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Chicago Children’s Theatre has announced the cast and creative team for its 13th season finale, the world premiere of “The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963,” a civil rights-era family drama based on the Newberry-winning young adult novel by Christopher Paul Curtis about the 1963 Birmingham church bombing.
Cheryl L. West has adapted the story for the stage, which has been a hot request from Chicago area teachers. The production will also feature original music composed by Paris Ray Dozier. West and Dozier collaborated with CCT on the last year’s hit world premiere “Last Stop on Market Street.”
Chicago director Wardell Julius Clark, who grew up just outside of Birmingham and has personal ties with families affected by the bombing, will make his CCT directing debut. “I am so happy to bring The Watson’s Go to Birmingham – 1963 to CCT. A novel I read as a kid in 6th grade in Birmingham, it is thrilling to be able to bring home to Chicago,” he said. “The story deals with family, love, joy and childhood PTSD when innocence is broken. The reality of the America we continue to live
Clark’s creative team includes Arnel Sancianco, set designer; Sydney Thomas, associate set designer; Jason Lynch, lighting designer; Izumi Inaba, costume designer; Kevin O’Donnell, sound designer;
CCT says “The Watsons Go To Birmingham – 1963” is appropriate for children 9 years old and up, yet sophisticated enough for adults. Weekday school matinees begin March 26. Public performances are March 30-April 28: Saturdays and Sunday at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., with n