Cast List and Production Notes

“Words That Made the Difference” at Dunphy Park, Sausalito, June 12, 2022

CAST

Narrator 1                                       Rebecca Pingree

Narrator 2                                       Elizabeth Jones

Court Reporter                               Bill Cosden

The Judges

Chief Justice Earl Warren            Gene Kahane

Judge Walter Huxman                  Kevin Berndt  

Judge Arthur Mellot                      Tom Theodores

Judge Delmas Hill                          Ray Withy

NAACP Attorneys

Thurgood Marshall                       Amos White

Robert Carter                                Dedrick Weathersby                                 

John Scott                                      Gary J Moore

Charles Bledsoe                             Jeffrey Moon

Jack Greenberg                              Paul Bisesi

Board of Education Defense Attorney

Lester Goodell                               Brian Brown

Plaintiffs                              

Oliver Brown                                  Tory Williams

Alma Jean Galloway                      Gloria Cunha

Lena Mae Carper                          Bonni Maxwell          

Katherine Carper                         Adora Bailey

Silas Fleming                                 Tory Williams

Witnesses 

Darlene Watson                              Jennifer Orlick                 

Hugh Speer                                     Russ Whismore

Wilbur Brookover                          Alan Coyne

Louisa Holt                                      Jennifer Orlick

John Kane                                        Bill Brobeck

PRODUCTION

Playwright/Director                     Cindy Acker

Words Research Assistant            Sarah McArthur LeValley

Assistant to Director                     Nyah Edington

SONG ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

“How Was I to Know” (instrumental) written and performed by Suzanne Cimone (Shazam)

“Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory” 

Thanks to DEM for donating the use of their arrangement and performance of the song, Hold On.

PRODUCTION ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Continued thanks to Debra Warren for sharing her grandfather’s memoirs. 

Special thanks to Abbot Chambers, Bryan Vitale for their support, and to the cities of Sausalito and Marin City for their commitment to speak truth to cultural history via the arts. 

Material for the play (based on historical truth and drawn from)

Words That Made the Difference is excerpted from the five cases that were compiled into the landmark case, known as Brown vs. Board of Education. As the transcripts were voluminous, it was impossible to include everything. The play was created by pouring through the transcripts, looking at the sections that could be used without changing the words, and building them around the characters whose testimonies were most meaningful. A critical piece what was omitted was the Doll Case, which was a major basis for understanding how inferiority and discrimination can have lifelong effects on individuals. It was critical to pass Brown v Board – the uncertainty of the effect of what even the portrayal of that scene might do to a young actor, caused it to be left out. 

The three judges represented the three person judges in the five cases. Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren and Thurgood Marshall serve as bookends in the history of Brown – their words, as with the transcripts were unchanged. However, Carter’s closing arguments, compelling after the Doll Case testimony were used and juxtaposed against the landmark decision of Earl Warren. The material used is as follows:

Transcript of original trial of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, June 25, 1951 

OLIVER BROWN, MRS. RICHARD LAWTON, MRS. SADIE EMMANUEL, ET AL APPELLANTS, vs. BOARD OF EDUCATION OF TOPEKA, SHAWNEE. CTY, KANSAS, ET AL IN UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF KANSAS 

Three judge panel.

Denied: Although nine findings indicate that the law as it stood, was harmful to the education of Topeka’s Black children, Judge Huxman upholds the Topeka Board’s policy based on Plessy

Appeal FROM THE US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF KANSAS

APPEAL SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES   dated Filed Nov 1951

Brown vs. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954) (USSC+)

Argued December 9, 1952

Re-argued December, 1952

Transcript of Thurgood Marshall’s re-argument for the plaintiffs in Briggs v. Elliott

Reargued December 8, 1953

Thurgood Marshall’s argument for the plaintiffs of the collective cases of Brown v. Board of Education before the Supreme Court, December 1953

Decided May 17, 1954

Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren’s final opinion in the collective cases of Brown v Board of Education overturning Plessy v. Ferguson and ending segregation, May 17, 1954

This play is dedicated to the memory of my parents, Darline Stella Bell Maxwell, and Washington Maxwell, who were born in 1930 in Topeka and Kansas City, Kansas, respectively, and for whom ‘Brown’ was a victory, because it set a precedent for other civil rights. Thank you, for holding the world for me – as one without limits. 

The play is dedicated to those allies for equity, equality and fairness – the witnesses and plaintiffs, who courageously faced opposition from others, and the Supreme Court Justices, who provided a model of leading with integrity and justice for all.         

-Dr Cindy Acker, Ed.D.                      

                                                                                                  

Support Us To Bring This Play To Florida and Kansas

The Montessori Foundation is sponsoring Words That Make The Difference in Florida on the anniversary of the election of the first Black president and the first Black congresswoman. Support us via monetary donation to the Montessori Foundation for the Social Justice Fund, or let us know that you can provide frequent flyer miles to send our cast and crew. 

Rhythmix Production Cast February 26, 2022

Words That Made the Difference: Brown vs the Board of Education

Cast

Soloist                                            Terrance Smith

Narrator 1                                       Brionna Acker Robinson

Narrator 2                                       Emily Newsome

Court Recorder/Clerk                   Carrie Brobeck

The Judges

Chief Justice Earl Warren            Gene Kahane

Judge Walter Huxman                  Kevin Berndt  

Judge Arthur Mellot                     Robert Paine

Judge Delmas Hill                         (coming soon)

NAACP Attorneys

Thurgood Marshall                       Amos White

Robert Carter                                Dedrick Weathersby

John Scott                                      Gary J Moore

Charles Bledsoe                             Jeffrey Moon

Jack Greenberg                              Paul Bisesi

Board of Education Attorney

Lester Goodell                               Brian Brown

Plaintiffs                              

Oliver Brown                                 Tory Williams

Alma Jean Galloway                      Brionna Robinson           

Lena Mae Carper                          Bonnie Maxwell          

Katherine Carper                          Adora Bailey

Silas Fleming                                  Tory Williams

Witnesses 

Darlene Watson                             Jennifer Orlick                 

Hugh Speer                                    Russ Whismore

Wilbur Brookover                          Alan Coyne

Louisa Holt                                     Jennifer Orlick

John Kane/Bailiff                          Bill Brobeck

PRODUCTION

Playwright/Director                    Cindy Acker

Historic Researcher                      Sarah McArthur LeValley

Sound Design                                 Steve Shlisky

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Zoom Production Cast June, 2021
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