Posted on April 26, 2013 at 10:16 pm
Today – April 26, 2013 – marks the one hundredth anniversary of the murder of Mary Phagan in the basement of the National Pencil Company in Atlanta, Georgia on the day of the Confederate Memorial Day Parade. I have spent many years carrying the facts of that day around in my head, and I have always felt it was a very serious responsibility to be asked to give voice to Mary and to Leo Frank, her employer and the man falsely accused of her murder. There are people in the world today who know about this case because of the musical that Alfred Uhry and I wrote; I am deeply honored by the opportunity I was given.
I didn’t have a child when I wrote Parade, and now I have two. Two beautiful little girls who, a hundred years later, live a life that would have been unimaginable to Mary Phagan, but who carry my dreams and hopes inside them as surely as Mary carried her mother’s.