Original songs by Ifa Bayeza.
The Ballad of Emmett Till dramatizes the final days of Emmett Till, a Chicago teenager who takes a fateful trip to Mississippi in the summer of 1955. It is the story of a quest, Emmett’s pursuit of happiness, of liberty and ultimately of life.
“A familiar story, made riveting...triumphant. Bayeza’s fluidly spun, character-rich world premiere…is infused with such beautiful language, such a fine ear for the very individual voices of her characters, such a rich and detailed sense of the nature of the racial divide in the North and South of the time, and a biblical feel for the whole notion of resurrection that the story remains riveting ...exceptionally powerful.”
—Chicago Sun Times
“Bayeza’s portrayal reclaims Emmett Till as a human being...emotionally gripping.”
“A brilliant symphony of love...a powerful masterpiece! Bayeza’s writing is colorful, melodic, rich, passionate...the most important play of the season.”
“I see blues and jazz. It’s laughter and sorrow. I hear the music. It could be a poem by itself.”