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  • Writer's pictureJoey Amato

IRT Welcomes Fannie: The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer Jan 9 - Feb 4

The Indiana Repertory Theatre begins the New Year with a look back at the impactful and inspiring life of a Civil Rights activist in Fannie: The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer. Written by Cheryl L. West and lifted by music and songs, this story of justice, persistence, history, and faith runs January 9 – February 4 on the OneAmerica Mainstage. 

Part theatre and part gospel revival, the show introduces audiences to Fannie Lou Hamer during an election year. She guides them through her journey from humble roots as the daughter of Mississippi sharecroppers to a leader in the struggle for voting rights at a time when Civil Rights were far from secure. Fannie shares the still timely message of the need for equality and the power of the vote. 

“Fannie is one of the many unsung heroes who found her purpose and persevered through unspeakable hardship. She saw everything she had as gifts to be shared, and her legacy continues to inspire us,” Margot Lacy Eccles Artistic Director Benjamin Hanna said. “I think we need to hear Fannie’s song the most in these moments when we are challenged to raise our voices.”  

Selected by playwright Cheryl L. West, Henry D. Godinez is directing the production. He most recently directed Fannie at the Goodman Theatre, where he is the Resident Artistic Associate. 

“My hope is that folks leave this production of Fannie with an appreciation for how remarkable Fannie Lou Hamer was, and a realization that each and every one of us has a voice and the right to use that voice by voting,” Director Henry D. Godinez said. “Like Fannie, we must never lose our faith in the principles of democracy that this nation stands for, even in the face of intimidation, lies, and fear.”  

Joining Godinez will be a talented creative team from across the country made up of skilled designers and musicians. Maiesha McQueen will be playing the role of Fannie, bringing her award-winning acting and Broadway musical skills to the stage in her IRT debut. Accompanying McQueen onstage will be Musical Director Morgan E. Stevenson, guitarist and bassist Spencer Bean, and Indianapolis-based percussionist Dorian Phelps. 

The Theatre will host supplemental programming during the run of the show, including Artist Conversations that provide a behind-the-scenes perspective on the production, Community Conversations, an ASL/AD performance, and the special Opening Night Celebration. 

Tickets are available now for Fannie: The Music and LIfe of Fannie Lou Hamer.


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