Martin Luther King Jr. “I Have a Dream”

#PositivelyPowerstories – January 19, 2021 – Episode 24

Powerstories Theatre stages true stories to open minds and hearts and inspire action worldwide.

Powerstories Theatre, in collaboration with Outcast Theatre Collective, is proud to present the inaugural Voices of Truth Theatre Festival, showcasing local, national, and international casts to a global audience. The festival is 100% virtual to ensure your safety.

Each play is debuting in one of three ways, depending upon the playwright’s wishes: virtual live-streamed from the Powerstories’ stage, live via Zoom, or a prerecorded theatre experience. We are excited for you to experience a diverse selection of sixteen conversation-starting topics.

All Access Early Bird Festival Tickets – $79 for 16 Shows until February 14.
February 14-March 8 – $99. Individual tickets $10.

Each week we will share submissions from our neighbors around the city, country, and globe. Please enjoy all the stories that bring a smile to our faces and joy to our hearts. To send us your own story, click the button to complete our form, and upload your own work.

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Video Submitted by Emily Whittington

  • Nashville, TN

Poem Submitted by Suzanne Austin-Hill

Almost a Dream Come True
(Excerpt from the poem, Christmases)

Fast forward to a time when all of this is over, the virus is behind;
there’s an ideal holiday celebration that’s forming in my mind.

Everyone’s available whenever we all can;
No excuse accepted that would challenge this plan.

We’ll be flexible enough to celebrate another time of the year;
No explanation offered will defend why you didn’t appear.

With gifts in hand we’ll travel, distances far and wide;
of course some will mail theirs ahead, those not going to drive.

I’ll make my Mom’s Ambrosia, peeling, and slicing by hand.
Nothing, absolutely nothing, coming from a jar or can.

No wearing masks; hugs ‘n kisses resume; life back to normal, it seems;
but making Ambrosia entirely by hand, that’s for sure something in my dreams!

  • Ruskin, FL

Poem Submitted by Jim Yerman


We hear this excuse quite a bit lately as we make our daily climb…
I have so much to do…so many responsibilities…I just don’t have the time.
I’m working hard for all the things I want…all the things I need
I don’t have time to exercise
to cook
to eat
I don’t have time to read.
I understand how busy we are in the world we’re trying to create
I only wish we were so busy…we didn’t have time to hate.
How wonderful would it be to hear words the world has never heard before:
I don’t have time for prejudices
I don’t have time for killing
I don’t have time for war.
because I’m too busy enjoying nature
spending time before each day ends
in the bosom of my family
or catching up with friends.
Imagine with me, if you will, a world we can create
where we’re much too busy spreading love
that we don’t have time to hate.

  • Dunedin, FL

Story Submitted by Lori S Smith

Dreaming of Another World

In my dream, the All-Knowing One tosses everyone in the world into a ginormous sorting bag. The All-Knowing One then shakes the cotton-filled bag and dumps everyone out of the bag, like they were a bunch of pills spilled out from an open prescription bottle. When the people fell out, no one is hurt since the All-Knowing One made sure of that. Now, everyone is scrambled; they can’t go back to where they lived or be who they were. Everything is different. They don’t know what to do next, except soak in what’s around them. They try to talk like they used to, but it sounds different. So, when they speak, it makes no sense to them; but others understand and smile big smiles. They’ll need some time to work it out, but they decide it must be good since all who are listening are smiling back at them. Everyone appears so different, but no one can quite make out what has happened. They don’t remember what they learned growing up. In the back of their head, they think, “Everyone is different. Is it OK to like them? Cause, I kind of do. Yes, I do!” When they thought about what they were thinking about, they had no ill thoughts, no prejudices, no anger, no jealousies. They all just felt peaceful. They possessed no worries, just contentment.
What did everyone look like in this dream? Well, no one has skin, so it didn’t matter what the color of anyone’s skin was anymore.
No one has sex organs, so others won’t judge a person based on their emotions or their testosterone levels. No one can say things like, ‘She must be having her period.’ or ‘Is that a girl or a boy?’
Everyone will volunteer of their own volition. They will all get something out of it – a feel-good emotion they can’t quite explain. Perhaps it’s the feeling of ‘I’ve done something good today for others.’
Everyone will know what everyone else is thinking; that way, everyone will be on their best behavior. No one will get angry over other opinions; they will talk it out. Positive thoughts will swirl in the crevices of their brains, allowing them to be of gentle spirit.
No one is lonely. Someone becomes their friend.
No one is hungry. Others share their food.
No one is scared. Someone secures them.
No one is prejudice. All are accepted for who they are and what they are.
In this dream world, there is always someone to catch you before you fall.

