World Premiere set of 'Something Moving: A Meditation on Maynard' at Ford's Theatre

Aug 4, 2023
Something Moving: A Meditation on Maynard at Ford's Theatre

Paul R. Tetreault, the Director of Ford's Theatre, has revealed the ensemble and creative team for the world premiere of Pearl Cleage's play, Something Moving: A Meditation on Maynard, under the directorship of Seema Sueko. This emotive work by Cleage scrutinizes the influence of Mayor Maynard Holbrook Jackson Jr., the first Black mayor of Atlanta, as told through the voices of Atlanta's inhabitants, both from the past and present. The production will be brought to life by a talented cast hailing from the DMV area. The curtains will rise for this debut performance on September 22, running until October 15, 2023.

Tetreault shared his pride in unveiling the premiere of Something Moving: A Meditation on Maynard, as part of Ford's Theatre's ongoing tradition of narrating historical stories. He expressed, "We are proud to be the first in the nation to bring this work to life and share Pearl's 'blueprint' that makes it easier for us to create better lives and communities for ourselves."

Pearl Cleage, a playwright, author, activist, and Atlanta's poet laureate who once worked as Maynard's speechwriter and Director of Communications, states that the events she experienced were transformative. When assigned to The Ford's Theatre Legacy Commissions, she immediately chose to pen a piece on Maynard. The play underwent a developmental workshop and reading from January to February 2023.

Cleage expressed her intention to depict the time when various communities in Atlanta united as never before to vote for a leader they wholeheartedly believed in. "I wanted to write a play that allowed me to create characters that would represent all the different constituencies that came together to elect Maynard our mayor," said Cleage. "In these turbulent times when there is so much distrust of politicians and politics, I wanted to look back at a moment when we trusted the process and had great hopes invested in the outcome of every election."

Something Moving: A Meditation on Maynard at Ford's Theatre in DC

Pearl Cleage's new work, part of Ford's Theatre Legacy Commissions, explores the election of Maynard Jackson, Atlanta's inaugural Black mayor. The play begins in today's Atlanta but swiftly journeys back half a century as the city's denizens reminisce and ponder the historic election that transformed Atlanta into a beacon of progressive change in the New South. Cleage's distinctive narrative style personifies Atlanta, enabling her audience to immerse themselves in a truly historic Southern capital city moment. Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Jackson's epochal election through Cleage's vivid dramatization, under the direction of Seema Sueko.