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New Stage Theatre’s “Anne & Emmett” Coming to USM Feb. 27

Wed, 02/07/2024 - 01:47pm | By: David Tisdale

New Stage Theater

New Stage Theatre in Jackson, Miss. will bring its production of “Anne & Emmett” to the Joe Paul Theater on the Hattiesburg campus of The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) Tuesday, Feb. 27 at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free, and members of the campus and Pine Belt communities are invited.

Hosted by USM’s Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in recognition of Black History Month, “Anne & Emmett” will be preceded by a reception at 5:30 p.m. in the Thad Cochran Center, room 218A, and the second-floor pre-function area.

Anne & Emmett depicts a conversation from beyond the grave between two historical figures, Anne Frank and Emmett Till, about their tragic life experiences. It is a history lesson about the importance of tolerance, compassion, and justice, to be acted out on stage, acted on in life. The play brings the two slain teenagers together in a recounting of the cruelty and racial hatred that led to their inhumane deaths in a Nazi concentration camp and the racially segregated Mississippi of 1955, respectively. Through an imaginary conversation between two iconic figures of civil rights history, Anne & Emmett examines the innocence of children thrust into the most horrific of circumstances.

Though worlds away from each other, both Anne Frank and Emmett Till were just 14 years old when they fell victim to hate and intolerance; both speak as teenagers do in this production. Although isolated from the violence of their lives in the place called Memory, both discuss the injustices they faced and the actions that lead to their horrible ends, recognizing the similarities between them. The late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg once said, “Anne & Emmett should be seen in every school in America.”

“We look forward to and welcome New Stage Theatre’s highly regarded presentation of the stories of Anne Frank and Emmett Till,” said USM Senior Associate Provost for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Dr. Eddie Holloway. “Though it recounts two tragic moments in human history, it also allows us an opportunity to consider our own actions in the quest of a more just and equitable society.”

New Stage Theatre was chartered as a nonprofit organization in 1965 and produced its initial season in the winter and spring of 1966. Founded by Jane Reid Petty and seven other charter board members, with the assistance of the American National Theatre Academy and Actors’ Equity Association, the theatre has been dedicated to professional excellence in the dramatic arts since its inception. Programs of New Stage are made possible in part by a grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission, a state agency. Learn more about New Stage Theatre.