Poplarville 8th Grade students experience history through the production of “Anne & Emmett” at PRCC

May 3, 2024

Pearl River Community College hosted eighth-grade students from Poplarville Middle School on the Poplarville campus on Wednesday, May 1, for a New Stage Theater performance of “Anne & Emmett” by Janet Langhart Cohen. The students had recently completed a study of Anne Frank. 

Students from Poplarville Middle School pose with the cast of Anne and Emmett. (Photo credit: Dr. Trevor Hunt.)

The play introduces audiences to Anne Frank and Emmett Till, teenagers who became victims of cruelty and racial hatred at the age of fourteen.  The teenagers meet in a place they call ‘Memory’ where they are sometimes joined by a parent while recounting the injustices they faced. While an initial glance might have someone considering them worlds apart, their untimely deaths bear striking similarities.  

Anne and Emmett speak of their experiences while in ‘Memory.’

The production provided a history lesson for many while shining a light on the importance of tolerance, compassion, and justice. Attendees were given the chance to ask cast members questions about the history presented and the acting process. 

Cast of Anne & Emmett host Q&A.

New Stage Theater, a professional theatre in Jackson, runs an Arts-in-Education statewide touring program for schools, libraries, and community centers. The New Stage Arts-in-Education touring program is sponsored by Entergy Mississippi, The Chisholm Foundation, the Community Foundation for Mississippi, and the Mississippi Humanities Council.  

Directed by Xerron X Mingo, Education Director at New Stage, “Anne & Emmett” featured New Stage Associate Artist Company members are Baxter Evans III (Emmett Till), Morgan McKay (Anne Frank), Paul Pelletier, Jr. (Otto Frank), and Jade Krystal Dyer (Mamie Carthan-Till). 

For the latest news on Pearl River Community College, visit PRCC.edu and follow us on Twitter (@PRCC_Wildcats), Instagram (PRCCWILDCATS), Facebook (@PRCCMKTG), and TikTok (@prcc_wildcats).

Article and photography by Laura O’Neill, except where noted.

Each community college president is asked to bring two (2) wrapped door prizes, minimum value of $50 each. We will have a station set up at the conference for you to drop off the door prizes.

Each community college is asked to provide name tags for their Board members, administration, and staff attending the conference.