KUAR’s Malcolm Glover Becomes Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In New Play

Aug 20, 2012

Malcolm Glover, a reporter and KUAR's local host during Morning Edition, joins a group of actors in The Weekend Theater's production of Southern Cross. Glover takes on the role of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the epic play that provides a fascinating look at Southern history and culture from the Civil War to the Civil Rights era. This is Glover's second time performing with the Little Rock-based theater troupe. In October 2011, Glover starred in the musical Pippin as the Leading Player.

Malcolm Glover as Dr. King in the Weekend Theater's production of Southern Cross.

"In a short period of time, these talented thespians have learned their lines and we are all finding ways to breathe new life into historic figures and fictional characters," said Glover. "Dr. King is a global icon whose distinct voice and heroic actions are publicly known and well documented. In every performance I try to honor the cadence of King’s oratory. I know there is no way I can imitate MLK, but while on stage I try my best to embody the spirit of his thoughts, words, and actions.”

Throughout Southern Cross, playwright Jon Klein weaves an intricate storyline filled with diverse tales of familiar political, pop culture, and military figures; distraught white landowners in the South; runaway slaves in search of freedom; and brave martyrs to the cause of social justice.

Director Frank Butler says the play consists of several familiar stories including Union Army General William Tecumseh Sherman's “March to the Sea” military campaign, Louisiana Governor and U.S. Senator Huey Long's rise and fall, Martin Luther King's struggles in Selma, and the exploitation of Elvis Presley.

Southern Cross embodies the saying that the more things change, the more they stay the same,” said Butler. “Huey P. Long’s Share the Wealth movement in the early 1930s is mirrored today in the Occupy Wall Street movement. The killing of 14-year-old Emmitt Till in 1955 is being compared to the Trayvon Martin shooting. Sherman’s idea of ‘total warfare’ during his March to the Sea in 1864 can be seen today in places like Afghanistan. The influence of the Civil Rights Movement is evident in other countries and the exploitation of Elvis Presley is a cautionary tale that Hollywood has yet to learn.”

Butler admits he hopes audiences experience the ways history can repeat itself. He says the play is a great story told by an amazingly talented cast who help viewers understand that we must learn from the past, or be doomed to repeat it.

Southern Cross will end its run at the Weekend Theater on Friday, August 24th and Saturday, August 25th. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Click here for more information.