Glenn Hering, director of Chesterton’s 4th Street Theater’s “Parade,” thinks the racially themed drama set in the early 1900s is, unfortunately, relevant today.
"We've got the Ku Klux Klan rallies starting up again and there was the Confederate War controversy, and Black Lives Matter and there was a rash of synagogue desecrations," he said. "I thought 'This isn't just historically interesting. These things are still going on 100 years later.' It's a great vehicle for pointing out that we need to find our common ground these days and not our differences these days."
Opening May 25 and running through June 10, “Parade” is based on the true story of Leo Frank, a factory manager in Atlanta, who is accused of the rape and murder of a 13-year-old in Georgia in 1913. The trial and its fateful aftermath was covered nationally and stirred up political and anti-Semitic tensions in Georgia.
Adapted by Jason Robert Brown, whose credits include acclaimed stage productions such as “The Last Five Years” and “The Bridges of Madison County,” “Parade” made its Broadway debut in 1998. Featuring songs such as “How Can I Call This Home?” “Factory Girls” and “”All the Wasted Time,” “Parade” was nominated for nine Tony Awards and won for Best Original Score and Best Book of a Musical.
"The music is gorgeous," Hering said of 'Parade.' "It's got beautiful music, beautifully drawn characters, and it's such a riveting story
Tyler Mills plays Frank and leads a cast of nearly two dozen thesps in 4th Street’s “Parade.” The cast includes Kelly Bourget as Frank’s wife, Lucile, Matthew Byerly as Georgia State Prosecutor Hugh Dorsey, Brian Brophy as Georgia Governor John Slaton and Kelly Collins as Mary Phagan, a young employee at Frank’s factory.
"We've got a wonderful cast," Hering said. "I was really, really pleased about how it all shook out (at tryouts), and what wonderful singers we have."
Next up for 4th Street Theater is the fifth annual “6X10 Play Festival,” which will run in August.