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In 1964, Wendy Whittaker, a white sophomore from Oberlin College, and Cynthia Moore, an African American junior at Swarthmore College join nearly 1,000 college students joined the Mississippi Summer Project to help African Americans secure their voting rights. During the orientation session in Ohio, Wendy and Cynthia find themselves immediately having to defend their motives for joining Freedom Summer to the seasoned, and somewhat cynical, battle-hardened veterans of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Once in Mississippi, Cynthia and Wendy struggle to find their place in the freedom movement as they walk a tight rope between white hatred and black indifference. Their inability to reach those they have risked their lives to help causes them to lose confidence in themselves and in many of their fellow citizens. Alan Marshall's Freedom Summer explores the tensions within the project and the challenges faced by the staff and volunteers as they adjusted to life in Mississippi during the long, hot summer of 1964.
Other Characters in this play include legendary civil rights activists Fanny Lou Hamer, Dorie Ladner, Hollis Watkins, James Forman, as well a composite fictional characters who are recurring figures withing the Civil Rights Arts Project series of dramatic works, This interactive mass meeting performance features freedom songs, speeches, testimonies, and character-driven drama, all happening around the audience.
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