Coppin Repertory Theatre Presents "Best of Enemies"
Durham, North Carolina, 1971: The U.S. Government is mandating an end to the continuing segregation of the city's schools. Can Durham dodge the violence scarring so many southern cities? How?
The process begins when Bill Riddick, a young, African American official of the U.S. Department of Education, arrives in Durham. He appoints Ann Atwater, a local African American civil rights activist, and C.P. Ellis, Grand Cyclops of Durham's Ku Klux Klan, to co-chair a committee to guide the schools through peaceful desegregation.
As Atwater and Ellis move from mutually hating each other to grudgingly accepting that they share a common goal and must work together to achieve it, they begin to appreciate each other’s perspectives and learn to respect, admire and trust each other. This play, by Mark St. Germain, based on the bestselling book, The Best of Enemies: Race and Redemption in the New South by Osha Gray Davidson, documents actual, historical events that occurred in 1971, in Durham. Let us reflect on this history and learn how we can find common ground to overcome the challenges we are facing in 2019, here in Baltimore.
Coppin Repertory Theatre will open its 2019-2020 “Season of Change” with Best of Enemies, a co-production with McDaniel College, in Westminster. Directed by Coppin Assistant Professor of Theatre Willie O. Jordan, the cast features two Coppin students, Dorrian Wilson as Ann Atwater and Jermaine Jackson as Bill Riddick, and two McDaniel students, Matthew Foley as C. P. Ellis and Anna Rozier as his wife, Mary. The stage managers are Marcus Griffin at Coppin and Elise Simons at McDaniel.
At Coppin, performances will run from Wednesday, September 18 through Sunday, September 22, in the Grace Hill Jacobs Building Lower Level Theatre Lab. From Wednesday through Saturday, curtain time is 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday, September 22, it is 3:00 p.m. Tickets are $25.00 for the public, $20.00 for seniors and non-Coppin students, and $10 for Coppin students with IDs and can be purchased at bestofenemiesatcoppin.brownpapertickets.com and at the door. Group discounts and sponsorships are also available; for additional information, call Dr. Garey Hyatt at (410) 951-3369.
At McDaniel, performances will run Wednesday, October 2 through Sunday, October 5. For information about showtimes and tickets, visit https://www.mcdaniel.edu/undergraduate/the-mcdaniel-plan/departments/theatre-arts/upcoming-productions .