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'Right to Dream' Re-creates Story of Civil Rights Struggle

(Posted January 12, 2009)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Using theatrical presentation and a variety of audio-visual techniques, the production "The Right to Dream" tells the story of the struggle for civil rights in the United States through the experience of a young, African-American woman in 1960s Mississippi at 7 p.m., Monday, Jan. 19, in Alumni Hall in the Brumbaugh Academic Center on the Juniata College campus.

The production is free and open to the public.

"The Right to Dream" is a presentation created by Living Voices that combines theatre, video and live interactive performance to give audiences the experience of bearing witness to historical events.

The central character of the production is the fictional Ruby Hollis, who lives in small-town Mississippi. The story follows Ruby as she befriends a young white woman and later comes face-to-face with the reality that the friendship cannot survive in the Deep South.

The narrative follows Ruby as she heads off to college and becomes involved in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. She soon immerses herself in political protest, taking part in sit-ins and other protests. She sees friends hurt and civil rights workers killed, but her dedication to the cause is undimmed.

The program concludes as Ruby tells the story of the famous attacks on civil rights workers in Selma, Ala. and subsequently the character sees the passage of the 1965 Civil Rights Act.

Ruby Hollis' story intersects with Juniata College history in Selma, Alabama. A group of Juniata students and faculty traveled to Selma to participate in the marches in Selma and Montgomery, Alabama. The group participated in the marches and several Juniata faculty and students were injured in police attacks. The college held a reunion for the activists in 2005.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.