Point Loma Playhouse’s ‘The Meeting’ imagines a conversation between Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X
History documents only one passing encounter between 1960s civil-rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, but a play being filmed for streaming by Point Loma Playhouse imagines the real conversation the men might have had.
“The Meeting,” written by Jeff Stetson, is about the how the two Black men of different philosophies debate how to solve systemic racial discrimination against Black Americans. King, a Christian minister who was killed in 1968, favored peaceful protest. Malcolm X, a Black Muslim leader who was killed in 1965, favored a much more aggressive approach.
For Point Loma Playhouse, J.K. Weldon stars as King and Rhys Greene plays Malcolm X. Julian King Moore plays Malcolm’s X’s bodyguard, Rashad.
“As an actor, the challenge is always great with influential roles, but the challenge that Dr. King presents is even greater and humbling because we all have a preconceived image of him in our minds,” Weldon said in a statement. “I will go beyond the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech and delve into Dr. King’s position as a man.”
Greene said he sees playing Malcolm X as a huge responsibility.
“He mercilessly and selflessly fought for the rights of the Black man,” Greene said. “He wanted to make sure that we were not beat upon by the institutions of America. He fought for us to be part of the nation we built and to be treated fairly for who we all are, human beings.”
The production is directed by Point Loma’s artistic director, Jerry Pilato, a White man who grew up in segregated Alabama and was horrified by the racism he witnessed as a boy. He said the killing of George Floyd last year brought back his darkest childhood memories of Birmingham.
“I wanted to present these two men because I believe, in tandem, they are the inspiration for Black Lives Matter and the way forward,” Pilato said.
“The Meeting” will be available for streaming Feb. 26-28. Tickets are $10, or $25 for a group, and can be purchased by searching for the show at showtix4u.com/#streaming.