“I Dream,” a musical about the the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., will premiere in Atlanta on July 9 at The Woodruff Arts Center.

Presented by Musical-Dramatic Arts and directed by acclaimed actress Jasmine Guy, best known for her role as Whitley Gilbert in the 1990s hit series ‘A Different World’, the through-composed work is an inspirational portrayal of the civil rights leader from his early years through to the end of his life.

“I feel honored to be directing such a landmark production. With a glorious score set to such a moving American story, this is an exciting and emotional experience,” says Guy. “And the fact that we are premiering in my hometown, where so much of the story originated, is both momentous and fitting.”

Author and composer Douglas Tappin first began work on “I Dream” four years ago when he arrived from Britain to start a new life in Atlanta with his family. Once here, he immersed himself in the local history and, ultimately, found inspiration in the story of a local preacher.

“I’ve tried to combine historic and personal elements of Dr. King’s extraordinary life and legacy with individual stories gleaned from interviews with people whose lives he touched during the tempestuous years of the Civil Rights Movement between 1955 and 1968,” says Tappin. “I was particularly captivated by Dr. King’s statement that man is neither villain nor hero – he is, rather villain and hero.”

“I Dream” opens for previews July 6 and will run July 9 through July 31 on the Alliance Stage at the Woodruff Arts Center, as an independent production.

For ticket information visit www.woodruffcentertickets.org or call (404) 733 5000. Visit the official website at www.idreamthemusical.com.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.