May 30, 2018
Sheen Center for Thought & Culture
18 Bleeker Street, New York City
Rebel Theatrical Management, LLC

little rock
             Written and Directed by                                                                                                                                    




The Little Rock Nine in 1957 with Daisy Bates, President of NAACP Little Rock Chapter.
Standing left to right,
Jefferson Thomas, Daisy Bates, Carlotta Walls, Terrence Roberts, Melba Patillo,
Ernest Green.
Seated left to right, Gloria Ray, Elizabeth Eckford, Minnijean Brown, Thelma Mothershed
Little Rock is the true story of The Little Rock Nine -- the first blacks to volunteer to integrate Little Rock Central High School, the formerly segregated all-white public school in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1957.

They were average teenagers with above-average grades and varied interests  -- track star, basketball star, jazz impresario, aspiring theater actress, Shakespearean, aspiring attorney, teacher and resident comedian. They wanted access to the best facilities, best books and best teaching instruction that their capitol city offered. They would agree to sacrifice sports, music, drama club and any other extracurricular activities that would lend itself to unnecessary race-mixing, in order to do so.

Their quest might have been otherwise unremarkable and gone unnoticed -- had they not been in the Jim Crow South with a defiant Governor willing to violate federal law (Brown vs Board of Education) to integrate schools.

The staged cast of this real-life drama journeys back to 1957 to unveil those intimate, never-revealed, moments between The Nine and their supporting and opposing real-life cast -- parents, civil rights leaders, mayor, school board, segregationists, bullies, administrators, teachers, community activists, famous athletes and entertainers, prominent local businessmen, television and newspaper reporters, international heads of state.  

Told in memory, Little Rock artfully hurtles between past and present, challenge and triumph, hate and hope. It examines the unintended efforts of nine brave American teenagers forever thrust onto the national stage, unwittingly becoming agents of social change in the process -- igniting the passions of a nation in the early dawn of the Civil Rights Movement, forever changing the face of education in America and giving hope to millions around the world in the generations to follow.

They never planned to be change agents.

They didn't consider themselves heroes.

They just wanted to go to school.


About The Author 

ndra Ramoon Maharaj is an Indo-Caribbean American artist, educator and activist and Artistic Director for Rebel Theatrical Management, LLC. 

Regional directing credits:
TheatreWorks (developmental production-Little Rock), Signature Stage (Sweet Tea), Syracuse Stage (Godspell and Putting It Together with Tony Award recipient Lillias White and Chuck Cooper), Freedom Theatre (Walk Through Time, by Lynn Nottage -world premiere), Actors Theatre of Louisville (Nightswim and Classyass), St. Louis Black Rep (Damn Yankees), Arkansas Repertory Theatre (Dreamgirls, Intimate Apparel, Little Rock, A Raisin in the Sun), Crossroads Theatre (History of the Word, The Colored Museum), Alabama Shakespeare Festival (Sanctified), Prince Musical Theatre (From the Hip), Theatre of the Stars (Dreamgirls the 25th anniversary production starring Tony Award recipient Jennifer Holiday), The Goodman Theatre (The Black Nativity) and Portland Stage Company (Master Harold and the boys). 

New York City directing credits: the Public Theatre (365 Days, Memphis Minnie workshop), Classical Theatre of Harlem (Marat Sade), Lark Play Development Center (Man Measures Man, Breathe), New Federal Theatre (Diss Diss and Diss Dat), Rebel Theatre (Ghosts, world premiere adaptation), Making Books Sing (Band of Angels, Shelter in my Car, Chachajis Cup), Amas Musical Theatre (Bubbling Brown Sugar, Damn Yankees, Mamma I Want to Sing, Magpie) and HERE (The Little Playhouse).  He has held artistic residencies with The Public Theatre, Freedom Theatre, Alliance Theatre, Kennedy Center, Crossroads Theatre, Lark Play Development Center, Arkansas Repertory Theatre, and Amas Musical Theatre.

