Readers

WHO ARE THE READERS?

Those who stepped forward to read “Greensboro: A Requiem,” by Emily Mann, are a diverse, multiracial group of volunteers. They include massacre survivors, their children and their friends; former WVO/CWP members; social justice and community activists;  students and faculty from Greensboro’s colleges and universities; local ministers and faith leaders; residents of Greensboro and other North Carolina cities; people from South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and California, and a few professionals with experience acting in or directing “Greensboro: A Requiem.”

*Character                           Reader

Marty Nathan                        Susanna Rinehart is an actor, director, and professor of Theatre at Virginia Tech School of Performing Arts, in Blacksburg, VA, committed to theatre as social change. She is former resident of Chapel Hill (from 1981-1999), former member of the CWP, and deeply grateful and privileged to have been a friend of many of the survivors, their fellow organizers, and their children — learning through their wisdom, passion, and example what it means to be in the struggle. She remembers vividly sitting in Emily Mann’s early interviews for this play.

Matthews, a Klansman          John Blom is a retired longshoreman and President of International Longshoremen’s Association Local 333. He is the son of two holocaust survivors. John grew up in the Bronx and has been politically active since high school. He is married and has three children and six grandchildren.

Klansman                                Greensboro native Matt Amick graduated from UNC-G in 2010. He is the owner of Ready Made Productions and does Photography and Videography.

Eddie Dawson in Act 1            John R. Kernodle is a lifelong Greensboro resident. A practicing Zen Buddhist, John  is currently continuing to develop ideas of multi-faith advocacy and secular movement chaplaincy that he worked on while a divinity student at Wake Forest. “Growing up in Greensboro,” he says, “the Massacre and its aftermath loomed large, not least because of my father’s role in providing meeting space for the survivors and their legal team.”

Eddie Dawson in Act 2             Robert (Bob) Foxworth performs professionally as Mark Twain, when he is not busy performing an array of community services. He is a Deacon at Faith Community Church, volunteer at the Beloved Community Center, and supporter of the Poor People’s Campaign. Forewarned not to marry a November Third widow, he did so anyway and is the husband of Signe Waller.

Nelson Johnson                         Miller Lucky Jr. is a senior Associate Professor of Theatre and Coordinator of BFA Performance Majors at North Carolina A&T State University.  Highly decorated for his stage directing and university teaching, he won the prestigious Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival’s “National Outstanding Teaching-Artist and Director” awards. Lucky’s stage direction of Samuel Hay’s play, David Richmond, earned North Carolina A&T Theatre its’ second Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) national title.

Ronnie                                     “My name is Frankie Denise Powell, Ph. D., aka, Chekesha.  I am a member of the Community of Survivors.  I am a university professor and an ordained elder at Dellabrook Presbyterian Church in Winston-Salem, NC.” “There will be a morning song… there will be a future.” ~  Iyamidé Hazeley

David Duke                               James V. Carmichael, Jr. is a retired Professor of Library and Information Studies, School of Education, the University of North Carolina. He says, “When I moved to Chapel Hill, NC, in 1982, my first trip out of town was to Woolworths in Greensboro. The late Dr. Kathleen Casey, deacon at Faith Community Church, and I were hired at UNCG at the same time, and through her I became engaged in social justice research.”

Floris Weston                           Still in the struggle, Ms. Brenda Hines lives in Burlington, NC, and is a community activist working the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. She recalls meeting Sandi Smith and attending an event where Bill Sampson played his guitar and sang.

Interviewer                               Hollyce (Sherry) Giles is a Professor and Chair of Justice and Policy Studies at Guilford College. She is a Board Member of the Beloved Community Center.

Rose                                            Rev. Lisa Caldwell is Pastor of St. Phillip AME Zion Church in Greensboro, Former President and current member of The Pulpit Forum and a member of Pastors of the Piedmont. She was a student at NCATSU during the massacre.   

