Archive: Night Blooms Oral History Project
In commemoration of our production of Night Blooms by Margaret Baldwin and the 50th anniversary of several significant events in our nation’s civil rights movement, Virginia Repertory Theatre is collaborating with the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia and Richmond Magazine to conduct and record oral histories of first-hand experiences and memories connected to civil rights activities in the mid-1960s.
Night Blooms is inspired by the playwright’s own family history and tells the story of two families (one white and one black) in Selma, Alabama in 1965 on the eve of the historic marches from Selma to Montgomery. As history is being made and tension mounts in the streets, the matriarch of the white family focuses on her night blooming cereus and the party she is planning to celebrate the single bloom of the summer. She requires her African American maid to come in on her day off to prepare for the party, unaware that the maid’s son and her own son are among the marchers. The play examines the civil rights movement from the perspective of the two families.
We will be videotaping personal memories associated with the civil rights movement throughout the next several months. Virginia Rep will hold the first public videotaping sessions on Friday, September 21, 2012 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and on Saturday, September 22, 2012 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m at Willow Lawn. The oral history project will extend beyond the run of Night Blooms.