Loading Events

Support our work  


Featured Video


Learn how to do effective activism on Duke's campus

  • This event has passed.

Breach of Peace, a Performance by Mike Wiley

May 24, 1961 was the day 19-year old Jean Thompson’s father had prepared her for her entire life. “My parents always talked about the injustice of segregation, but they were optimistic; they didn’t feel like it was going to last forever,” Thompson recalled. “They raised us to be ready. I remember my dad saying the day will come, and when it does, you should be ready.” On that day, she boarded a Trailways bus in Montgomery, Alabama with 11 other young Freedom Riders bound for New Orleans – and history. Within three months, approximately 300 other riders took up the mantle to desegregate buses, following the path of the first brave few. Mobs bloodily assaulted many. Others were arrested shining a light on a brutal, segregated South. BREACH OF PEACE is based on true accounts of surviving participants of the Freedom Rides as well as many other individuals involved in the early struggle for African-American equality. This solo-play is a living monument to those remarkable young men and women of various races, religions, and backgrounds who rose to face the dangers of fighting for just and equal treatment for all. (student version recommended for gr. 5+)

Panel with Wiley, alumni and students to follow.

This event is free and open to the public.  Parking is available in the Bryan Center.


Mike Wiley is a North Carolina-based actor & playwright whose compelling works of documentary theatre yield rich and powerful journeys to milestones and turning points of a cultural history. With a remarkable ability to inspire dialog, his creative vision and talents are broad and magnetic, and he shares a gift that helps audiences and communities start to peel layers of misunderstanding. 

His plays include THE PARCHMAN HOUR, DOWNRANGE: STORIES FROM THE HOMEFRONT, DAR HE: THE STORY OF EMMETT TILL, the theatrical adaptation of BLOOD DONE SIGN MY NAME and more. His ensemble plays have been produced by major regional theatres in the US including Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, Playmakers Repertory Company in Chapel Hill, NC and Cape Fear Regional Theatre in Fayetteville, NC. To inquire about licensing & production rights, contact Brian Taylor Goldstein at GG International LLC in NYC.  Wiley has fifteen years credits in documentary theatre for young audiences plus film, television, and regional theatre. An Upward Bound alum and Trio Achiever Award recipient, he is an M.F.A. graduate of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and is a former Lehman-Brady Visiting Joint Chair Professor at Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies. Wiley’s overriding goal is expanding cultural awareness for audiences of all ages through dynamic portrayals based on pivotal moments in African-American history and, in doing so, helping to unveil a richer picture of the total American experience.

Visit the Going Barefoot website to access study guides and other promotional material.

Co-Sponsored by the Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute, the Trent Foundation and the Center for Documentary Studies.  This event is part of the See/Think/Act series held in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Silent Vigil




April 12, 2018
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm


Goodson Chapel
Duke Divinity School + Google Map