The Mount Airy Museum of Regional History will present “Tired Souls,” a Mike Wiley Production, Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the museum annex. The performance is free to the public and is in honor of Black History month.
“Tired Souls” opens in Montgomery, Alabama on December 1, 1955 — the day Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a city bus to a white man. Her determination was the catalyst that inspired Montgomery’s black citizens to abandon all travel on city buses until they were no longer forced to sit in the back or stand when a white person boarded. But there were others who came before Mrs. Parks and laid the groundwork for this pivotal moment. “Tired Souls” introduces audiences to Jo Ann Robinson, Claudette Colvin and others so instrumental in lighting a fire under the Civil Rights movement and changing the course of U.S. history forever.
Mike Wiley’s works span the stories of fugitive slaves, sports figures and freedom fighters, the triumph of the common man and more. His works are primarily one-man shows, where Wiley sometimes portrays dozens of characters — old and young, men and women, black and white — during the course of a single play.
Matt Edwards, executive director of the museum, said this program is one of many black history month programs that the museum has sponsored.
“Mike Wiley is a very reputable, very well-known, African-American actor who has done several performances in Mount Airy over the last several years. We are pleased to have him back at the museum,” said Edwards. “It will be a good opportunity for folks to come out and see the work that he does and learn a little bit about the history of the civil rights movement in this country.”
The production is 50 minutes in length and appropriate for grades three and higher, as well as a general audience.
The program is being done in conjunction with the Surry Arts Council. Wiley will be performing through a school outreach program that day as well.
This project received support from the North Carolina Arts Council, an agency of the Department of Cultural Resources, and the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.