The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum will hold auditions in early January for its next play, “Alabama Story,” a drama about censorship and civil rights that was inspired by real events.

Auditions for the six-member cast will take place Thursday, Jan. 2, from 1-7 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 4, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. To set up an appointment, contact director Phil Funkenbusch at (217) 785-6085 or

“Alabama Story” is a remarkable play that has been widely produced around the country. It tells the story of Alabama State Librarian Emily Wheelock Reed defending a 1958 children’s book called “The Rabbits’ Wedding.” A local senator wanted to ban the book because it portrayed a black rabbit marrying a white rabbit.

“I’ve seen the play performed at two different theaters, and each time the audience was riveted,” said Funkenbusch. “It’s particularly appropriate for the Lincoln Presidential Library because it’s about libraries, civil rights and a brave person standing up for what’s right.”

“Alabama Story,” which was written by Kenneth Jones, has a cast of six: four men (one of whom is African-American) ranging in age from their 30s to their 60s; and two women ranging from their 30s to their 50s. It will be performed May 7-9 and 14-16.

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is dedicated to telling the story of America’s 16th president through old-fashioned scholarship and modern technology. It also serves as the state historical library. 

The library holds an unparalleled collection of Lincoln material, as well as some 12 million items pertaining to other aspects of Illinois history. The museum uses exhibits, eye-catching special effects and innovative story-telling to educate and inspire visitors from around the world.

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