Commissioned work: Diss Diss and Dis Dat, a new hip hop musical inspired by the music of the Funkie Natives (Woodie King Jr.’s New Federal Theater); Grey and Twenty-Five (Ensemble Studio Theater NYC); BlackfootNotes (Sloan Grant/Ensemble Studio Theater NYC); Little Rock/Legacy Project (Arkansas Repertory Theater/TCG/NEA New Generations); Children of the Dream (Alliance Theater, ATL); Ruby, inspired by the life and legacy of Ruby Bridges (Making Books Sing).  Co. Written and Co. Conceived work: History of the Word, a new spoken word play with music; Exposures, an urban spoken word choreopoem.  Adapted work: Ghosts by Ibsen “Jamaican adaptation” (Rebel Theater Co.); Abortion by O’Neill “Mississippi Night” (Rasa Theater Co. & Sign of the Times); Black Nativity by Langston Hughes “Darfur Nativity” (Goodman Theater & Congo Square); the poem Willie by Maya Angelou “Spook” (Rebel Theater Co.); Daisy inspired by the life and legacy of the indomitable Daisy Lee Bates.

Maharaj is the founder and the artistic advisor of River Voices, an African American Latino playwrighting festival in collaboration with Arkansas Repertory Theatre.  He is also an artistic consultant for the Arkansas Repertory Theater. Maharaj is the former Associate Artistic Director of Syracuse Stage and the Lark Play Development Center and also serves on the advisory board for Making Books Sing. Maharaj holds a BS from St. John's University and an MFA from Brooklyn College.  He has served as a guest faculty member at both Syracuse School of Drama and Carnegie Mellon School of Drama. He has been a master lecturer at the Actors Studio Drama School, Lawrenceville School and Pace University. Maharaj is an alumnus of Lincoln Center Directors Lab and TCG Young Leaders of Color in the American Theater.

Maharaj is the recipient of several grants, fellowship and awards including National Endowment for the Arts/Theatre Communications Group Career Development Program for Directors, TCG New Generations Grant in partnership with the Arkansas Repertory Theatre, the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Nathan Cummings Foundation, Brooklyn Arts Council grant, Puffin Foundation, Time Warner Diverse Voices Fund, and the Van Lier Directing Fellowship and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Observership.

Maharaj is the recipient of the Woodie King Jr. Award for Outstanding Direction and four Vivian Robinson AUDELCO awards for his direction and choreography. He served as the honorary Co. Chair for the 37th annual AUDELCO Awards, was a finalist for the 2010 Zelda Fichandler Award presented by Stage Directors and Choreographers Society for his work with Arkansas Repertory Theater and a participant in the 2011-2012 SDCF Emerging Artists Symposium. Rajendra was nominated for the 2009 S.A.L.T. Award for Director of the Year by the Syracuse theatrical community. He has served as a panelist for the NEA TCG, National Alliance for Musical Theatre, MAP Fund funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, New York City August Wilson Monologue Competition, McKnight Fellowship, Judge for the Princess Grace Award in Playwrighting and Clinton School of Public Service.

Maharaj was the Assistant to the Director on the Tony Award–winning Broadway revival A Raisin in the Sun and is a former director in training for the Emmy Award winning directing team at ABC's All My Children. He has been featured in American Theatre Magazine, Yale Review, New York Times, The Star Ledger, The NAACP Crisis News, Chicago Sun Times, Ebony, Arkansas Times, Uptown Magazine and has been featured on the Hot List as a New York Theater Artist to Watch, Amsterdam News and Variety for his work in the American theatre.

Rajendra is a proud member of the NAACP and Knights of Columbus. He is a volunteer at the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Men’s Homeless Shelter.

About Rebel Theatrical Management, LLC 
Rebel Theatrical Management, LLC is a New York City commercial theater production company specializing in productions that combust art and history -- transforming the stage into a lightning-rod for social change.

Harvey Butler, Lead Producer, is an independent commercial theater producer. He attended the Commercial Theater Institute (CTI) 14wk program, earning a certificate in 2010 and holds an MBA in Finance from the University of Rochester's Simon School of Business. He is a Trustee for McCarter Theatre in Princeton, NJ.

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