Staging history 


ART Station, a theater in Stone Mountain, made headlines two weeks ago when the theater's director decided not to stage "Shermantown -- Baseball, Apple Pie, and the Klan" because of insensitive language in the play's opening monologue. Shermantown is a mostly African-American neighborhood in Stone Mountain that for years was the site of an annual gathering of the Ku Klux Klan.

"The nigger has been in the South for 10 generations, we know him better than anyone. He may deserve equality some day, but not now. He's more animal than human and carries more germs than wharf rats."

-- Playwrite Calvin Ramsey (pictured) wrote the opening monologue in the play, spoken by the character James Venable, who's based on the real-life Venable, a Grand Imperial Wizard in the Ku Klux Klan.

"I've worked in the theater my whole life and in the arts my whole life, and I think I know what is appropriate and what is not."

-- David Thomas, ART Station director, describing the theater's decision not to stage the play.

"The part of the play that I read [James Venable's monologue], I didn't see anything wrong with that or why the theaters in Stone Mountain would turn it down. That's the way it was here."

-- The Rev. William Morris, who's spent his entire life in Shermantown.



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