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Sunday, August 28, 2005

CBS 46 Atlanta - Cast performs readings of banned KKK play

CBS 46 Atlanta - Cast performs readings of banned KKK playDecatur
Cast performs readings of banned KKK play
Aug 27, 2005, 10:22 PM

DECATUR, Ga. (AP) -- Despite being banned by a Stone Mountain theater, the show went on for the play "Shermantown -- Baseball, Apple Pie and the Klan," when cast members today performed readings at a Decatur church.

Art Station Theater owners in July decided to drop the play because of racial slurs used by a Klan imperial wizard in the play. The play is about the co-existence of the town's black community with the Ku Klux Klan in the 1940s But DeKalb History Center officials and playwright Calvin A- Ramsey thought the production was important enough to hold readings of the play at the church's Renaissance Project Theatre.

Ramsey says he plans to release the play in the fall, possibly in Atlanta and hopes eventually it will be performed in Stone Mountain. History center officials plan to release a D-V-D containing oral histories of Shermantown residents to county schools and libraries.

In years past, every Labor Day in Shermantown -- a town named by blacks freed by Union Army Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman after he took Atlanta in 1864 -- hundreds of Klansmen gathered for an annual meeting. Gloria Brown, a life-long resident of Shermantown, says the play was NOT offensive. About a dozen of the nearly 100 people in the audience during this afternoon's reading of the play were Shermantown natives.

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