Fitton Center to hold outdoor performance on back of truck tonight

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The Fitton Center will host a production of “Fannie Lou Hamer, Speak On It!” in partnership with Cincinnati’s Know Theater today at 6:30 p.m. The live performance will be held outdoors in parking lot of the Fitton Center.

“It will be quite literally performed on the back of a truck, with a socially distanced audience in chairs set out front of the Fitton Center’s main entrance. Non-partisan voter registration booths will also be available at the event,” said Ian MacKenzie-Thurley, executive director at the Fitton Center.

Fannie Lou Hamer, the midcentury activist for voting, civil, and women’s rights, will come to life in “Fannie Lou Hamer, Speak On It!” by Cheryl L. West, a traveling production that recreates Hamer’s famous civil-rights rallies.

The production will be performed in parking lots across greater Cincinnati through Sunday, October 4 to share Hamer’s journey from sharecropper to activist, while singing her favorite old-school spirituals and empowering the audience.

“Fannie Lou Hamer, Speak On It!” was commissioned and developed by Goodman Theatre and Seattle Repertory Theatre. It was originally directed by Henry Godinez and features musical arrangements by Felton Offard. The Know Theatre’s production will run concurrently with Goodman Theatre’s, which will tour the Chicago area.

Directed by Derek Snow, locally, the 40-minute show will star Elizabeth Leigh Taylor as Fannie and Nathan Singer as Music Man. Both Taylor and Singer will make their Know Theatre debuts.

In the spirit of Hamer’s activism, the Know Theatre is also partnering with The Greater Cincinnati Voter Collaborative to conduct voter registration drives at every performance.

This is a pay-what-you-can production. Advance tickets are available for various donation levels at knowtheatre.com. In-person donations for walk-up tickets will also be accepted. Pay-what-you-can tickets start at a suggested $5 and up (plus applicable ticketing fees.) For more information, or to purchase a ticket, go to www.knowtheatre.com/fannie/.

Patrons will be asked to wear masks and maintain a distance of at least six feet from those outside of their party.

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