…using technology and the arts to highlight the importance of Dr. King’s life and the Civil Rights Movement in our country…
Portsmouth Christian Academy hosted assemblies for their students in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. These assemblies featured the Bright Star Touring Theatre who presented a live Zoom performance of the virtual play, Struggle for Freedom: The Life of Dr. King for grades 6-12, and a similar presentation, Meet Dr. King, for grades K-5.
Students from all grades tuned in to watch these live performances.
Lower School Principal Dr. Carrie Abood remarked, “This year, PCA students recognized the life and work of Dr. King through a dramatized presentation by Bright Star Touring Theatre, titled Meet Dr. King. These online presentations […] provided an engaging introduction to the life of Dr. King and the importance of the Civil Rights Movement on our country.”
In this production 30-minute production, PCA’s younger students were introduced to “Marty,” the boy, and learned about the influences that helped shape Dr. King’s life and activism.
Reflecting on Struggle for Freedom: The Life of Dr. King, PCA High School Sophomore, Julie, said, “Something I loved was how they captured the way Dr. King and other historical figures were willing to do anything, including going to jail, to stand up for what’s right and stop oppression.”
Struggle for Freedom: The Life of Dr. King commemorated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s life. As an introduction, actors opened by discussing the struggle of the Civil Rights movement to end segregation, and what it meant to stand up for equal rights.
The performance went on to tell the story of many key events of the Civil Rights Movement and of King’s life, such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955, the bombings of the Kings’ house, and the establishment of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Actors also went on to summarize King’s letter from Birmingham jail and reenacted powerful parts of King’s I Have a Dream speech from the March on Washington.
The session ended with a question-and-answer segment with Bright Star Theatre who answered students’ questions about the performance, the history of the Civil Rights movement, and the life of Martin Luther King Jr. One student asked whether Dr. King ever cried when things got hard. Another asked why those who knew that people of color were treated wrongly did not always stand up for them. Performers from Bright Star Theatre explained that this was called ‘indifference,‘ and in situations where people faced discrimination, indifference could be very bad. Actors instead encouraged students to join in standing up for others when they are treated unfairly, challenging them to always choose to do the right thing.