From 1776 to Evitato Hamilton, historical figures have inspired many theatrical works over the years. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is no exception. In addition to many depictions on television and film, play wrights and composers have attempted to give us additional insight into this influential leader. The following list of stage works featuring Dr. King is not at all comprehensive, so please comment on the post if you have additional titles to add!
This fictional play imagines the final night of Dr. King’s life. It premiered in London in 2009 and opened on Broadway in 2011 starring Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett. The Omaha Community Playhouse production goes on sale March 27and will run May 4-27, 2018.
This “rhythm and blues opera” by librettist, lyricist and composer Douglas Tappin premiered at the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta, Georgia in 2010. A full concept recording is available on iTunes and Spotify.
I Have a Dream
This production originated on Broadway in 1976 and starred Billy Dee Williams as Dr. King. Subsequent iterations have expanded the inclusion of music.
Selma: A Musical Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Originally written in 1978 by Tommy Butler, this show’s complete cast recording is also available on iTunes and Spotify. One of the show’s tracks, “Prison Song” was recently sampled by rapper Future in his 2017 song “Mask Off.”
Skin Deep: The story of Martin Luther King
This 30 minute play was originally produced in 1985 by a church in Ontario. The simple script is approachable for school groups and organizations who aren’t looking for a lengthy, full-scale production.