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"Anne and Emmett" brings two slain teens together, on stage

Greta Schrag as Anne Frank and Thaddeus Jackson as Emmett Till.

Anne Frank and Emmett Till died ten years apart, and oceans apart, from one another. In a play written by Janet Langhart Cohen, being performed at Eastern Mennonite University this weekend, the two meet face to face. WMRA's Randi B. Hagi reports.

Ezrionna Prioleau directs the production of "Anne and Emmett" at EMU.

Anne and Emmett brings the two slain teenagers together in a meeting beyond the grave, where they recount the cruelty and racial hatred that led to their deaths. The one-act play comes to EMU's Lehman Auditorium this Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 5 p.m. It's directed by Ezrionna Prioleau.

EZRIONNA PRIOLEAU: I'm hoping that people leave with a sense of social justice, and seeing that hate comes in many forms. The stories of Anne and Emmett are different, but they're also very similar, in that they both faced hate, and at the time there weren't many people speaking out, and so seeing what's going on in the world and being that person to speak out, or to have the drive to change what's going on in the world today.

Harrisonburg Mayor Deanna Reed and Thaddeus Jackson in the roles of Mamie and Emmett Till.

She took the cast to D.C. to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Holocaust Museum so they could better inhabit their roles.

PRIOLEAU: Just getting a lot of that history piece in there about the world that was around these two teenagers and the world that they lived.

Tickets can be purchased online or at the door. Attendance for each show is limited to 100 people, and masks are required. For WMRA News, I'm Randi B. Hagi.

Randi B. Hagi first joined the WMRA team in 2019 as a freelance reporter. Her writing and photography have been featured in The Harrisonburg Citizen, where she previously served as the assistant editor; as well as The Mennonite; Mennonite World Review; and Eastern Mennonite University's Crossroads magazine.