White Minister                          Alex Goldstein is a massacre survivor who was eleven when he went to an anti-Klan rally with his mother, Signe Waller, and stepfather, Dr. Jim Waller. A former social worker, Alex has an MSW from UNC-G and A&T. He says, “I think everything boils down to all of us being able to meet our needs and live our lives authentically. I appreciate critical thinking, creativity, learning, healing and true restorative justice.”

Virgil Griffin                               Marcus Hyde arrived in Greensboro from Denver, Colorado, a few years ago, a gift to our activist community here. He is an organizer, a member of Faith Community Church, and a Founder of the Homeless Union of Greensboro.

Paul Bermanzohn                        Critically wounded on Nov. 3, 1979, Paul Bermanzohn, lives in the Hudson River Valley in New York. He is the son of two holocaust survivors. “I survived a bullet wound to my head,” he says. “I’m a retired psychiatrist. However, since every group still needs its own psychiatrist, I’m still called to practice in various ways.”  

Sally Bermanzohn                         Massacre survivor Sally Bermanzohn is Professor emerita, at Brooklyn College CUNY. She is active at a community farm and African Roots Library in the Hudson River Valley. Author of “Through Survivors’ Eyes: From the Sixties to the Greensboro Massacre,” she now writes historical fiction books.

Signe Waller                                  Alaine Duncan of Hyattsville, MD, is an acupuncturist specializing in restoring balance and regulation in trauma survivors. She is a member of Adelphi Friends (Quaker) Meeting and author of “The Tao of Trauma: A Practitioner’s Guide for Integrating Five Element Theory and Trauma Treatment.” She chairs the National Capitol Area Acupuncturists Without Borders chapter and offers free treatment to refugees and immigrants. The Greensboro Massacre has been pivotal in her character development and continues to inform her journey to help make our families, communities and world safer and more supportive for children to grow up in.

Roland Wayne Wood                      César Alvarez  is a New York-based composer, lyricist, playwright, and performance maker who has written five full-length musicals, FUTURITY (2016 Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical); The Elementary Spacetime Show; The Universe is a Small Hat (Upcoming: Princeton University); NOISE (a commission of The Public Theater); and The Potluck. César is a 2018-20 Princeton Arts Fellow and a recipient of The Jonathan Larson Award.

Demonstrator, voice 4                     “I am Marilyn Clayton, retired elementary ESL teacher, member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Greensboro, an activist in the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, and a friend of Greensboro Massacre survivors.”

Judge                                                 Professor Jose Zapata Calderon is Emeritus Professor of Sociology and Chicano/a and Latino/a Studies at Pitzer College in Claremont, California. He is the President of the Latino and Latina Roundtable.

Stage Direction Reader                    Paula T. Alekson is McCarter Theatre Center’s Artistic Engagement Manager; she oversees the theatre’s artist, audience, and community engagement initiatives. McCarter Theatre is an award-winning independent, nonprofit regional theatre located in Princeton, New Jersey.

Chapman                                            Robert Duncan was an active member of the Communist Workers Party in the Washington, DC chapter when the murders occurred on Nov. 3, 1979.  Dedicated to the cause the Five were committed to and close personal friends with several of them, he worked hard on the national campaign for justice in this case. Today he expresses his values in building a healthier, safer nation as a scientist for the US Food and Drug administration. 

Young Man (Skinhead)                     Ryan Tardiff;  “I am a non-binary person: they/them. I am a member of Greensboro Revolutionary Socialists and the Homeless Union of Greensboro. I graduated from Guilford College in the Class of 2019.”

