PANTHERS & PIGS: The Battle for the Soul of America is a new television series project created by Alan Marshall, the renowned civil rights playwright/director
Online PR News – 23-June-2020 – CHICAGO – For Immediate Release
Contact: Susan Chadwick – Susan@SusanChadwick.com – 207.975.6928
Panthers & Pigs – The Battle for the Soul of America – Because even though we’re in 2020, it feels like 1967…
PANTHERS & PIGS: The Battle for the Soul of America, a timely, new television series project, created by Alan Marshall, the renowned civil rights playwright/director. The series begins in 1967 when, in response to unchecked police brutality against black citizens, the Black Panther Party, a militant group of young African Americans, formed armed patrols to shadow, observe, and confront police officers in black neighborhoods.
Though these fashionable, media-savvy revolutionaries captivated poor, black youth and rich, white celebrities alike, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover denounced the Panthers as “the single greatest threat to the internal security of the United States.” Accordingly, a ruthless, and illegal, war of repression was waged against them, their families, attorneys, and their radical white allies.
America is a nation in turmoil in 2020. Following the impassioned demonstrations that reverberated around the world following the death of George Floyd, a significant number of white Americans spoke openly, many for the first time, about reversing the impact that racism has had on law enforcement. Purging racism, individually, and collectively, will require an honest and vigorous national dialogue. Panthers & Pigs: The Battle for the Soul of America well equipped to help to break the cycle of violence, brutality, and distrust.
Marshall moved Panthers & Pigs to the top of his list of projects after the first weekend of George Floyd demonstrations. He is grateful for the two-year head start he had in creating the series.
“I began the research for this series in 2018,” he said. “Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, I coached 13 youth sports teams in five sports. The only opportunities I had to work on it were the intervals between sports seasons. Since our spring season was canceled, I’ve been able to spend quality time on Panthers & Pigs.”
After a decade spent writing, directing, and producing a canon of theatrical works for the Civil Rights Project, Marshall is newly focused on storytelling through television and film. He appears unfazed in this new role as a Hollywood outsider:
“Back in 2013, I cold-called several legends of the civil rights movement (including Congressman John Lewis, Myrlie Evers, and Julian Bond) to enlist the cooperation, counsel, and most importantly, the blessing of these American heroes for my productions. I had to make a positive first impression and then earn their trust and confidence,” Marshall recalled. “The same passion, integrity, and preparation integral to my previous work is being invested in this series. I hope that the project’s relevance to the vital issues facing our nation will pry open a few doors.”
Panthers & Pigs is a television series project infused with the spirit of the late 1960s. It’s been grounded, like Marshall’s previous creations, with his firm command of history and a storehouse of empathy. The story engine of Panthers & Pigs can sustain a minimum of four 13-episode seasons covering 1967 – 1972. The extended story engine can support an additional four seasons.
“If the youthful, racially diverse, and politically engaged protesters who comprised the heart and soul of most of these recent demonstrations represent the demographic most likely to embrace Panthers & Pigs: The Battle for the Soul of America, then the show can become a source of quality entertainment and audience retention for several years. That’s very important to the production, and everyone associated with it,” Marshall said.
But Marshall believes that this compelling series, set in arguably the most dynamic social, cultural, and political periods in American history, has the potential to accomplish much more.
“Panthers & Pigs can inspire constructive action, deepen personal understanding, and enrich our vital national dialogue,” he continued. “The series explores the hearts and minds of its protagonists and their antagonists, each of whom failed to disengage the stranglehold that grips our great nation whenever the lives of her citizens, who are disproportionately black, are extinguished by the hands…or knees…of those we have entrusted to serve and protect.”
THE SERIES CREATOR
Alan Marshall’s artistic career began in 2011 when he created, produced, and wrote the libretto for an opera about the 1963 March on Washington called THE MARCH: A Civil Rights Opera. It was the first opera about the civil rights movement. Since then, he has written several seminal dramatic works about the movement including, Prelude to a Dream (which was presented as a featured event during the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington in 2013), Freedom Summer, The Birmingham Children’s March, Shades of Mississippi, Remembering Medgar Evers, Walkout, The Interview: JFK, and Marilyn and Jack. In addition to Panthers & Pigs and Underground, his other projects that are in development include The Grand Flamingo and The Education of Aubrey Beall.
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Susan Chadwick – Susan@SusanChadwick.com – 207.975.6928