Director: Francis Kuhn Assistant Director: Mitchel Sommers
Inspired by a collection of photographic images from the archives of the University of Southern Mississippi that will be on view at Greensboro Project Space, Voices of Freedom Summer is a powerful piece of theatre that documents the widespread efforts to register African-American voters in Mississippi during the summer of 1964.
Voices of Freedom Summer is comprised of a guitarist and a six person cast reciting a curated mix of monologues, newspaper articles, letters, interviews, testimonials, literature, and other materials from the Freedom Summer. The performance acts as a powerful portrait of an important part of American history.
Director: Francis Kuhn
Assistant Director Mitchel Sommers
Jeffrey Wall Austin Frye Jim White Dave Wils Chelsi Majette Katie Clark
Guitarist/ Accompanist: Sean Mulcahey
Stage Manager: Mandi Ross
Freedom Summer, also known as the Mississippi Summer Project, was a 1964 voter registration drive sponsored by civil rights organizations including the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) and the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Aimed at increasing black voter registration in Mississippi, the Freedom Summer workers included black Mississippians and more than 1,000 out-of-state volunteers. The Ku Klux Klan, police and state and local authorities carried out a series of violent attacks against the activists, including arson, beatings, false arrest and the murder of at least three people. Highlighting the need for federal voting rights legislation, these efforts created political momentum for the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Trigger Warning: This performance includes real testimonials and accounts of violence and hate speech that occurred during the Freedom Summer of 1964. Viewer discretion advised.
Frank Kuhn is a stage director whose professional credits include productions directed for McCarter Theatre, Princeton Rep, Delaware Theatre Company, Warehouse Theatre, and numerous others. He was named “Best Director” of 2006 in the Denver Post’s statewide Ovation Awards for his production of Sweeney Todd, and his production of Godspell was named best professional musical of 2011 by the Lehigh Valley Press. More recently, the New York Times praised his “engaging” and “lively” production of W.H. Smith’s The Drunkard, and recommended his production of Leah, the Forsaken at the Metropolitan Playhouse as “a thought-provoking discovery, presented by a first-rate troupe.” The Roanoke Times found his To Kill a Mockingbird at Mill Mountain Playhouse to be “a genuine and skillful representation of the great work..” He has also directed opera for Virginia Opera, OperaDelaware, Sacramento Opera, and Opera Festival of New Jersey. In the summer of 2018, he directed a production of Il Barbiere di Siviglia for the Northern Lights Music Festival in Minnesota. Fascinated by Freedom Summer since teaching at the University of Southern Mississippi, his most recent project is the assembling and directing of a solo performance about Fannie Lou Hamer, called Let It Shine, currently on tour (info atwww.visitwithfannielou.com) He teaches acting and directing at The College at Brockport, State University of New York.
As part of 1960s Exploring The Limits
It was an era when the world charged full-speed ahead, fearlessly pushing boundaries and shattering expectations. The Space Race. Civil Rights. Feminism. Environmentalism.
Join UNC Greensboro for a year long series of events that examine, understand and celebrate the ’60s — an era that changed everything.