Golden Globe Winner Kemp Powers’ ‘The XIXth (The Nineteenth)’ Explores The Black Power Protest At The 19th Olympic Games

    A Golden Globe winner is sharing the historic story of The 19th Olympic Games.

    Source: The XIXth

    San Diego’s Old Globe has announced the full cast and creative team for the world premiere of The XIXth (The Nineteenth), written by Golden Globe Award winner Kemp Powers and directed by NAACP Award winner Carl Cofield.

    Set in Mexico City in 1968, The XIXth (The Nineteenth)  follows the story of the two Black American sprinters, the fastest men on Earth, who raised their fists as a symbol of Black power in protest.

    Inspired by real events from the historic 19th Olympic Games, a press release reports that this suspenseful world-premiere play chronicles the intersection of sports and activism, and shows the life-changing repercussions of being a champion who chooses to speak out.


    Source: Rich Soublet II / The XIXth

    This marks another collaboration between Powers and Cofield after their critically acclaimed and award-winning premiere of the stage production One Night in Miami for Rogue Machine Theatre in Los Angeles, Miami New Drama, and Denver Center.


    “I tell the stories that interest me. The stories I find emotionally resonant,” said Kemp Powers, Playwright of The XIXth (The Nineteenth) at The Old Globe in San Diego. “The XIXth (The Nineteenth) was inspired by the iconic photo of Tommie Smith, John Carlos, and Peter Norman standing on the Olympic dais in 1968. That image of the two American sprinters with their fists raised has inspired so many different protests in the decades since, but when I started doing research on the lives of all three men in the hours, days and years after that fateful moment, I was struck by the impact of that gesture in ways no one could have predicted.”

    “Like one of my previous plays, One Night in Miami…, I prefer to look at it as a fictional dramatization inspired by those real events,” he added. “Many of the things explored in the play really happened, but it is a fictional drama, not a documentary. That being said, I hope it activates audience members enough that many of them go out and explore the events surrounding that moment themselves.”


    The XIXth (The Nineteenth) is supported by major production sponsors Ann Davies and Hal and Pam Fuson.

    Performances begin March 17 and play through April 23, 2023, with the opening on Thursday, March 23 on the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage in the Old Globe Theatre, part of the Globe’s Conrad Prebys Theatre Center in San Diego’s Balboa Park.

    Tickets are now on sale at


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