Dandelions in the Wind started life as Freedom Sings. The initial development work caught the attention of the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Britain's largest repertory theatre outside of London and Stratford. The Playhouse with its national and international reputation as one of Britain's most exciting producing theatres invited the community cast to stage six shows in 2003. This was the first experience of theatre for most of the inner-city youth, yet the show was incredibly powerful, evoking much emotion from cast and audience alike.
"I was moved like never before . . . to say that this musical is powerful does not begin to describe what I saw . . . I guarantee that if you are lucky enough to find a ticket you will leave the theatre a changed person. This is a play that the world needs to see . . . it holds up a mirror and shows us the error of our ways, shows us where hate can lead us and the damage it can do.It also shows us the power of love and the necessity of it today"
- Nick Ahad, Theatre critic for West Yorkshire Evening Post
The musical's journey to Toronto has been a long one. The original script was written around the year 2000, and was performed in the UK in 2003 with the blessings of Mrs. Coretta Scott King. Jennifer was subsequently devastated when the King Foundation denied her a license to move the show forward on the grounds that it contained some of Dr. King's copyrighted material. Jennifer re-wrote the script many times, eventually focusing the story on her own personal experience set into the backdrop of the Civil Rights era, thereby eliminating King as a character as well as his words in songs and dialogue.
Another problem was the large diverse cast which made for an incredibly expensive undertaking at the professional level. Despite efforts to minimize the cast in order to keep costs and strategy to a more manageable level, the show kept calling out for a large cast.
In 2014, Quisha Wint read the script and fell in love with the material. Jennifer and Quisha formed KJ Group in 2016, registering Dandelions in the Wind as a federally incorporated Not-For-Profit business in 2020.
In Black History month of 2017, Dandelions in the Wind made its Canadian premiere at Daniels Spectrum in Toronto with a 2-week run. Weekday matinees were performed for students, an online Teachers' Guide offered free so that earning experience could be continued in the classroom. Evening and weekend performances were offered for the general public.
Funds are now being organized and plans consolidated to reinvent the stage show as a podcast for a COVID world. Although suitable for all ages from 10 to 100, our focus is on youth. We are particularly interested in having educators move alongside us. If you would like to be part of this amazing journey please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org