The legend of Henry Wells and the burning of the Pickens County Courthouse will forever be more than just a local tale thanks to a cooperative effort between First National Bank of Central Alabama and the Pickens County Courthouse Preservation Foundation. Leon Manning, Preservation Foundation Member, had the idea to bring this story to life and preserve it for generations to come by staging a play at the scene of the alleged event. Taking cues from Monroeville, Alabama’s success with the annual presentation of To Kill A Mockingbird, it everyone’s goal to make The Face In The Courthouse Window an annual event that will bring pride to the Pickens County community for years to come.
To accomplish the daunting task of immortalizing legend Henry Wells, the sponsors enlisted the help of an experienced and talented artist to bring a new level of excitement to this notable piece of Pickens County’s past.
Barry Bradford, Playwright
Widely recognized throughout the southeast, Alabama native Barry Bradford was commissioned to immortalize local legend Henry Wells in The Face In The Courthouse Window theatrical presentation. Bradford is known for his fearless portrayal of delicate subjects - like slavery and racism - and for his ability to bring to light the unique struggles of the human condition. His interpretation of Henry Wells’ plight to survive in the turbulent post-slavery south is destined to be a moving and thought-provoking journey.
A graduate of the University of Alabama, Bradford has been writing plays for over 21 years. He has won the Southern Playwrights competition in 2005, 2009 and 2011, and was a recipient of the Mutual of America Community Service Award.
“The Preservation Foundation is proud to support the preservation of this unique piece of Pickens County’s history and folklore by working with Mr. Bradford on this literary undertaking,” remarked Leon Manning. “It is no small effort and we are eager to present his gifted perspective on this story. We fully expect the play to attract attention throughout Alabama and the southeast, and are honored to have such a talented playwright involved in this project.”