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Milwaukee Black Theatre Festival to feature 'The Meeting' directed by Denzel Taylor

The Meeting explores a fictional conversation between Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (right) and Malcolm X (left)
The Meeting explores a fictional conversation between Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (right) and Malcolm X (left)

Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X are two titans of the Civil Rights Movement, but despite their common goal, they were very different people. These differences — and their similarities — are at the heart of the play The Meeting by Jeff Stetson.

The show will be part of this year’s Milwaukee Black Theatre Festival, directed by Denzel Taylor and featuring Nahjee Robinson as “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” The play opens this Thursday, August 17, 2023.

"The Meeting is a dramatized, imagined meeting between Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X," says Taylor. "They meet in a hotel room in Harlem and have a discussion about their values and their priorities and their mission, and what it is that they are truly fighting for. There's a lot of conflict that comes up with them seemingly pursuing the same thing but having different methods and different sets of footsteps. But at the end, you come to find that they also are able to find a mutual respect between each other."

For Robinson, the first step in portraying King was to research Malcolm X. Dr. King was a figure that Robinson studied while in school, but Malcolm X was someone that he needed to become more familiar with. The process of understanding and portraying someone is invigorating for Robinson.

"Just playing as a different person and just being in the mindset of that character — I know Dr. King, but now me playing as Dr. King, I feel like I am him now. I feel like I have his power inside of me," he says.

The show opens this Thursday at The Table, located at 5310 W Capitol Dr., Milwaukee, WI 53216.

Tickets are available here.


Joy is a WUWM host and producer for Lake Effect.
Rob is All Things Considered Host and Digital Producer.
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