The Parchman Hour At The Guthrie
‘We were immortal’: Another era when black lives mattered gives birth to Guthrie’s ‘Parchman Hour’
The Guthrie’s “Parchman Hour” hopes to inspire a new generation with songs and tales of civil rights.
By Rohan Preston Star Tribune | OCTOBER 6, 2016 – 3:58PM
RENEE JONES SCHNEIDER, STAR TRIBUNE
The cast of the The Parchman Hour performed during a technical rehearsal at the Guthrie Theater.
When she attends Friday’s opening night of “The Parchman Hour” at the Guthrie Theater, Claire O’Connor of Minneapolis is likely to feel a special connection to the characters onstage.
The docudrama, by Mike Wiley, tells a story she actually lived.
In June 1961, O’Connor, then a freshman at the University of Minnesota, journeyed South as one of the Freedom Riders who were challenging segregation on interstate buses.
The movement was met by violence, as white mobs burned a bus and assaulted passengers. Many of the activists, black and white, were thrown in jail, including O’Connor, whose bus was halted in Jackson, Miss.
“It was scary, but we had courage,” said O’Connor, 74. “We were young. We were right. And we were immortal. Plus, we had each other.”