Demonstrator, Voice 6                       Dr. Kim Eng Koo is a retired neurosurgeon who lives in Rocky Mount, NC. She says, “My late husband Chip Smith and I were members of the Philadelphia CWP in the 1970s. Our group had wanted to go to Greensboro to be part of the anti-Klan rally in 1979, but never made it. We were devastated to hear about the massacre in the news. We had admired the work of the CWP in NC, and wanted to learn from our NC comrades. After we moved to Rocky Mount, we started the Racial Justice Group in 2015 in response to the killing of nine people at the Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston on June 17, 2015. It has become a coalition of groups involved in racial, social and environmental justice issues in Rocky Mount and the surrounding area.”

Demonstrator, Voice 5                         Professor Mary Louise Frampton is the Director of the Aoki Center for Critical Race and Nation Studies at UC Davis School of Law in Davis, California. She teaches Restorative Justice and is a Researcher of Greensboro Massacre Lawsuits. 

FBI Agent Goldberg                              “My name is Reid Harvey and though I am not native to Greensboro, I am proud to have graduated high school and university here. I consider myself to be a lifelong learner and I am glad that all my children call Greensboro their forever home! ”

Big George                                              Derick K. Smith is a full-time lecturer in the Department of History and Political Science at North Carolina A & T State University. Under his guidance as an advisor to the award-winning A&T Model United Nations Team, Aggie Teams won over 80 awards in 15 years.  “My research interests include constitutionalism and the American Founding as it relates to race, gender, and ethnicity, mass incarceration, political participation and constitutional reform,” he says. “I am frequently asked to lend my expertise to greater community awareness of voting rights, vote suppression and civic engagement on local, state and national levels.” Professor Smith co-chairs a redistricting strategy group of NC-based organizations working for redistricting reform and recently took on the responsibility of Co-Chair for the NC Poor People’s Campaign Political Action Committee. 

Jane                                                          Chapel Hill resident Dr. Claudia Prose knew and respected the five people murdered on November 3, 1979. She still thinks often of the contributions they would have continued making  to a more just society. Their spirit motivates her in her work serving children and families as a Pediatrician in Greensboro.

Lewis Pitts                                                Dan Murray was a high school student in Winston-Salem on November 3, 1979. Subsequently he attended NC State where he studied history, ran track, and fell in love with theatre. He’s made a life of it, and for the last 21 years has taught at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities. In 2010 he directed a wonderful group of young actors in Emily Mann’s “Greensboro: A Requiem,” and providence lead him to meet Signe, Joyce, and Nelson. He’s honored to play a role in this commemoration of heroic souls.

Mordechai Levey                                       Frank Kelleher, a Controller at Eagle Physicians in the Greensboro area, is an active member of the Bahai Faith. He currently is Institute Coordinator for Children’s Educational Programs for the Triad, under the auspices of the Regional Baha’i Council for the Atlantic States and mentors youth in a Baha’i  Spiritual Empowerment Program in High Point. He served on the Greensboro Truth and Community Reconciliation Task Force, is a musician, husband, father of four, and grandfather of five.

Demonstrator, Voice 3                                Jackie Cobb, from Washington, DC, is a Bennett College graduate.  A member of Faith Community Church, she works diligently on renovating and enhancing  the old church building. A leader in promoting conversion to renewable energy, FCC installed solar panels and is now replacing its windows with insulated ones to reduce energy costs. Overseeing this important work is Ms. Cobb, a ready and willing community volunteer.

White Officer                                            The Reverend Randall Keeney is the Vicar of Saint Barnabas Episcopal Church in Greensboro. St. Barnabas is a Mission of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina and a member of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church provides sanctuary for undocumented persons. 

Joyce Johnson                                           The younger daughter of Nelson and Joyce Johnson, Ayodele Samori Johnson was seven years old when she lost her Auntie Sandi in the Greensboro Massacre.  “Ayo” and several other youths ran to safety that day but recall the massacre vividly. Today Ayo serves as a Registered Nurse in the High Point, NC, area.   She enjoys mentoring young people like her Auntie Sandi and taking Tae Kwon Do with her ten year old son, Nelson Josiah Johnson.  

*A few characters in the play read by walk-ins are not listed here.