Inspiring Voices is Athens' new and evolving performing arts initiative. 

To address local cultural diversity voids, Inspiring Voices' goal is to sponsor and present high quality African-American plays and other theatrical activities in Athens.

Its first presentation, Etheridge Arts Ensemble in Pearl Cleage's Flyin West, is scheduled for Saturday, August 6, 2016, at Athens' historic Morton Theatre, located at 195 West Washington Street.

Starting at 2:30 p.m., the play is directed by Nic Starr.

​For tickets, call event coordinators Fred and Lee Smith at 706-540-1886.Pay for tickets online, or for more information email us at 

The proceeds from production will benefit the local Paine College Alumni Club and the Evelyn Etheridge Scholarship.

The scholarship, which will be given annually to an Athens area Paine College student, is named in honor of Mrs. Evelyn Gilbert Etheridge, founder of the original Etheridge Arts Ensemble.

Mrs. Etheridge, who passed away in March 2003, was a Paine College's English professor and drama director, widely-known for her dedication to students and the performing arts.

She and her students routinely presented plays in communities throughout Georgia. During the 1990s, she directed several plays at the Morton, including Lorraine

Hansberry's 'A Raisin In the Sun and August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning plays Fences and The Piano Lesson.

In fact, her last Morton production was Pearl's Cleage's Flyin' West, in April 2002.    

The August 6th event is sponsored in collaboration with Etheridge Arts Ensemble and the Athens Area Paine College Alumni Club.

Flyin’ West is the story of a small group of African-American women whose lives changed when the West was opened up for people willing to settle in a harsh and untested region.

The backgrounds, actions, and feelings of the play’s four women and two men reflect themes of determination, racism, miscegenation (intermarriage between races), feminism, pride, and freedom.

The play's provocative, moving and compelling story line is typical of the award-winning works of Atlanta-based Cleage, who is known for novels like ''What Looks Like Crazy On an Ordinary Day,'' and ''I Wish I Had A Red Dress,'' and plays such as Blues for an Alabama Sky

Directed by Nic Starr

Ticket Option


Pearl Cleage's "Flyin' West" at Morton Theatre, August 6th

Her last production at the Morton was Pearl Cleage's

Flyin" West on April 25, 2002 

2:30 p.m. Saturday, August 6, 2016, at Athens' historic Morton Theatre, 195 West Washington Street

Tickets are $20. Reserve your tickets today!  Call 706-540-1886, or pay for tickets above. Email us at