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 Resident 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
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
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.
Sunday, June 5 at 2pm
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
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.
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.
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
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
Interview: Steve H. Broadnax III and Reggie D. White on A.D. Amorosi's Theater in the Round (PhillyCAM WPPM)
"There was just such a weight for me to step up to the plate. . . I take [that weight] very seriously, and I want to do the man and his name and his story with such justice, and dignity, and humanity, and the love that he stood for." — Steve H. Broadnax III
"I got so excited because as Black men and queer men, so much of our stories are about struggle and about not being seen, and not being accepted for who we are. And this play is not a cautionary tale . . . I've played queer characters before, but never a queer character who actually got to have a romantic relationship onstage that got seen." — Reggie D. White