  • Tampa, FL

Story Submitted by Cash Family

I Wish to Be a Jedi One Day

My name is Luke Skywalker Cash, and I wish to be a Jedi one day. These are my Yoda Life Lessons:

  1. “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
  2. “You must unlearn what you have learned.”
  3. “Do or do not. There is no try.”
  4. “When 900 years old, you reach… Look as good, you will not.”
  5. “When you look at the dark side, careful you must be… for the dark side looks back.”
  6. “Named must your Fear be before Banish it you can!”
  7. “You will know when you are calm, at peace, passive.”
  8. “Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.”
  9. “Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter.”
  10. “Judge me by my size do you?”

(Life Lessons from Yoda)

  • Nashville, TN

Curated from Around the Internet

I’ve Been Thinking…

Over the last week, I wrote this essay several different times in several different ways. None of them felt quite right.

One essay felt too angry. Another felt too pollyannaish. One felt simplistic at a time when the world feels anything but. I’ve felt so many different emotions lately that it’s been hard to know what to think. At times I’ve felt like I’m living on an upside-down emotional rollercoaster as I watch the news unfold.

Then along came my youngest son who asked me to step away from the news and watch the new Pixar movie Soul with him. He and I watch all the Pixar films together. I even used to take him out of school to go to the theater when one came out, so of course I said sure.

In hindsight, it felt like it was exactly the film I needed to see this week as I watched Americans debate the heart and soul of our country, while also preparing to inaugurate a man who ran on a platform to repair the soul of our nation.

I’ve spent a lot of my life thinking, reading, writing, and wondering about the soul—my own and that of others. I’ve read about anam cara, which is Gaelic for “soul friends” and different from soul mates. I’ve read about my own soul and soul purpose and thought about how it differs from a sole purpose.

I loved the movie Soul for several reasons, but mostly because the overall message was that we aren’t here for one sole purpose or one sole thing. We don’t have to spend our entire lives looking forward to that one purpose, that one mission, or that one love. If we do, that makes us miss all the beautiful things that life has to offer us every day.

I ultimately decided that I wanted to write about the soul this week because we already know what transpired in the news. We already know that history will be made this week when the first-ever woman becomes vice president. I, for one, am thrilled that I’m alive to see it. It’s a sea change in my life.

I really want to be hopeful about this new chapter—this new beginning for our nation—because I’m tired of feeling down. I was feeling really down this past week for lots of reasons. My soul and my heart both felt depleted and tired.

Then I saw the movie and I realized that the ordinary is the extraordinary. The fact that my son wanted to watch a movie with me, that’s the kind of thing that fuels my soul. My daughter driving me to the doctor and baking me cookies this week also fueled my soul. My other son stopping by and bringing me my favorite egg bites and my other daughter sending me photos every morning of her daughter smiling. It’s the small acts in a day that make our souls feel full. It’s living a life of meaning, purpose, and integrity. It’s up to each of us to keep our eyes on our soul’s purpose.

It’s never been easier to get riled up, carried away, angered, disillusioned, and distracted. It’s never been easier to lose hope in our country and/or in those we elect to represent us. But at the end of each day, it’s our lives that we are responsible for. It’s our job to know what moves us, what makes us feel fulfilled, and what makes us feel like we are living a life we are proud of.

It’s easy to yell at the TV, as I did this week. It’s easy to shake your head and complain. But it takes resolve to live the kind of life that makes you proud, that makes your kids proud, and that makes your friends feel seen, loved, and cared for.

We’ve been living in dark times, but anyone who has personally experienced a dark night of the soul knows that the light comes up in the morning. In my own life, the lessons that transformed me were the hard ones that hurt my heart and my soul. They are also the ones that ultimately made my heart and soul gentler, kinder, and more understanding over time. I had to look within, face my fears, and recommit to myself. I had to recommit to my soul purpose even if I didn’t feel like I knew where it was headed at the time.

So if you haven’t found your soul’s purpose, don’t despair. Joe Biden found his at 78. He is about to embark on the biggest and most important chapter of his life at that age. Now think about that!

If you haven’t found your soul mate, don’t lose hope. If you have an anam cara, or a soul friend, consider yourself blessed. And if you believe your soul is made by God, so it goes that everyone else’s is too.

I’m excited about this week. I’m excited that Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a national day of service, will be the holiday that kicks off this week. It’s a perfect way to begin because in order for us to heal as a nation—in order for us to become whole—all of us will have to find a way to be of service to one another.

Service heals. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is about remembering a man who used his voice to promote service and nonviolence. It’s about remembering someone who lost his life to violence, but whose legacy is one of nonviolence—because violence never heals.

So let’s keep that in mind as we move forward in our beautiful country. Let’s each do our best to bring it together one soul at a time.

(c)2021 Maria Shriver’s “Sunday Paper”

If you can‘t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward. —Martin Luther King, Jr.


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