Play depicting the life of civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hammer being performed at Kean University
Civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hammer made history convincing minorities to vote. And now she is the subject of a play being performed in New Jersey.
Broadway veteran Rema Webb stars as Hammer – a Mississippian who rallied for voting rights in the 1960s South. She endured backlash and beatings for the stands that she made.
“There is an honor and a responsibility in the role right now…while we’re living in such an extraordinary and important time,” Webb says.
“Fannie Lou Hammer: Speak On It” is being shown at the Premiere Stages on the campus of Kean University. The performance is outdoors, with a wagon as the stage. It is not unlike how Hammer herself would have addressed a crowd with words and music.
The two-actor play includes Kena Anae as Hammer’s music man. COVID-19 protocols are very much a part of the staging. The actors are always apart from each other and the socially distant audience is seated beneath them in an open tent. The Hammer character speaks to them directly as a figure from the past.
"Fannie Lou Hammer: Speak On It" is directed by Marshall Jones III and written by Cheryl L. West.