"The Seat of Justice is heartrending and soul searching. Don’t think of it as an except from the History Channel—The Seat of Justice is the dramatic story of hope, courage, fear, confusion and hatred. . .told through the eyes of Ruby Cornwell who witnessed much of the conflict and was on the front seat of that Charleston Courtroom 50 years. . . . The Seat of Justice should be mandatory viewing for students for it brings to life the fight for civil rights in a way that no textbook can achieve." —The Macon (Georgia) Telegraph, 2005
Cast: 12M, 7W, 3 girls, 4 boys (Most play multiple roles. Opportunities for additional performers depending on doubling.)
Recommended for: high schools, colleges, general audiences
In 1947, a small group of parents in rural South Carolina set in motion a movement that would eventually lead to the landmark Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision. The Seat of Justice celebrates the brave citizens of South Carolina who fought for justice and equality in the era of segregation. Both black and white citizens including Thurgood Marshall, Harry Briggs, Judge Waties Waring and many others take their turns in the seat of justice making the decisions that will literally change the course of history. Julian Wiles's acclaimed play chronicles this courageous journey of the historic Briggs v. Elliott desegregation case from rural Clarendon Country, South Carolina to the halls of the United States Supreme Court.