MANY THANKS TO EVERYONE INVOLVED, INCLUDING OUR WONDERFULLY SUPPORTIVE AUDIENCE MEMBERS, FOR AN UNFORGETTABLE EVENING AT CARNEGIE HALL
ON OCT. 9!!!
TO FIND OUT ABOUT THE NEXT LEG OF OUR FANNIE LOU JOURNEY, AS WELL AS OTHER PROJECTS ON THE HORIZON, PLEASE VISIT THIS PAGE.
About "Scenes and Songs from
Fannie Lou: At Carnegie Hall"
Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall © Jeff Goldberg / Esto
This one-night-only special event at the world-renowed Carnegie Hall featured selected music and dialogue from the new musical Fannie Lou, inspired by the life and work of voting rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer. The unique evening, which took place Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014,
also served to raise funds for the Center for Law and
Social Justice at Medgar Evers College, CUNY.
All revenue from this not-for-profit event that was not donated to the Center for Law and Social Justice was applied directly towards production costs.
The Evening’s Events
First Half: Exploration and Discussion
Just who was Fannie Lou Hamer? And why was it so difficult for her and others like her to vote? And why did they put up with it for so long? And who were the people stopping them?
And … and … and …
The first half of “Scenes and Songs from Fannie Lou: At Carnegie Hall” consisted of an interactive discussion – an old-fashioned
“teach in,” if you will -- about circumstances that serve as a backdrop for the musical. This section of the evening also included comments about how the musical Fannie Lou evolved.
And, we were very honored to welcome Ms. Esmeralda Simmons, Esq., during this portion of the evening. Ms. Simmons is executive director of the Center for Law and Social Justice at Medgar Evers College, CUNY. Among CLSJ's primary emphases is the protection of voting rights. Ms. Simmons gave a presentation about the work CLSJ is undertaking and contemporary circumstances that dictate the need for engagement. The nonprofit CLSJ was a beneficiary of this event.
This half of the event was designed to be of particular value to teens and young adults who might not know about Fannie Lou Hamer or the hard-fought struggle for voting rights. It was constructed to encourage further discussion among families, individuals and communities, and to emphasize the need for voter participation.
Second Half: Performance
During the second half of “Scenes and Songs from Fannie Lou: At Carnegie Hall,” audience members heard and saw performed, in concert format, a selection of the original music and dialogue from the new musical Fannie Lou. All of the scenes and songs were from the full-length production. More than a dozen musical selections and vignettes were presented. The music is a unique, organic mix of blues, folk, pop, opera, jazz, spoken word and traditional musical theater.
This half featured a number of the cast members and musicians from the 2012 world premiere. Audience members also had the pleasure of meeting several new faces among the talented actors and singers performing. (An advance article about the Carnegie Hall performance can be found here.)
Plus, there was a special tribute to two outstanding talents whose selfless contributions helped shape the musical Fannie Lou:
Cheri Hunter and Rich Abrams
To those who shared the evening with us, we thank you immensely. You helped make the evening special, and your presence and support are very much appreciated. We're hoping to see Fannie Lou on Broadway in 2015. We're looking forward to seeing you, along with new audience members, there. We'll keep you posted -- please visit this page for more information.