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Theatre Tuscaloosa presents the true story: Best of Enemies

Clockwise from top left: Kenyatta "YaYa" Browne, Wescott Youngson, DeAnthony Mays, and Melissa Grantham - the cast of "Best of Enemies"

TUSCALOOSA, AL – Theatre Tuscaloosa presents Best of Enemies, a dramatic play by Mark St. Germain, February 17-26, 2023, in the Bean-Brown Theatre on the Martin Campus of Shelton State Community College (9500 Old Greensboro Rd).

In 1971, arch-enemies Ann Atwater and C.P. Ellis find themselves face-to-face on a committee formed to desegregate the schools of Durham, North Carolina. Seemingly a recipe for disaster, their mutual prejudices about one another are soon shattered as each begins to understand the plight of the other. Despite the odds, these adversaries form an unlikely friendship.

“This show is an opportunity to share Ann Atwater’s story of resilience and love with the city of Tuscaloosa and the audiences here,” Director Michael Walker said.

The cast includes Kenyatta “YaYa” Browne as Ann Atwater, Wescott Youngson as C.P. Ellis, Melissa Grantham as Mary Ellis, and DeAnthony Mays as Bill Riddick.

“It is important for young adults and students to come see,” Walker said. “It’s history that is not recorded, not in textbooks, that is vital for people to know.”

The rest of the production team includes Mariah Kravitz, stage manager; David Page, scenic and props designer; Jeanette Waterman, costume designer; Lyndell McDonald, lighting designer; Bart Pitchford, sound designer; Ava Buchanan, hair and makeup designer; and Ellie DeFreese and Ebony Wesley, assistant stage managers.

Theatre Tuscaloosa’s 2022-23 season is presented in partnership with Shelton State Community College and is sponsored by Cartography Consulting, WVUA23, Crimson Village, the Alabama State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the City of Tuscaloosa, and signature sponsors Claire Friday and April and Ralph Lane. Best of Enemies is sponsored by Alabama Public Radio and Grace Presbyterian Church. The 2022-23 media partner is Tuscaloosa Radio.

Performance dates and times are as follows: Friday and Saturday Feb. 17-18 at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday and Wednesday Feb. 19 and 22 at 2 p.m.; Thursday and Friday Feb. 23-24 at 7:30p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday Feb. 25-26 at 2 p.m. A pay-what-you-can final dress rehearsal/preview will be presented on Thursday Feb. 16 at 7:30 p.m., proceeds of which support the Charlie Dennis Memorial Scholarship.

Tickets are $19 for adults, $17 for seniors, members of the military and SSCC Employees, $14 for students, children, and groups of 10 or more, and $7 for SSCC students. Due to sensitive language and content, this play is appropriate for ages 16 and up.

Tickets and more information are available at or 205.391.2277.

Theatre Tuscaloosa is a 501c3 not-for-profit community theatre located on the Martin Campus of Shelton State Community College. Theatre Tuscaloosa has been enriching the greater Tuscaloosa community since 1971 through quality theatrical productions and educational outreach.


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