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The Ballad of Emmett Till

by Ifa Bayeza
directed by Yolanda Marie Franklin & Claudio Raygoza

San Diego, CA – ion theatre is proud to announce additional performances of the San Diego premiere of The Ballad of Emmett Till by Ifa Bayeza, now running through July 29th at ion’s BLKBOX Theater in Hillcrest. Co-directed by ion company member Yolanda Marie Franklin and Executive Artistic Director, Claudio Raygoza, the production features the ion debuts of Dwaine Collier, Portía Gregory, Anthony Hamm (replacing Rhys Green), Cortez L. Johnson, Tamara McMillian & Grandison Phelps III.

Ms. Bayeza co-authored Some Sing, Some Cry with her sister, renowned playwright, Ntozake Shange (for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf). The Ballad of Emmett Till has had productions at The Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles, Penumbra Theatre Company in St. Paul and a world premiere at The Goodman Theatre in Chicago

Currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Directing degree at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Ms. Bayeza visited San Diego and attended the opening of the production on Saturday, July 8, and hosted a post-show conversation with the audience at the final 8pm preview on Friday, July 7. The late Danah Fayman, who was a faithful patron of ion, provided support to make the production possible. The production team includes Kevin Kornburger (Stage Manager), ion member Mary Summerday (Costumes), Isaac Fowler (Production Coordinator), and Claudio Raygoza (Scenic/Props/Lighting/Movement/Musical Direction).

The now legendary story of Emmett Till is believed by many to be the spark that ignited the modern Civil Rights Movement and remains one of the most pivotal incidents in a monumental era. Till was a 14-year-old Chicago resident who was brutally tortured and murdered for allegedly flirting with a white woman while visiting family in Money, Mississippi. This provocative piece of theater — part history, part ghost story — is a jazz integration of past and present, the living and dead, of factual accounts and creative interpolation. Author Bayeza captures the powerful truths at the heart of this gripping and tragic story, aiming for a soaring work of moving music, potent poetry and rich theatricality.

WhatThe Ballad of Emmett Till by Ifa Bayeza directed by Yolanda Franklin & Claudio Raygoza

When – Extended for 3 performances: Friday July 28 @ 8pm, Saturday July 29th @ 4pm & 8pm.

Where ion’s BLKBOX theater, 3704 6th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92103

Tickets General: $35; Senior (60+): $29; Online: www.iontheatre.com or (619) 600-5020.


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“…takes audiences where local theaters fear to tread…”
   — san diego reader

“…an essential
cultural treasure…”
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just missed


“…takes audiences where local theaters fear to tread…”
   — san diego reader

“…an essential
cultural treasure…”
   — signonsandiego.com