Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

'The Best of Enemies'


Orlando Shakespeare Theater in Partnership with UCF announces a collaboration with the Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center of Florida. Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the passage and signing of the Civil Rights Act, the two organizations will partner to present “The Best of Enemies” from Oct. 15—Nov. 16, 2014 on the Goldman Theater stage. The powerful new play, based on a true story by Mark St. Germain, exposes the poison of prejudice and the beauty of friendship. Single tickets to the play are available now by calling (407) 447-1700, visiting http://www.orlandoshakes.org, or in person at the John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center (812 East Rollins Street).

Based on the bestselling novel by Osha Gray Davidson, “The Best of Enemies” is a true story about the relationship between C.P. Ellis, a Grand Cyclops of the KKK, and Ann Atwater, an African-American civil rights activist, during the court-ordered desegregation of the Durham, N.C., schools in 1971. Forced to co-lead a steering committee that represents all community viewpoint, Atwater and Ellis must face each other, and in doing so, are forced to face the best and worst in themselves.

A special performance of “The Best of Enemies,” sponsored by Solomon F. Schick & Associates and Orlando Hard Rock Café, will take place on Oct. 26, at 7:30 p.m., with all proceeds benefitting the Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center of Florida. This ticketed event includes pre-show hors d’oeuvres and drinks beginning at 6 p.m. General admission tickets ($100) can be reserved by calling (407) 447-1700 or purchased online at http://www.orlandoshakes.org.

In addition to its partnership with the theater, the Holocaust Center will offer films, community presentations, and other programming that provide opportunities to remember the history of our struggles for equality. The special programming began with an Orlando Kick-Off event on Monday, June 30 in the City Hall Rotunda, co-sponsored by the Office of Community Affairs and Human Relations for the City of Orlando. For more information and a complete schedule of events, visit http://www.centralfloridacivilrights.org.

“The Holocaust Center has long recognized the parallels between Jews oppressed under Nazi Germany’s Nuremberg Laws and African Americans who were kept in second-class citizenship by a series of Jim Crow laws in the United States,” said Jeffrey Miller, Holocaust Center president. “While much has changed since 1964, there are still inequalities that must be addressed. This performance is part of a community-wide collaboration to educate, commemorate, celebrate, and act upon the lessons of this important history.”

“The Best of Enemies” is presented in partnership with the Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center of Florida through the generosity of Valerie and Jim Shapiro.


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