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Alabama Story by Kenneth Jones is based on real life events set in 1959, when segregationist Senator E.W. Higgins wants a controversial children’s picture book — about a white rabbit who marries a black rabbit — purged from the state library because he feels it promotes inter-racial marriage. But (real life) state librarian, Emily Wheelock Reed refuses, putting both of their worlds at risk in a time of extraordinary social change. While Reed spars with Higgins, a parallel story of childhood friends reunited in adulthood reflects the political and personal tensions swirling in Montgomery, a city known as both the Cradle of the Confederacy and the Cradle of Civil Rights. Famed illustrator Garth Williams (Little House on the Prairie, Charlotte’s Web, Stuart Little) is conjured as narrator and participant in the fact-inspired, highly theatrical drama about tests of character in “the Deep South of the Imagination.”
Kenneth Jones revealed his inspiration for writing the play was the New York Times obituary of Emily Wheelock Reed in May 2000 (http://www.nytimes.com/2000/05/29/us/emily-w-reed-89-librarian-in-59-alabama-racial-dispute.html).