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Bayard Rustin: Inside Ashland
May 13 June 7
A world premiere musical play
"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 musical play soars with African-American spirituals and offers a glimpse into a transformative moment for young Rustin — his 1944 prison sentence in Ashland, Kentucky. As he incites nonviolent protests against prisoner segregation and refuses to hide his sexuality, Rustin is branded a “troublemaker."

Bayard Rustin: Inside Ashland emerged from our New Play Frontiers Residency & Commission program. It is our third NPF World Premiere, following Project Dawn by Karen Hartman and Mud Row by Dominique Morisseau.

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

Until further notice, performances of Bayard Rustin: Inside Ashland are proceeding, though dates and times are subject to change. Visit our Health and Safety page for up-to-date info on our response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

World Premiere
May 13-June 7, 2020 Written and directed by Steve H. Broadnax III Leonard C. Haas Stage
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Enhance Your Experience
Scoop on Wednesdays

Lively pre-performance discussions (and snacks!) provide a behind-the-scenes look into the play with Resident Dramaturg Gina Pisasale and a member of the cast. Add Scoop to your shopping cart for only $5 when purchasing theatre tickets.

May 20, 27, June 3


Facilitated post-performance conversations with the cast after Thursday evening performances, excluding previews.

May 21, 28, June 4

Pride Night

Celebrate with your LGBTQ+ friends and neighbors at a pre-show reception.

May 29 at 7:30pm

50% Off Access Night

To further expand access to our work, we offer select half-priced performances throughout the season. Your discount is automatically applied when purchasing tickets.

June 5 at 7:30pm

The Farmhouse Bistro

Dinner & A Show

Packages are available for prix-fixe dinners prior to select Wednesday-Sunday performances, beginning at $82 for non-peak performances, a savings of up to 15% off the single ticket price.

Brunch Packages

Includes brunch at The Bistro paired with tickets to weekend matinees. Call the Box Office at 610.644.3500 to order.

Open Caption

An LED screen near the stage displays dialogue in real-time, simultaneous with live speech and action. No other aspect of the performance is altered.

June 2 at 7:30pm
June 3 at 7:30pm

June 4 at 7:30pm
June 5 at 7:30pm
June 6 at 8pm​
June 7 at 2 & 7pm

More Accessibility

Our theatre is wheelchair accessible, and service dogs are welcome at all performances. Large-print programs, assistive listening devices, and sensory supports (fidgets, noise-canceling headphones) are always available to borrow from the Box Office. For more information, click here or call our Patron Experience team: 610.644.3500