The Play

The John Henry Play, Listen to that Cold Steel Ring

As part of the Alabama Bicentennial and John Henry Celebration,  John Henry, the “steel-drivin’ man”, will be celebrated in the play “Listen to that Cold Steel Ring” (c), written by Marie Cromer and directed by Suellen Wilkins.  Two performances of the play are scheduled at Leeds Theatre & Arts Center on Parkway Drive.  Enjoy this original play about a skillful and powerful African-American laborer who drove spikes into solid rock as his railroad company blasted through Oak Mountain tunnel near Leeds in September 1887 in a race to Birmingham.  Challenged to a contest with a steam drill that could rob his fellow workers of their livelihoods, he vowed: “Before I let this steam drill beat me down, Lawd, I’ll due with this hammer in my hand.”

A day jam-packed full of activities relating to the history of John Henry is planned. The Leeds Jane Culbreth Library will show the John Henry Disney Legends movie every 15 minutes between 10:00 am and noon.

Below is an award winning John Henry Short Film