Musical brings "Thea's Song" to life

03/31/2023 8:31 am

vallimar jansen, cast and musicians gather on stage for a final song

Sister Thea Bowman's motto "Let me live until I die!" came to life during the musical featuring ValLimar Jansen co-hosted by FSPA and Viterbo University on March 30, the anniversary of Sister Thea's death. The event was part of Viterbo University's annual Sister Thea Bowman Week.

The cast and musicians brought Sister Thea's biography, "Thea's Song," to the stage with incredible passion. The setting was 1989 and ValLimar portrayed Sister Thea as if the future saint was in a theater in a large metropolitan bookstore sharing her life story. The audience journeyed with the cast and musicians from young Bertha Bowman, played by Symone Wilson, sitting in her kitchen in Canton, Mississippi, convincing her parents that when she moves to Wisconsin she'll "make them like me," to Sister Thea addressing the U.S. Catholic Bishops in 1989, from her wheelchair, uniting them in the song "We Shall Overcome." 

vallimar jansen portraying thea bowman sings to the audience

Actors on stage playing young Sister Thea Bowman and her mother in discussion at a table

gospel choir on stage

Just like the bishops did, the audience stood, joined hands and, while swaying together, sang, "We Shall Overcome, we shall overcome, We shall overcome someday. Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe, We shall overcome someday." 

We're grateful to ValLimar and her creative team, including everyone behind the scenes, for telling Sister Thea's story with passion.

sister thea bowman

Learn more about Sister Thea Bowman
Watch the documentary "Going Home Like a Shooting Star" 
Read "Thea's Song, The Life of Thea Bowman"

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