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Hailey Kilgore and More to Star in The Watsons Go to Birmingham — 1963

Tichina Arnold, J. Bernard Calloway, and more will also star in this world-premiere Kennedy Center commission.

Hailey Kilgore will star in the Kennedy Center's world premiere of The Watsons Go to Birmingham — 1963.
(© Janie Willison)

The Kennedy Center has announced the cast for The Watsons Go to Birmingham — 1963, a world-premiere adaptation by Christina Ham of Christopher Paul Curtis's Newbery Medal- and Coretta Scott King Award-winning book, featuring music by the late Darius Smith. The staged concert production will run March 15-24 in the Eisenhower Theater.

Tichina Arnold (Everybody Hates Chris), J. Bernard Calloway (Memphis), Chad Coleman (The Wire), Dante Myles Hoagland (The Last O.G.), Tony Award nominee Hailey Kilgore (Once on This Island), Isabell Monk O'Connor (The Gospel at Colonus), Nova Y. Payton (the Kennedy Center's How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying), and Justin Weaks (the Kennedy Center's Long Way Down) will star. Faye M. Price will direct.

The musical, according to a press release, "tells the tale of the Watson family of Flint, Michigan — Momma, Dad, little sister Joetta, big brother Byron, and ten-year-old Kenny — and their bond and endurance amidst one of the darkest periods in America's history. When Byron can't stay out of trouble, the whole family piles into their 'Brown Bomber' and drives south to visit Grandma Sands for the summer. But along the way, they'll experience a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement."

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