by true events, Alabama Story begins when a controversial children’s book about a black rabbit marrying a white rabbit stirs the passions of a segregationist state senator and a no-nonsense state librarian in 1959 Montgomery, Alabama.

Meanwhile, the story of two childhood friends — an African American man and a woman of white privilege reunited in adulthood — provides a private counterpoint to the public events swirling in the state capital. Political foes, star-crossed lovers and one feisty children’s author inhabit the same page in a Deep South story of the imagination that brims with humor, heartbreak and hope.

“Providing a fun and educational experience for families from all walks of life has long been part of our mission,” said Maggie Lancaster, executive director of the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum. “We can’t wait to celebrate alongside our friends at Ebony Road Players to bring the beautiful message of love and acceptance to life for families.”

Loving Day is an international celebration held annually on or around July 12, the anniversary of the 1967 United States Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia, which fully legalized interracial marriage in the United States. The case is named after Mildred and Richard Loving, an interracial couple who were at the center of the case, fighting to strike down the criminality of their marriage.

“More than 50 years after Loving v. Virginia, we continue to fight prejudice and build community through our multiracial relationships and families,” said Edye Evans Hyde, founder and executive director of Ebony Road Players. “Our West Michigan Loving Day Celebration honors the path forged by those before us and reminds us there is still work to do for our future generations.

“We’re so appreciative of our partnerships with both the Public and Children’s museums to make these events possible. Between the powerful message presented in Alabama Story and the fun day we have planned for Faces of Family, we hope anyone can see themselves in our celebration.”

On Saturday, June 10, “Faces of Family: Sowing Seeds of Love,” an event for all ages will be held at the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum, 11 Sheldon Ave. NE.

The outdoor festival-style celebration will be held outside the museum that is free and open to the public. Actives include:

  • Planting seeds
  • Face painting with Meaghan Gietzen
  • Live Mural by Monk Mattheaus
  • Button making sponsored by Little Space Studio
  • Strike a Pose with CIRQUE BOUCLÉ
  • Library card sign-ups with the Kent District Library and Grand Rapids Public Library
  • Community resources and vendors

Participants can enhance their Loving Day experience by purchasing admission to the museum where additional indoor activities include:

  • Cultural book readings
  • Dancing
  • Show Your Face art activity with E’lla Webber
  • Funny Faces interactive installation
  • Family photo booth with souvenir

Tickets to “Alabama Story” are $30 and can be purchased in advance here.  For more information about these events, visit EbonyRoad.org.

 

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