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Discussing Gregory Carr’s ‘Tinderbox,’ based on the East St. Louis Race Riots of 1917

Andrea Purnell and Gregory Carr discussed "Tinderbox," Carr's play based on the East St. Louis Race Riots of 1917, on St. Louis on the Air.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio
Andrea Purnell and Gregory Carr discussed "Tinderbox," Carr's play based on the East St. Louis Race Riots of 1917, on St. Louis on the Air.

July 2, 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of one of the bloodiest race riots in the 20th century: the East St. Louis Race Riots of 1917

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, Gregory Carr, an instructor of speech and theater at Harris-Stowe State University, and actress Andrea Purnell joined the program to discuss “Tinderbox,” his play based on the history of the event. 

"It is a play with historical ramifications but that was the difficult aspect of it," Carr said. "I didn't want the characters to be talking heads but the other danger is if you take too much artistic license you run the risk of disrespecting the memory of those who struggled with this. I struggled with that, the historic accuracy as well as the dramatic intent as well."

On July 1, Carr will present a reading of his play that will be part of a weekend of events commemorating the historic events. 

Listen to a full discussion, and excerpt from the play, here:

Related Event

What: East St. Louis 1917 Centennial Commission and Cultural Initiative Presents a reading of "Tinderbox" by Gregory Carr
When: Saturday, July 1 at 2:30 p.m.
Where: SIUE Higher Education Campus in East St. Louis, Building D Multipurpose Room, 601 James R. Thompson Blvd., East St. Louis
More information.

St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary EdwardsAlex Heuer and Kelly Moffitt give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region. 

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Kelly Moffitt joined St. Louis Public Radio in 2015 as an online producer for St. Louis Public Radio's talk shows St. Louis on the Air.

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