Red Mountain Theatre Company is proud to announce the inaugural Human Rights New Works Festival, March 15-18 at the RMTC Cabaret Theatre. This four day event will feature a variety of dramatic staged readings of new works, panel discussions, a full production of a curated piece, and talkback sessions. In its essence, the festival is a conversation and a celebration of what unites us all-our humanity.
One of the four readings featured is Sam’s Room, a pop concert dramedy that follows Sam, a teenager in 1998 with nonverbal special needs, on his path to find a way to communicate. Shifting between cruel reality and pop star fantasy, Sam’s Room powerfully reveals the universal struggle with communication by giving a voice to someone who’s never had one.
University of Montevallo Theatre Professor and Department Chair David Callaghan has never been shy to take the helm of an ambitious project. Serving as director of Sam’s Room, Dr. Callaghan was connected to the work when approached about participating in the Human Rights New Works Festival. When reflecting on the work, Callaghan stated,”I was attracted to the theatricality of it. I recently directed Spring Awakening and it had a similar driving principle that every teenager envisions themselves as a rock star in the privacy of their bedroom. It’s the story of their dreamscapes and how they transcend those boundaries. I connected that to Sam’s Room and Sam’s need to communicate.”
On a larger scope, Dr. Callaghan believes this delivers a much larger social message on a local, regional, national, and global scale. “It generates awareness to society about students on the spectrum. Over the years, it has become a larger part of our educational landscape. It further diminishes a stigma about individuals with special need and allows them and their families to feel more inclusive. Hopefully, it makes people more aware of our shared humanity and live theatre creates a space for thoughtful reflection in the midst of our overloaded lives,” Callaghan noted.
As it regards to the Human Rights New Works Festival, Dr. Callaghan is excited about the upcoming event and what it means for the city of Birmingham. “It’s the first time Birmingham is presenting a platform on such a scale. I’m really interested in musicals and plays that engage social themes. It’s a tremendous achievement for RMTC and I am very happy for them. The festival is an ambitious and exciting event.”
RMTC is ecstatic to have Dr. Callaghan on board for an event that hopes to open the doors of communication among the artist, the individual, and the community overall. RMTC invites the public to an event that will surely be engaging, enlightening, and life changing.
RMTC Cabaret Theatre
Saturday, March 17 at 8:30PM
Book by Dale Sampson with Trey Coates-Mitchell
Music & Lyrics by Caitlin Bell, Marc Campbell and Dale Sampson
¬¬Tickets for individual readings are $10 each or you can purchase a Readings Pass for $20. Tickets for Alabama Story are $15. For more information, visit RMTChumanrights.org.