Travails of a Young Slave Play Out in Steppenwolf World Premiere, Harriet Jacobs

News   Travails of a Young Slave Play Out in Steppenwolf World Premiere, Harriet Jacobs
While Steppenwolf Theatre Company's very grown-up drama, August: Osage County, continues to wow audiences on Broadway, Steppenwolf for Young Adults will offer the world premiere of Harriet Jacobs in Chicago Feb. 5-March 2.

Lydia R. Diamond's play is based on the life of Harriet Jacobs, author of the book "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl."

Hallie Gordon directs a cast that features Christoph Horton Abiel, Kenn E. Head, Errón Jay, Nambi E. Kelley (as Harriet), Leslie Ann Sheppard, Celeste Williams, Genevieve VenJohnson and Sean Walton.

Performances play in the Steppenwolf Upstairs Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted. The press performance is Feb. 9 at 3 PM.

According the Steppenwolf, "In her book 'Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl,' Harriet Jacobs describes with brutal honesty the hardships she endures under slavery, including the extraordinary choices she makes to be near her children. To survive, she escapes into her imagination and through writing, discovers hope for a better life. Accompanied by the rich musical traditions of slave spirituals, Harriet Jacobs is an inspiring look at a young woman's fascinating journey from slavery to freedom."

Diamond's adaptation of Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye was produced in 2005 and 2006 in the Steppenwolf Upstairs Theatre, directed by Hallie Gordon. The production transferred Off-Broadway to The New Victory Theatre in November 2006. Diamond and Gordon developed Harriet Jacobs at the Kennedy Center New Visions/New Voices program. Harriet Jacobs is a world premiere funded by the Steppenwolf New Plays Initiative. The design team includes Collette Pollard (sets), JR Lederle (lights), Ana Kuzmanic (costumes), Victoria DeIorio (sound), Lisa Johnson-Willingham (choreography) and McKinley Johnson (composer). Jocelyn Prince is the dramaturg. Calyn P. Swain is the stage manager, and Kim Forbes is the assistant stage manager.

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