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She Who Dared: The Women of the Montgomery Movement

Music by: Jasmine Barnes

Libretto by: Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton

Duration: 2 hrs

Commissioned by: American Lyric Theater

Premiere: upcoming 2025


She Who Dared re-centers the spotlight on the courageous women who helped desegregate the Montgomery bus system. These Civil Rights pioneers pay homage to the quiet struggle for justice that has often gone unknown - further amplifying the effects of the historic case of Browder V. Gayle. While often riotous and sometimes hilarious, these women demonstrate how everyday people have the power to challenge the systems around them and affect tangible change - if only they dare.



Jo Ann Robinson/Fred Gray; 43 year old, light-skinned Black, female. Activist and Educator - Dramatic Mezzo-soprano

Claudette Colvin; 15 years old, dark-skinned. Student and activist - Coloratura Soprano

Aurelia Browder; 36 years old, dark-skinned. Mother of 21, seamstress, and activist - Zwischen Mezzo-soprano

Jeanetta Reese/Classmate 1/Officer/Judge; 20’s-30’s, Black female. Maid - Mezzo-soprano with lower extension

Susie “Mama Sue” MacDonald; 70 years old, White passing Black Female, heir to the MacDonald farm - Full Lyric Soprano

Mary Louise Smith/Classmate; Two 18 years old/15 years old Black female. University

student/Claudette’s classmate - Lyric Soprano

Rosa Parks/Ms. Nesbitt/Prosecution Attorney/Claudette’s Teacher; 42 years old, light-skinned, Black Female, Mother of the Civil Rights Movement - Full Lyric Soprano

Ensemble- All women or all non-featured women in the scene.









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