Regent alumnus produces a revolutionary broadway show

Learn how one Regent alumnus is producing a play that reminds us of the progress we’ve made, as well as the challenges the future holds. 

“I Dream”

On Feb. 2, 2016, the broadway style show, “I Dream” opened up in Washington D.C. The show is a fusion of blues, jazz, singing, dancing. Most importantly though, it serves as a living, breathing tribute to Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., a figurehead in the African-American civil rights movement.

A promo image for "I Dream" in the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Feb. 2, 2016. (Patrick Wright)

A promo image for “I Dream” in the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Feb. 2, 2016. (Patrick Wright)

Regent alumnus, Bruce Long, produced the show. Long graduated from Regent in 1997 with a master’s in directing and acting.

I got the chance to talk with Mr. Long about this unique production, and its significance to our culture. “I’m looking for… the timeliness of the message or… the overall value of the message of [the] piece. It’s a little bit more than a musical. It’s a hybrid between a musical and an opera.”

“Dr. King’s message is timely. We’re at a place where… we’re as divided as we’ve ever been… Dr. King’s message of equality is something we need to be reminded of today. This idea of what he has a dream of, that all men are crated equal… it reminds us of the progress we’ve made and the steps we need to take in the future.”

Long also articulated some of the challenges producing this show presented: “We’re trying to tell a story as a opera… but we also need to look at the story itself [and how it interacts with people.] Every show is unique. Every show presents…  a set of challenges… In this case, we have a challenge… it’s [a] contemporary… rhythmic blues… opera, so I would anticipate this is not exactly the typical representation of what an opera would be… It’s also not a musical, so it’s not what typical musical theatre patrons would be expecting… It lives in the middle of these two art forms.”

The show’s significance

“I Dream” gives homage to those who fought for justice and equality. According to the show’s website, it is “a story honoring the indomitable spirit of the many men, women and children of differing class, color and creed who chose to stand for equality; and the many who fell along that long road to freedom.”

Actors in "I Dream" practice singing in a rehearsal at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Feb. 2, 2016. (Patrick Wright)

Actors in “I Dream” practice singing in a rehearsal at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Feb. 2, 2016. (Patrick Wright)

It’s release is timely, as it is currently Black History month.

Long’s production typifies the quality message an exemplar Christian leader, looking to change the world, should send.

In parting, I asked Mr. Long if he had any advice for those who aspire to work in theatre or production. He left me with the following: “If they just have an idea of something, just do it. Find a way to stage it, and don’t talk yourself out of it. There’s a million reasons not to do something, but go over the hurdles and challenges.”

For more info on “I dream” click here.

For a trailer, click here.



Philip Reynolds is the senior editor of The Daily Runner.