Martinsville, Virginia


“Tired Souls: King and the Montgomery Bus Boycott” at Piedmont Arts, February 20th

Acclaimed actor and playwright Mike Wiley will return to Piedmont Arts on Thursday, February 20, 2020 with his one-man play, Tired Souls: King and the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

A reception will be held at 6:30 pm in the Piedmont Arts lobby. The performance will begin at 7 pm in the galleries.

Tired Souls opens in Montgomery, Alabama on December 1, 1955 – the day Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a city bus to a white man. Her determination was the catalyst that inspired Montgomery’s black citizens to abandon all travel on city buses until they were no longer forced to sit in the back or stand when a white person boarded. Though this was an historic day, it was not the day the movement to desegregate buses started. There were others who came before Mrs. Parks and laid the groundwork for this pivotal moment. Wiley introduces audiences to Jo Ann Robinson, a black professor who protested the law by sitting in the front of a segregated bus; Vernon Johns, a black pastor who attempted to stage a protest after he was forced to give up his seat on a bus to a white man; and other figures who were instrumental in lighting a fire under the Civil Rights movement and changing the course of U.S. history forever.

Wiley has introduced countless students and communities to the legacies of Emmett Till, Henry “Box” Brown, Jackie Robinson and more. He holds a Masters of Fine Arts from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was the 2010 and 2014 Lehman Brady Visiting Joint Chair Professor in Documentary Studies and American Studies at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Tickets to Tired Souls: King and the Montgomery Bus Boycott are $20 for general admission and $10 for students in grades K–12. Tickets are on sale now at Piedmont Arts and

Tired Souls is one of several events Piedmont Arts has planned in celebration of Black History Month. Other events include: Piedmont Arts’ annual African American Read-In and Family Day with storyteller Fred Motley on Saturday, February 22, 2020 from 11 am – 1 pm at the museum; and Fragile: Handle with Care, an exhibit featuring work by contemporary African American artist Tawny Chatmon, on display through March 7, 2020. Both events are free and open to the public. To learn more about Piedmont Arts’ Black History Month events, visit