If the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X had met for an hour, what would they have discussed? Jeff Stetson, an internationally acclaimed award-winning playwright and screenwriter for film and television, depicts a fictional meeting between the two leaders in a play that has been hailed as “an unforgettable evening of drama” by The New York Post and “eloquent and engaging” by The Chicago Tribune. Carlsbad Playreaders will present a staged reading of the play on Monday, Feb. 25 at 7:30 p.m.
The Meeting, which has been produced in all fifty states and several countries and aired on American Playhouse on PBS where it received an Emmy, garnered eight N.A.A.C.P. Theater Image awards for playwright Stetson. The Carlsbad Playreaders production of The Meeting will be directed by Melissa Coleman-Reed and feature Keith Jefferson, Warner Miller and Bryan Barbarin.
Coleman-Reed shared what attracted her to the play. “As a young Black woman living in this country I am reminded everyday, in some way, how lucky I am that there are people in our history, my history, who were willing to truly take a stand, in spite of horrific opposition. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X paid the ultimate price by having their lives taken from them during the Civil Rights movement. And in spite of the fear of what might physically happen to them, they pushed forward.”
The daughter of a mother and father raised in the segregated south, Coleman-Reed recalled hearing horrible stores of things that happen to them or family members because of ignorance and hatred. “The Meeting speaks on love and willingness. Loving yourself and your fellow human beings enough to stand side by side and being willing to make good change happen.”
The play reading will take place at Carlsbad City Library’s Ruby G. Schulman Auditorium, located at 1775 Dove Lane. Donations are taken at the door; there are no advance reservations. Suggested donations are $5 for adults and $1 for students. For more information, visit carlsbadplayreaders.org.