“Martin Luther King, An Interpretation” explores a side of Dr. King that many don’t see – his human side, according to playwright and director Ira Knight.
Knight said his inspiration for writing a play about King’s human side came after hearing one of King’s speeches. It struck him differently than it had before.
“I thought about him in a different way,” Knight said. “As a father myself, thinking of some of the things he may have gone through and thinking of him as a human being instead of some icon or an alien creature from outer space that we can’t really relate to.”
The play is a one-man show featuring John Ivey as King. The character of King was intriguing to Ivey.
“The introspection of King had a great, great appeal to me because I grew up in the era where he kind of made his mark,” Ivey said.
The production originally premiered in November, following the election. At the end of each performance, there is a question and answer session with the audience where King’s legacy and relevancy are discussed. Following one of the question and answer sessions, Knight was approached by a member of the audience.
“There was actually an anonymous benefactor that I met with afterwards that said, ‘This work right here, this can’t stop here. It has to be continued.’ So they actually underwrote the cost of doing this six-month residency at the ArtsCenter,” Knight said.
Patrick Phelps-McKeown, the marketing director at the ArtsCenter, said that the ArtsCenter was proud to host the play.