5 reasons to see The Watsons Go To Birmingham – 1963 at the Birmingham Children’s Theatre Sept. 28-Oct. 13. Use discount code WILONA for 20% off tickets!

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L to R: Gabrielle Burrell, Cole Hall, Marc Raby, Taj Johnson, Phaith Frazier. Photo via Birmingham Children’s Theatre

From September 28-October 13, the Birmingham Children’s Theatre opens their MainStage season with the beloved and historical production of The Watsons Go To Birmingham-1963. Here are five reasons to experience this must-see production. Tickets available now!

1. The Story Will Engage You

L-R: Taj Johnson (Kenny), Gabrielle Burrell (Joetta, “Joey”), Cole Hall (Byron). Photo via Birmingham Children’s Theatre

The Watsons Go To Birmingham – 1963 is based on the book by Christopher Paul Curtis and adapted for the stage by Reginald André Jackson.


During the play, you’ll follow 10-year old Kenny as he chronicles the events of a fateful summer for his family in 1963.

In an effort to help their troubled son, Byron, the Watsons pile their family into their “Brown Bomber” and head to Birmingham. Things take an unexpected turn when they find themselves caught up in the tragic bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church.

With an exceptional cast who command the stage, you’ll be glued to your seats as you witness a story of history, significance and hope. 


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2. The Director is a Local Talent

The cast during rehearsal. Photo via Birmingham Children’s Theatre

Bringing the production to life is director and Birmingham native Chalethia Williams. Williams wears many hats in the local theatre community as a theatre instructor at Miles College, actress, director, writer and arts educator. She has also worked to advance the arts in Birmingham for more than 30 years. 

Williams is well known at the Birmingham Children’s Theatre, too. In 1992, she started acting with the BCT, and in 2018, she directed the popular Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott.


The Watsons Go To Birmingham – 1963 is in keeping with the Civil Rights theme. 

Directing The Watsons Go To Birmingham – 1963 “is another opportunity to reenact some of Alabama’s history that affected the world, and hopefully continues to educate and entertain audiences for years to come.”

3. The Cast is Top-Notch

A great cast of exceptional talent. Photo via Birmingham Children’s Theatre

There’s no question that you’ll be wowed by the productions incredible local and talented cast. Here’s a peek at who will command the stage.


  • Marc Raby (Encore Theatre)
  • Sylvester Rickey Powell (Birmingham Heritage Band)
  • Phaith Frazier (Hot 1077)
  • Te’Shara Monique (The Academy of Gifted Arts)
Rehearsals for The Watsons Go To Birmingham – 1963. Photo via Birmingham Children’s Theatre

Local Youth Performers:

  • Taj Johnson 
  • Cole Hall 
  • Gabrielle Burrell
  • Zion Carmichael
  • Dadrien O’Neil

4. It’s Historically Important and Significant

Marc Raby landed the role as the father in The Watsons Go To Birmingham – 1963.  Photo via Birmingham Children’s Theatre

Did you know that September 15 is the 56th anniversary of the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church? So the timing couldn’t be more perfect for Birmingham Children’s Theatre’s production of The Watsons Go To Birmingham – 1963.

Along with experiencing this important event in history, it will also teach you things you may not have known. 


“Many do not know much or anything at all about what happened in Birmingham in 1963,” said Williams. “In addition to the four girls, two boys (Virgil Ware and Johnny Robinson) were killed on the same day as tensions got the best of everyone. These events changed everything for a lot of people.” 

Don’t miss this inspiring production. Get your tickets now

5. Both Adults and Kids Will Enjoy It

When you hear “Birmingham Children’s Theatre”, you may think that it only caters to little kids. But this is far from true. 


One of the reasons why Birmingham Children’s Theatre is so amazing is that they strive to produce high-quality, professional theatre that both children and adults will enjoy.  I can personally attest to that!

* The Watsons Go To Birmingham – 1963 is intended for ages 6+. 

* Approximate Time of Play: 75 minutes


Catch the Show

Don’t miss The Watsons Go To Birmingham – 1963 at The Theatre at The BJCC September 28-October 13.

Show Times:

  • Saturday, September 28 – 2:30PM
  • Sunday, September 29 – 2:30PM
  • Saturday, October 12 – 2:30PM and 7:30PM
  • Sunday, October 13 – 2:30PM

Tickets Prices: Adults – $20-$28; Seniors – $15-$20; Children (18 and under) – $10

Use discount code WILONA for 20% off your tickets.


Tickets available now!

Don’t Miss Our Giveaway!

We’re giving away a family 4 pack (4 tickets valued at $20 each) to one lucky winner! Find the details in our Friday, September 13 newsletter to enter. Aren’t signed up? Click here

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