Colgan Students Bring PWCS History to Life with “The Courageous Four”

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Provided by Prince William County Schools (PWCS)

Colgan High School theatre students and staff, in collaboration with the Creative and Performing Arts Center (CAPAC), have created a theatrical production to bring the history of desegregation in Prince William County Public Schools to the stage. “The Courageous Four” is the story of Fannie W. Fitzgerald, Mary G. Porter, Zella Brown, and Maxine Coleman, the first four African American teachers asked to teach in the all-white elementary schools in the county to begin the desegregation process. Students will also perform “Freedom Riders,” offering another glimpse to the Civil Rights era, by Tom Quinn and produced under special arrangement with Encore Performance Publishing.

Performances will be held on Feb. 15 and Feb. 16 at 7:00 p. m., and on Feb. 17 at 3:00 p. m. and 7:00 p. m. Ticket information is available here.

In preparation for the production, 150 students conducted research and participated in a full-day master class provided by CAPAC. The class included an overview of the political and social environment of the segregated 1960s by School Board Vice Chairman Lillie Jessie (Occoquan); script writing strategies by Tyrell Lashley, CAPAC Artistic Director; and family interviews with members and descendants of the “Courageous Four” and other important figures during the integration of the PWCS faculty.


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