As a business based in Atlanta, Georgia, the life, legacy and historical significance of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King is as pervasive in this city and to IMAGES staff as the Coca Cola Company or Turner Broadcasting. So when the producers of “I Dream,” the musical celebration based on the life and work of King, decided on Atlanta for the premiere, they chose IMAGES as their partner to help bring the premiere to life.
In honor of this historical celebration, we’re inviting all of Atlanta to enter to win TWO (2) tickets to the July 9 premiere and TWO (2) passes to the after-show reception with the cast, crew and Atlanta tastemakers. To enter, email your FULL NAME and EMAIL ADDRESS to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will announce the winner on MulticulturalMarketing.com on Friday morning and inform the winner via email.
“I Dream” is an inspirational portrayal of the civil rights leader from his early years through to the end of his life and premieres this Friday, July 9 at the Alliance Stage and will run through July 31. See the cast perform on FOX 5’s Good Day Atlanta HERE.
The “I Dream” production team is chockfull of accomplished theatre talent, including direction by acclaimed actress Jasmine Guy, best known for her role as Whitley Gilbert in the 1990s hit series ‘A Different World’; writing by playwright Douglas Tappin, the UK-born writer who previously brought the Biblical story of Moses and the Israelites to the stage in the musical “Deliverer,” and began work on Dr. King’s story back in 2006 after moving to Atlanta. Rounding out the production team are the members of Musical-Dramatic Arts (MDAI), a partnership which includes playwright Douglas Tappin, his creative collaborator/producer Cedric Perrier, and fellow producers, Dej Mahoney and Tim Bowen.
“I feel honored to be directing such a landmark production. With a glorious score set to such a moving American story, this is an exciting and emotional experience,” says Jasmine Guy. “And the fact that we are premiering in my hometown, where so much of the story originated, is both momentous and fitting.”
Leading the star-studded cast are Demetria McKinney, best known for her role in “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne,” as Coretta S. King and Quentin Earl Darrington, fresh from recent Broadway success in the Tony-nominated revival of ‘Ragtime,’ as the civil rights icon.
Originating the role of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., is Quentin Earl Darrington, fresh from recent Broadway success in the Tony-nominated revival of ‘Ragtime’. ” I consider it a tremendous privilege to not only create and present this intimate expression of the man that is the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King,” says Darrington. “But also to do it in the city that centralized his life and work. It just feels right. It’s home.” Acclaimed actress and singer Demetria McKinney, best known for her stellar performances in ‘Tyler Perry’s House of Payne’, won the role of Coretta after an extensive search. “I am proud to originate the character of Coretta Scott King, a woman who was not only an exceptional wife and mother but, equally, a leader in her own right in the Civil Rights Movement, ” says McKinney.
Author and composer Douglas Tappin first began work on “I Dream” four years ago when he arrived from Britain to start a new life in Atlanta with his family. Once here, he immersed himself in the local history and, ultimately, found inspiration in the story of a local preacher.
“I’ve tried to combine historic and personal elements of Dr. King’s extraordinary life and legacy with individual stories gleaned from interviews with people whose lives he touched during the tempestuous years of the Civil Rights Movement between 1955 and 1968,” says Tappin. “I was particularly captivated by Dr. King’s statement that man is neither villain nor hero – he is, rather villain and hero.”
Having considered London, New York and Washington D.C., producers Cedric Perrier, Dej Mahoney, Tim Bowen, and Douglas Tappin were in no doubt as to the most appropriate city in which to debut ‘I Dream’.
“We have often felt the hand of history on our shoulders as we have developed ‘I Dream’ here,” says Cedric Perrier. “We have been most privileged to have enjoyed the support of Atlanta’s former Mayor Shirley Franklin and current Mayor Kasim Reed, together with Ebenezer Baptist Church, as we have worked to bring this great story to life for its world premiere on the Alliance Stage at the Woodruff Arts Center.”
No. 1 Billboard recording artist, Bob Carlisle (‘Butterfly Kisses’ ‘We Fall Down’), will premiere the role of Martin Luther King’s mentor and Professor in the July production. “I am thrilled to be asked to participate in this exciting production,“ states Carlisle. “ I can think of no other genre that so fully unites drama and song than theater. This is where great songs about a great man can come alive before our eyes.”
As with the cast, MDAI’s music team boasts an enviable line-up including Grammy®-nominated arranger Carl Marsh (Cirque Du Soleil, The Staple Singers, The Temptations); Legendary keyboard player, arranger and veteran Quincy Jones collaborator, Greg Phillinganes (Michael Jackson: ‘Thriller’, ‘Off The Wall’, ‘Bad’; Stevie Wonder: ‘Songs In the Key Of Life’); and Keith Williams, music producer and Director of Music at the Ebenezer Baptist Church.
“I Dream” opens for previews July 6 and will run July 9 through July 31 on the Alliance Stage at the Woodruff Arts Center, as an independent production. For ticket information visit the Woodruff Center website or call 404.733.5000. Visit the “I Dream” website at IDreamInAtlanta.com.
ABOUT MUSICAL DRAMATIC ARTS: Musical-Dramatic Arts Inc. (MDAI) is a theatrical production company, based in Atlanta, Georgia and London, England. Its mission is to stage productions of original works of musical-drama, with “I Dream” – based on the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. – being its first production in the U.S.A. Although Atlanta was selected as the most appropriate birthplace for this new piece, the company’s intention is to tour this and future productions internationally through major markets, including Broadway and London.