Hi de hi de hi de ho, Jim Crow must go!
Thurgood Marshall — Scene 2

Plan Your Reading: 10 Steps

Follow these ten steps to create a smoothly running, applause-earning dramatic performance:

  1. Decide
  2. Organize
  3. Deputize
  4. Notify
  5. Advertise
  6. Characterize
  7. Realize
  8. Dramatize
  9. Analyze
  10. Appreciatize

1. DECIDE

To get a feel for the play, see excerpts from Now Let Me Fly: Barbara Johns' monologue from Scene 7 and Scene 9 set in Hockessin, Delaware. Decide to host a reading as part of A NATION ACTS. If there's already a reading scheduled in your community, either ask if you can join forces with the group already in action, or feel free to produce your own reading. The more, the merrier!

2. ORGANIZE

When:

During this 50th anniversary year is a great time to join others across the nation in a reading or production of Now Let Me Fly. Of course, Black History Month (February), would be a terrific time to celebrate Brown v. Board. Be sure to include rehearsal time in your schedule.

Where:

You might ask a nearby theatre if they want to co-produce with you. (Theatres have access to actors and spaces large enough to seat a crowd.) Or, consider partnering with a bar association, a civil rights organization such as your local NAACP chapter, educational organization, or another group to plan a public reading. There are two youth versions available for classroom use.

3. DEPUTIZE

4. NOTIFY

Important! Let us know where and when you are holding your reading. Sign up so we can include you in our big tally of A NATION ACTS events, and put you on the map.

5. ADVERTISE

If you opt to hold a classroom reading, you may skip this step.

If yours is a public reading, use our handy downloadable posters, flyers and media releases. Everything you need to get articles in the paper about your reading, or a story on the local TV news or radio is right here on this website under Download Everything You Need.

6. CHARACTERIZE

Of course, if you are doing a full production you will want to spend some time rehearsing.

If you are doing just a reading, why rehearse? Everyone will be more relaxed if they've read the play aloud once together. Besides, you can get any questions of pronunciation or meaning out of the way so you can have a smoother reading. For a reading, a few hours of rehearsal should be plenty.

7. REALIZE

There will be bumps in the road. It's just the way it is. You may have to make a change in the cast or find a new discussion leader at the last minute. It'll be okay. Remember the larger purpose of your event, to celebrate Brown v. Board, and don't let the little things get you down!

8. DRAMATIZE

Enjoy taking on the roles of these people who changed the course of history. Relish the thought that you are part of a nation-wide celebration. As Charles Houston says in the play, "Go on now, FLY!"

9. ANALYZE

Now Let Me Fly is the perfect springboard for discussion on topics such as education or changing race relations. Let everyone "take 5" after the reading, then let the conversation begin! See Discussion Questions.

10. APPRECIATIZE

Okay, we made this word up. But of course, you will join us in giving a little thank you to everyone who was part of your event. You're part of history!