Imagine MLK's Response to the Sandy Hook Elementary Tragedy
In honor of Martin Luther King's birthday this year, Auroras Voice plans to present Martin Luther King: Beyond Newtown, a one-man show starring Tony Thompson, at Arts Garage in Delray Beach, Tuesday, January 15th at 7:30 p.m.
Auroras Voice is a Delray Beach nonprofit organization devoted to continuing the work of Gandhi and Martin Luther King. Pablo del Real, founder of Auroras Voice, composed the play.
Written in the wake of the suicide-massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, Martin Luther King: Beyond Newtown imagines how the great civil rights leader would respond to the recent violent tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The play is based largely on "Beyond Vietnam," a landmark speech made by Dr. King in 1967 in which he condemned the U.S. war on Vietnam.
In response to violent riots in his own day, Dr. King said,"violence is the language of the unheard."
Beyond Newtown includes the perspectives of people involved in suicide-massacres, namely the mother of a killer, the father of a killer's victim, and the killers themselves. By shining a light on these dark and painful places, Beyond Newtown tries to illuminate the roots of individual violence so that we can understand where it comes from, what it looks like, and how to prevent it.
Actor Tony Thompson was a natural for the part of Martin Luther King. Since 2001, he has been performing Frederick Douglass: A Trumpet for Freedom, a one-man show he wrote. Thompson has written, directed, or performed in over 50 plays, many of them about the African American experience, including Just Us: From Bean Pickers To Presidents; The Middle Passage And Beyond; Men Of The Harlem Renaissance; and Bravely We Sat Down, Fearlessly We Marched!
Author Pablo del Real said it is especially important at this moment in history to remember and to listen to Martin Luther King. "We must learn to live together as brothers or we will all perish together as fools,"said Dr. King. "Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time: the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Man must evolve for all human conflict a method that rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love."
Martin Luther King: Beyond Newton is an attempt to give MLK's life work and philosophy a fresh hearing.
The play includes three songs to be performed by local musicians, including Kendra Williams.
Tickets are available at www.artsgarage.org, $15 suggested donation.