The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963

Experience the beloved story of a family’s bond and endurance amidst one of the darkest periods in America’s history The Kennedy Center
Performance Dates

Meet the Watsons of Flint, Michigan: Momma, Dad, little sister Joetta, big brother Byron, and ten-year-old Kenny. When Byron can’t stay out of trouble, the whole family piles into their “Brown Bomber” and drives south to visit Grandma Sands for the summer. But along the way, they’ll experience a pivotal moment in the Civil Rights Movement.

Christopher Paul Curtis's Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Award–winning book comes to life in a staged concert adaptation by Christina Ham with live music. Told through Kenny’s ever-witty perspective, The Watsons Go to Birmingham1963 captures hilarious family antics alongside poignant observations of Birmingham’s tragic church bombing. 

Production Information

Approximate Running Time
65 minutes


Wilona Watson
Daniel Watson
Narrator Kenny & Other Broadcast Voices
Kenneth "Kenny" Watson
Joetta "Joey" Watson
Byron Watson

Creative Team

Set Designer
Costume Designer
Musical Director
Sound Designer
Lighting Designer
Projections/Media Designer