SAN ANTONIO – A powerful musical set in the Civil Rights era is playing at the Public Theater of San Antonio.
“Nina Simone: Four Women” is a story of activism and racism told through music and songs written by the legendary jazz singer. The musical gives a small glimpse into a key moment in the Civil Rights movement.
“Expect to see a piece of history, a re-imagining and a telling of what happened to the 16th Street Baptist Church during the bombing back in 1963 as seen through the eyes of Nina Simone,” said Danielle King, an actress who plays Sarah.
Simone wrote a series of iconic protest songs after the white supremacist bombing killed four young girls in Birmingham, Alabama. The play features her music and gives a voice to a group of Black women from multiple generations.
“It’s a dialog between four women of different kind of identities, which is something different than what we see normally,” said Rebekah Williams, an actress who plays Sweet Thing. “This is a really good piece to show people just the power of their words, the power of what one person can do. And using Nina Simone as an example for that.”
The play is also a journey that leads these four women through a transformation as they try to heal their community.
“The premise of the story took place back in 1963. So many of those issues are still at the forefront of what we’re what’s happening with us today,” King said. “To go back and make sure you remember how those stories are still relevant and pertinent now. Don’t forget history. It’s so important that we learn it and share it with our future generations.”
“We think of the Civil Rights movement as something that’s so far away when most of those people are the same age as our moms,” Williams said. “It’s not far removed and it’s very important that that we respect the fact that people who still live today endured those things and are still waiting for change
“Nina Simone: Four Women” features an all female cast, band and production crew. It runs through Feb. 12 at the Russell Hill Rogers Theater. Click here for more information and tickets.