The Ladies Car

A new original stage play, inspired by Ida B. Wells, heading to an Atlanta stage! The Ladies Car is at a crucial stage in its development. We have had successful readings, workshops, and were an official selection of the Atlanta Theater Festival. Due to the show’s success and escalating popularity, we are preparing the show for a production on February 24, 2018! Check out our upcoming audition.

The Ladies Car depicts the journey Ida B. Wells (NAACP co-founder), a resilient young school teacher fighting a lone battle for equality in the segregated south, once she is thrown off a Memphis train by the white mob. Ida uses her wits and tenacity to pursue justice and vengeance against the railroad giant all while struggling to please her family and friends, explore love and her life’s purpose.

What is The Ladies Car

The Ladies Car is a stage play, written by Tiana L. Ferrell (descendant of Ida B. Wells), which highlights Ida B. Wells’ victory with the Chesapeake, Ohio & Southwestern Railroad Company.  In 1883, Ida purchased a first-class ticket and boarded a Memphis train headed to Woodstock, Tennessee. When requested by a train conductor to move from the first-class ladies car to the Colored car, which was also a smoking car, Ida refused and was forcibly removed from the train. As a result, she hired an attorney and filed suit in 1884 against the Chesapeake, Ohio & Southwestern Railroad Company.  Ida’s attorney won the case in circuit court arguing the company didn’t offer “separate but equal” accommodations for Blacks and Whites. Ida was awarded $500 in damages. This case took place before the Plessy v. Ferguson Supreme Court decision that established the “separate but equal” policy and legalized racial segregation, making Ida a pioneer in the fight of desegregation.

Why The Ladies Car is important

Ida is credited with founding the NAACP, and being instrumental in the civil rights and women suffrage movements, but her victory with the railroad company is widely unrecognized. More than 70 years before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus, Ida stood her ground on a Memphis train. The Ladies Car will inspire and encourage our community to fight for their rights and freedoms as Ida did over a century ago.

The Impact

We often complain about the lack of positive images of people of color and women in the media. This production will help us realize the dream of driving and controlling how we are portrayed on stage and screen.  We will create the narrative on what stories we want to tell.

We will be able to recruit actors from the community as well as provide several opportunities for young people interested in the arts to be involved in a professional theater production. They will be able to learn skills that translate to business, no matter their desired field of study.

Check out the teaser below.