Created Equal Film & Arts Series

"The Scottsboro Boys" Theatrical Production

The Phoenix Theatre and Black Theatre Troupe bring the Scottsboro Boys to the Phoenix stage in the Tony nominated musical,
"The Scottsboro Boys."  

In collaboration, the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy (CSRD) is embarking on a powerful series of community engagement programs around "The Scottsboro Boys." To learn more about the "The Scottsboro Boys: Inspiring Community Hope and Understanding" program series, click on the next tab.

For more about the the Scottsboro Boys and the show "The Scottsboro Boys," see below. For tickets, visit Phoenix Theatre.

About the Scottsboro Boys

The Scottsboro Boys were nine African-American teenagers, as young as 13, accused in Alabama of raping two white American women on a train in 1931. The landmark set of legal cases from this incident dealt with racism and the right to a fair trial. The cases included a lynch mob before the suspects had been indicted, a frame-up, all-white juries, rushed trials, and disruptive mobs. It is frequently cited as an example of overall miscarriage of justice in the United States legal system. On November 21, 2013, Alabama's parole board voted to grant posthumous pardons to the three Scottsboro Boys who had not already been pardoned or had their convictions overturned.

About "The Scottsboro Boys" Theatrical Production

"The Scottsboro Boys" musical is based on the book by David Thompson, with music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb. Based on the Scottsboro Boys trial, the musical is one of the last collaborations between Kander and Ebb prior to the latter's death. The musical has the framework of a minstrel show, altered to "create a musical social critique" inviting audience members to look at racial relations with a critical heart. The musical debuted Off-Broadway, then moved to Broadway in 2010 and received twelve Tony Award nominations the following year. 

“Scottsboro Boys:
Inspiring Community Hope and Understanding” 

In collaboration with the theatres, the CSRD is embarking on a powerful series of community engagement programs, including community panels, post-show discussions, and community dialogues in conjunction with "The Scottsboro Boys." The CSRD believes this timely production will provide an opportunity to use musical theater to engage the public in a discourse around themes in the show, many of which are still prevalent in our society today and assist in contextualizing the show to educate and spark social change in our state around these topics.

Community Dialogues (Pre-events)

Through presentation and discussion, the "Scottsboro Boys: An American Tragedy" community dialogues will provide the community with an opportunity to learn about the Scottsboro Boys case, "The Scottsboro Boys" musical theatre production and how this show uses challenging storytelling methods, including components of minstrel style, to tell this often forgotton story.

To learn more about the community dialogues and to register, visit their respective event pages: December 2, 2016 and February 13, 2017.

Post-show Discussions

A post show discussion will follow each performance of "The Scottsboro Boys." Moderators from the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy will lead the audience in dialogue. Our goal is to provide a safe space for all theatre goes to express and process the reactions to the shared experience of dynamic musical theater, as well as provide an opportunity to increase awareness and gain information about the social injustices represented in the show. 

Community Panel Discussions

The community panel discussions will provide an venue for theater-goers and community members to delve deeper into the themes of Scottsboro Boys and engage with community leaders to stimulate positive social change in the community.

"Understanding Minstrel Style"
Saturday, April 8  |  6 p.m.  |  Mainstage Theatre - Phoenix Theatre

Moderated by: Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, Executive Director, ASU Gammage

The collaborative artistic team will join ASU faculty to dissect the unique storytelling style of minstrel and its ability to provide a unique commentary on the historical injustice experienced by the Scottsboro Boys.
More Information

"Arts Inspiring Justice"
Saturday, April 15  |  6 p.m.  |  Mainstage Theatre - Phoenix Theatre

Moderated by: Alberto Reyes-Olivas, Executive Director, Congressman Ed Pastor Center for Politics and Public Service

olicy makers and law enforcement will explore legal policy in the state of Arizona that is relevant to the themes from the show with a focus on deficits in policy, how those issues came to be, and what can be done to create change.
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"Community Action = Community Hope"  
Saturday, April 22  |  6 p.m.  |  Mainstage Theatre - Phoenix Theatre

Moderated by: Kermit Brown, CSRD Affiliate Faculty, Arizona State University

ocial justice organizers, who work towards change in the community, will share opportunities for those inspired by the show and engagement events, to act! This panel will focus on taking action and opportunities to support and get involved in community social change will be presented.
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All panel presentations are FREE - No show ticket required  |  Open to the Public  

Community Panels co-sponsored by AZ Humanities

Scottsboro Boys Banner
Saturday, April 8, 2017 - 6:00pm to Saturday, April 22, 2017 - 6:00pm

Phoenix Theatre
100 E. McDowell Road  |  Phoenix