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Final theatre adaptation of year explores CT tobacco industry in time of MLK

Published on April 28, 2021

Final theatre adaptation of year explores CT tobacco industry in time of MLK

‘Cultivating Dignity’ opens online on May 1

Cultivating Dignity posterThe Theatre Program at Eastern Connecticut State University will present “Cultivating Dignity,” its final show of the 2020-21 academic year, starting May 1. As with all of this year’s theatre productions, the performance is a film adaptation available free of charge via online streaming.

“Cultivating Dignity” explores the lives of tobacco workers in Connecticut during the time when young Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. worked at Cullman Brothers farm. The show dives into issues of labor, migration, race and cultural identity.

“Cultivating Dignity” is a newly devised work by Theatre Professors Alycia Bright Holland and Kristen Morgan. The script was developed by lecturer Darcy Parker Bruce in collaboration with Eastern students, who performed archival research and gathered oral histories. Originally envisioned as a live, mainstage production, “Cultivating Dignity” was adapted into a film with the help of faculty member and filmmaker Brian Day.

A public film screening of “Cultivating Dignity” will premiere on May 1 and be available subsequently for online viewing. There are also plans to create a small touring project to visit K-12 schools across Connecticut to engage young audiences. To register for the on-demand streaming performance, visit

Written by Michael Rouleau