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Bayard Rustin Inside Ashland
May 18 June 12
Bayard Rustin Inside Ashland
May 18 June 12
World Premiere
May 18-June 12, 2022
Written and Directed by Steve H. Broadnax III Arranged and Composed by Jason Michael Webb Leonard C. Haas Stage
“We need, in every community, a group of angelic troublemakers.”

—Bayard Rustin

Chief organizer of the 1963 March on Washington and openly gay Civil Rights activist, Bayard Rustin was nearly written out of the history books. This world premiere play soars with African-American spirituals and offers a glimpse into a transformative moment for young Rustin—his 1944 prison sentence in Ashland, Kentucky. While incarcerated and targeted for his sexuality, Rustin puts his faith in nonviolent resistance to the test, illuminating what it means to be branded a "troublemaker" within a system stacked against you. People’s Light Associate Artistic Director Steve H. Broadnax III (Broadway’s Thoughts of a Colored Man) and Tony Award winner Jason Michael Webb (Choir Boy) bring you the latest work to emerge from our New Play Frontiers residency program.

Recommended for ages 17+ for explicit sexual language, brief nudity, and adult themes

Production Partner:

Individual Sponsors: Nicole Sakowitz & Bill Pikounis

This project is supported in part by an award from
the National Endowment for the Arts

With additional support from Church Housing Corp

Watch the trailer
Production Archive
Cast and Creative Team
Bayard Rustin
Davis / Ensemble
Hagerman & Intimacy/Fight Director
AJ Muste
Tennessee & Guitarist
Funeral Singer / Ensemble
Playwright & Director
Composer & Arranger
Music Director, Additional Compositions and Arrangements, Pianist
Scenic Designer
Costume Designer
Lighting Designer
Sound Designer
Projection Designer
Director of Production
Stage Manager
Saladin White II
COVID Compliance Manager
Discover More
An Archive Speaks
It is fortunate that many people wrote to Rustin throughout his life, and he to them.
Read More
Expanding Our Understanding of Bayard Rustin
A note from local historian Penny L. Washington
Read More
Read the Program
Click here for the full BAYARD RUSTIN INSIDE ASHLAND program.
Read More
More Info
Community Conversations

Join us in the Farmhouse Pavilion for a town hall-style discussion featuring guest panelists following select Thursday performances.

Thursday, May 26
Thursday, June 2

Relaxed Performance

Relaxed Performances offer a judgment-free environment that invites individuals with autism, ADD, ADHD, dementia, and other sensory sensitivities to enjoy theatre in a relaxed, “shush-free” zone—a great option for parents with young children, too. For each Relaxed Performance, we offer a pre-show Sensory Tour, during which patrons are able to enter the theatre space, view the set and props, and ask questions. This RP features ASL interpretation, and audio description is available upon request.

Click here to read our pre-performance guide

Sunday, June 5 at 2pm

ASL Interpretation & Audio Description

This performance features American Sign Language interpretation provided by Hands UP Productions. Audio description, provided by Nicole Sardella, is available upon request. This is also a Relaxed Performance.

Sunday, June 5 at 2pm

Open Captioning

During every performance this week, dialogue appears on an LED screen placed near the stage to benefit patrons with hearing impairments, as well as English language learners.

June 7–12

Smart Caption Glasses

Our Smart Caption Glasses offer immersive, real-time captioning for live theatre. These revolutionary glasses display a synchronized transcript of the play directly on the lenses, and are customizable for your comfort. 
Glasses are available to reserve for performances of Bayard Rustin Inside Ashland May 31 - June 12.

Socially Distanced Performances

We have extensive protocols and precautions in place for all performances to keep audiences, staff, and artists safe. In addition, the following performances will only be sold to 50% capacity to ensure extra distance between parties.

May 20 at 7:30pm
May 27 at 7:30pm
May 31 at 7:30pm
Jun 3 at 7:30pm
Jun 5 at 2pm
(Relaxed Performance)
Jun 7 at 7:30pm
Jun 10 at 7:30pm

Access Night

To expand access to our work, we offer 50%-off Access Nights throughout the season. The discount is automatic for this performance, no promo code required.

Tuesday, June 7 at 7:30pm

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