IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT - TOURING 2014-2015


October 24, 2014 Center for Faith and Life - Luther College - Decorah, IA
October 26 - 28, 2014      Phillips Center - University of Florida - Gainesville, FL
October 30, 2014 Sage Center - Hillsdale College - Hillsdale, MI
November 1, 2014 Leighton Concert Hall - DeBartolo Center - University of Notre Dame - Notre Dame, IN
November 4, 2014 Seretean Center Concert Hall - Oklahoma State University - Stillwater, OK
November 5, 2014 Ataloa Theater - East Central University - Ada, OK
November 8, 2014 Hall Auditorium - Miami University - Oxford, OH
November 11, 2014 Farthing Auditorium - Appalachian State University - Boone, NC
November 13 -14, 2014       Library Theatre - Hoover, AL
November 16, 2014 GMU Center for the Arts - George Mason University - Fairfax, VA
November 18, 2014 Harris Center - Folsom Lake College - Folsom, CA
February 5, 2015 Pollak Theatre - Monmouth University - West Long Branch, NJ
February 6, 2015 Stockton Performing Arts Center - Stockton College - Galloway, NJ
February 10, 2015 Rudder Theatre - Texas A&M University - College Station, TX
February 13, 2015 Dominican University Performing Arts Center - River Forest, IL
February 15, 2015 Goddard Auditorium - Earlham College - Richmond, IN
February 20, 2015 Roper Performing Arts Center - TCC - Norfolk, VA
February 22, 2015 Macomb Center for the Performing Arts - Clinton Township, MI
February 26, 2015 Zeiterion Theatre - New Bedford, MA
February 28, 2015 Temple Theater - Angelina Arts Alliance - Lufkin, TX
March 7, 2015 George S. & Dolores Dore Eccles Center for the Performing Arts - Park City, UT
U.S. Representation: Baylin Artist Management
 

While John Ball's 1965 novel, In the Heat of the Night, takes place in Alabama, the above signs were still seen throughout much of America during the 1960s as the country grappled with integration and an evolving acceptance of the Civil Rights Movement. This was the era of sit-ins and tear gas, of marches and assassinations. This was the era of Martin Luther King Jr., the Kennedys, and LBJ and an America finally, deliberately, moving towards a future of equality regardless of skin color.

Nearly fifty years later, have we arrived? Perhaps not. Just as Ball's white, Southern, police Chief Bill Gillespie's personal prejudices are tested by working with African-American detective Virgil Tibbs, America continues to confront prejudice, stereotyping, and fear.

Playwright and screenwriter Matt Pelfrey sets his riveting stage adaptation of this classic American thriller in the environment of gradual change, rebellion, anger, frustration, and stubborn clinging to old ways of life. Ball's novel reflected the difficult and personal clashes of the time - the kind of daily encounters that showed ingrained racist attitudes and behaviors. The play demonstrates the slow evolution of attitudes, but leaves the characters, and America, with a long way to go.

In 1967, one year before the Martin Luther King, Jr assassination, Sidney Poitier played Virgil Tibbs in the film In the Heat of the Night directed by Norman Jewison. The big-screen version crossed fraught political lines, marking one of the first times in a motion picture an African American man reacted to - rather than accepted - provocation from a white man. The film won five Academy Awards and spawned a hugely popular television series. In the Heat of the Night remains shockingly emblematic of America in the 1960s, and how, almost half a century later, our nation is still conquering the demon of prejudice.

JOHN BALL’S IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT was commissioned and produced by Godlight Theatre Company, New York, NY. Joe Tantalo, Artistic Director, www.godlighttheatrecompany.org.