The Nine Who Dared: Courage At Little Rock

Director:  Jeffrey Bleam who is the head of the St. Cloud State University Theatre program.  He has directed past GREAT productions of To Kill A Mockingbird and Diary of Anne Frank. 

Nine Who Dared is a unique opportunity to deeply engage with one of the most significant chapters in our country’s history of race relations – the 1957 integration of Little Rock Central High School.  Actors will also have the exciting challenge of playing multiple roles; often switching from one to another in an instant. The rehearsal process will involve advanced training techniques meant to broaden the actors’ range of physical and vocal choices which are necessary for portraying distinctly different characters.  The process will also involve research, “character studies”, and an exploration of a broad range of sources meant to help the actors fully embody the culture and mindset of 1950s America.

We will be casting an ensemble of 4 or 5 women and 3 or 4 men (including one African-American female and one African-American male) to play the entire community of 1957 Little Rock, Arkansas (and beyond). The actual age of an ensemble member is not as important as their ability to portray a variety of ages ranging from teen to middle-aged. 

In addition, we are looking for two young African-American actors to play the roles of Melba Beals and Ernest Green, two students at Little Rock Central High School. These actors will not play multiple roles but will retain these characters throughout, serving as a through-line in the production. As characters, Melba and Ernest are strong and committed; yet, at other times, scared and unsure. 

Rehearsal Schedule:

Rehearsals will typically be held Monday through Thursday from 6:00-8:30 and Saturdays from 10:00-3:00.