COLUMBIA — Smithton Middle School students won't be wearing costumes when they take the stage this weekend. Instead, they will be wearing T-shirts featuring the face of Martin Luther King Jr.
Thirty sixth- and seventh-grade students will present "We Are the Dream," a performance that will incorporate acting, singing and photographs. Amy Drtina, the director, said the performance is more of a theatrical presentation than a play or musical. Students speak to the audience and recall the history of the Civil Rights Movement instead of acting out a separate world on stage.
What: Smithton Middle School "We Are the Dream" performance
When: 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: Smithton Middle School, 3600 W. Worley St.
Drtina decided the performance would be relevant given the events that have transpired in the past few months. This year coincides with the 80th birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. In addition, Barack Obama accepted the Democratic National Committee's nomination for president in August on the 45th anniversary of King's "I Have a Dream" speech.
As students see history happening this year, Drtina said she also wanted to help them understand it.
"A lot of them don't realize how it was back then," she said.
The "We Are the Dream" presentation will include performances by a small choir; students will also perform re-enactments of King, Rosa Parks, lunch counter sit-ins, racial segregation and acts of injustice during the Civil Rights Movement. Photographs from the time period will be projected behind students as they perform.