New Work Celebrating Famed Boston Poet Phillis Wheatley Comes to Gloucester Stage For 3 Performances Only

New Work Celebrating Famed Boston Poet Phillis Wheatley Comes to Gloucester Stage For 3 Performances Only

Freed-slave and famed Boston poet, Phillis Wheatley was one of the best-known poets in pre-19th century America. Phillis Wheatley's life and friendship with Obour Tanner comes alive on stage in Jacqui Parker's (Director of 2018's The Agitators at GSC) new play, Wrestling with Freedom. Educated and enslaved in the household of prominent Boston commercialist John Wheatley, paraded in front of the still-young American political leadership and the English empire's aristocracy, Phillis Wheatley was the abolitionists' illustrative testimony that freed slaves were both artistic and intellectual. She was a household name across the world after publishing her poetry in both England and the United States - her achievements a catalyst for the fledgling antislavery movement.

Wrestling with Freedom highlights the friendship between Phillis Wheatley and Obour Tanner, another freed slave woman. Inspired by actual letters written to Obour and poems written by Phillis, this play speaks to the American Revolutionary and struggles of slavery, through two brilliant women's minds. The cast is Candis Hilton as Phillis Wheatley and Ines de la Cruz as Obour Tanner. Wrestling with Freedom is at Gloucester Stage Company on Friday, February 22 at 7:30pm and Saturday, February 23 at 4:00pm and 7:30pm. The show is approximately 80 minutes. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for Students (Under 18 years old). Tickets are available online at www.gloucesterstage.com or via phone 978-281-4433.

Boston based, playwright, actor and director Jacqui Parker made her Gloucester Stage directing debut with the New England premiere of The Agitators in 2018. As an actress she last appeared at Gloucester Stage in 2014's award winning production of Fences. Ms. Parker has won numerous awards for her work as an artist including; the Elliot Norton Award, Boston Theatre Hero Award, eight Independent Reviewers of New England Awards (IRNE) and the DRYLONGSO Award, for her struggle against racism. She is named one of Boston's most influential people, in Don West's book Portraits of Purpose. Ms. Parker was the visiting playwright at Hibernian Hall, where she wrote and directed five productions including A Crack in the Blue Wall, which was nominated as Best New Play, by the Independent Reviewers of New England. Her directing credits include: Glitch at the Contemporary Theatre at Boston Conservatory; Top Eye Open at Hibernian Hall; Naomi Iizuka's Polaroid Stories at Harvard University; Intimate Apparel at Brandeis University; and Deborah Lake Fortson's Body & Sold produced by Amy Merrill at Hibernian Hall. Ms. Parker is presently a part of the I Dream Team at Emerson College, devising New Works in High Schools across the city of Boston

Wrestling with Freedom is at Gloucester Stage Company on Friday, February 22 at 7:30pm and Saturday, February 23 at 4:00pm and 7:30pm. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for Students (Under 18 years old). Tickets are available online at www.gloucesterstage.com or via phone 978-281-4433.

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