SEATTLE REP | March 15-16, 2024
Spectrum Dance Theater and Donald Byrd Present


The Mother’s Grief THAT Begat
the Civil Rights Movement

Dance/Theater piece imagining the moment preceding Emmett Till’s funeral through the lens of his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley.

On August 28, 1955, Emmett Till, a 14-year-old Black boy from Chicago, IL, visiting relatives in Leflore County, Mississippi, was abducted and brutally murdered for whistling at a white woman. 

Grief is a dance/theater piece that imagines a moment an hour before Till’s funeral in the life of his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley.


March 15-16, 2024


Seattle Rep

155 Mercer Street
Seattle, WA 98109

Step into a world of emotion, resilience, and remembrance. “Grief,” a captivating dance and theater work, returns to the stage after its powerful debut in Spring 2022. Artistic Director Donald Byrd masterfully weaves together maternal loss, racial violence, and communal mourning through the eyes of Mamie Till-Mobley, a mother who made a courageous choice despite unimaginable pain.

Grief” is the second installment of “The Insidious Trilogy,” following the impactful works “Strange Fruit” (2019) and “Targeted” (2023). Byrd’s choreography invites us to explore the Black community’s emotions and experiences during the Jim Crow Era. As audience members, we are not only witnesses to history but active participants in this artistic expression.


Fri. March 15, 2024    |    7:30PM

Sat. March 16, 2024  |     7:30PM

Join Us

At Spectrum Dance Theater, our ensemble, Associate Artists, and Guest Artist Josephine Howell channel the fury, pain, and grief that Mamie Till-Mobley felt. Byrd’s poignant message reminds us: “If you love, you will grieve.” Let us lean into this challenging history together, connecting with vulnerability and shared humanity.


Accompanying the dance/theater performance of “Grief” is a contextual talk presented by community arts leader Vivian Phillips. Following the performance, join us for a Talk Back moderated by Phillips, featuring Donald Byrd and the cast.


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