Dr. King Depicted in Theatre

From 1776 to Evita to Hamilton, historical figures have inspired many theatrical works over the years. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is no exception. In addition to many depictions on television and film, play wrights and composers have attempted to give us additional insight into this influential leader. The following list of stage works featuring Dr. King is not at all comprehensive, so please comment on the post if you have additional titles to add!

The Mountaintop
This fictional play imagines the final night of Dr. King’s life. It premiered in London in 2009 and opened on Broadway in 2011 starring Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett. The Omaha Community Playhouse production goes on sale March 27and will run May 4-27, 2018.

I Dream
This “rhythm and blues opera” by librettist, lyricist and composer Douglas Tappin premiered at the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta, Georgia in 2010. A full concept recording is available on iTunes and Spotify.

I Have a Dream
This production originated on Broadway in 1976 and starred Billy Dee Williams as Dr. King. Subsequent iterations have expanded the inclusion of music.

Selma: A Musical Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Originally written in 1978 by Tommy Butler, this show’s complete cast recording is also available on iTunes and Spotify. One of the show’s tracks, “Prison Song” was recently sampled by rapper Future in his 2017 song “Mask Off.”

Skin Deep: The story of Martin Luther King

This 30 minute play was originally produced in 1985 by a church in Ontario. The simple script is approachable for school groups and organizations who aren’t looking for a lengthy, full-scale production. 

Cast of James and the Giant Peach


James - Maddie Smith
Spiker - Jodi Vaccaro
Sponge - Sara Mattix
Spider - Samantha Zarders
Grasshopper - Kyle Avery
Ladybug - Sarah Ebke
Earthworm - Zhomontee Watson
Centipede - Steve Krambeck
Ladahlord - Aaron Mann
Ensemble: Tyson Bentley, Carmen Butler, Lillian Cohen, Justin Eller, Brandon Fisher, Aubrey Fleming, Cody Girouex, Jamie Gould, Eliot Gray, Mark Haufle, Ryan Laughlin, April Neidig, Tayler Lempke Plank, Isabelle Rangel, Aidan Schmidtke, Joshua Shapiro, Isabella Smith, Cleo Washington


Kimberly Faith Hickman - Director
Steve Priesman - Stage Manager
Chris Ebke - Music Director
Jennifer Novak Haar - Music Rehearsal Assistant
Nicole Mason Lazenby - Choreographer
Darin Kuehler - Properties
Greg Scheer - Production Coordinator
Tim Burkhart - Resident Sound Designer
Chris Wood - Lighting Designer
Amanda Fehlner - Costume Designer
Anha Packard - Scene Designer

Cast of Parade


Mary Phagan - Chloe Irwin
Lucille Frank - Megan Kelly
Mrs. Phagan - Melissa King
Hugh Dorsey - Michael Markey
John Slaton - Mike Palmreuter
Jim Conley - Jonathan Smith
Leo Frank - James Verderamo
Newt Lee - L James Wright
Riley - Brendan Brown
Minnie - Breanna Carodine
Essie - Brooke Fencl
Brit Craig - Adam Hogston
Judge Roan - Nelson Lampe
Frankie Epps - Grant Mannschreck
Sally Slaton - Rebecca Noble
Ivey - Joshua Lloyd Parker
Tom Watson - Brian Priesman
Mr. Turner - Tony Schneider
Luther Rosser - Christopher Scott
Lizzie Phagan - Jill Solano
Iola - Grace Titus
Starnes - Scott Vandentop
Monteen - Catherine Vazquez
Mr. Peavey - Randy Wallace


Jeff Horger - Director
Suzanne Withem - Assistant Director
Stephanie Shattuck - Stage Manager
Jim Othuse - Scenic and Lighting Designer
Jim Boggess - Music Director
Lindsay Pape - Costume Designer