Create a Website Account - Manage notification subscriptions, save form progress and more.
A professionally produced play titled “A Chance for Redemption” will premiere Saturday, Aug. 26, at the Gillespy Theatre in the News-Journal Center on Beach Street. The enthralling theatrical production takes place in a Black-owned barber shop in 1977, within Midtown in Daytona Beach’s core.
Produced by Sheila Kay Davis, written by Lynn Thompson and directed by Tai Thompson – all with direct ties to our Daytona Beach community – "A Chance for Redemption" delves into the lives and struggles of residents during that period in history, highlighting their resilience, community spirit and pursuit of redemption. It explores themes of hope, love and the power of second chances, resonating with audiences of diverse backgrounds.
The New Professional Theatre (NPT) company, founded by Ms. Davis, is the only African American theatre company located in the Broadway theatre district. Mr. Thompson, the former Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics at Bethune-Cookman University who retired in 2021 after 30 years with the institution, is a professional writer/producer. He writes plays, short films, radio and television projects. He also wrote and produced numerous promotional and historical video segments on Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune.
Tai Thompson, a graduate of Mainland High School and Florida State University, is a multi-disciplinary artist with a diverse background. Growing up in between Miami and Daytona Beach, she started performing in elementary school and continued throughout her high school years. In 2020, she was awarded the AUDELCO Award as Best Director of a Musical in Sharon Fallon Productions’ “The Dark Start from Harlem: The Spectacular Rise of Josephine Baker.”
Playwright Lynn Thompson discusses his inspiration for the script.
City Manager Deric C. Feacher talks about the importance of investment in the Midtown area.
City Commissioner Paula R. Reed talks about the former vibrancy of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Boulevard.
Attorney and business owner D'Lorah Butts-Lucas reflects on growing up in Midtown and hearing stories about its grand past.
Harold V. Lucas talks about Midtown being the heart of the community and its prosperity and he is excited for young people to see what Midtown was like.