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Artist Zuhairah McGill to Bring SOJOURNER to National Black Theatre Festival in August

This devastating yet inspiring tale provides a compelling and personal lens into pre-Civil War America and Sojourner Truth’s extraordinary life.

Artist Zuhairah McGill to Bring SOJOURNER to National Black Theatre Festival in August

Barrymore nominee and winner and Artistic Director of First World Theatre Ensemble Zuhairah McGill is bringing her searing performance of Richard LaMonte Pierce's Sojourner to the famed National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, North Carolina August 4-6 at the Reynolda House Museum of American Art. More information about the festival can be found on the North Carolina Black Repertory Company's page at

Presented by McGill's company, First World Theatre Ensemble, McGill plays Sojourner Truth, a powerful and compelling story. The abolitionist, women's rights activist, author and Freedom Fighter was born into slavery and eventually became a confidante to Abraham Lincoln and master debater with Frederick Douglass. Now quite old, Sojourner Truth tells the story of her enslavement not in the American South, but in the North, as well as her dramatic escape and subsequent fight to tear down slavery across the country. This devastating yet inspiring tale provides a compelling and personal lens into pre-Civil War America and Sojourner Truth's extraordinary life.

"I am so honored to have been invited to something that's so sacred to the African American Arts Community, and stand on Holy Ground," said McGill. "It's like being invited to the Tony's, The Emmys or Academy Awards all wrapped up in one... but our way! "

She adds, "It's important that we as a people and as African American Artists recognize our worth, when others still don't - that our stories are told honestly, truthfully, and with the spirits of our ancestors guiding us. I am so happy to be added to the list, knowing I will be part of that history! ASE!"

Sojourner is written by Richard LaMonte Pierce and directed by Glenn Alan. McGill has toured the production across the country and was nominated for the Outstanding Leading Actress Barrymore award for originating the role in 2002. McGill is the Founding Artistic Director of First World Theatre Ensemble and a three-time winner of the DC Excellence in Black Theatre award and the Black Arts for Social Change Award, among others.

First World Theatre Ensemble (FWTE) brings to the stage selected classic and original works intended to raise audience awareness regarding critically important social issues. Each play produced by First World Theatre Ensemble addresses local to global social issues and is partnered with organizations and field professionals whose work relates to the social themes of the play in a strategic effort to respond to the needs of and provide direct support for audience members affected by the issues addressed in the plays. FWTE distinguishes itself by producing daring yet professional quality theatre, as in the days of the Negro Ensemble, nurturing and showcasing new talent and new works while bridging the gap between the theatre we produce and the change it seeks to create.

National Black Theatre Festival®...It's "Marvtastic" The founder of the National Black Theatre Festival® (NBTF), Larry Leon Hamlin, coined the word "Marvtastic" which means there is nothing greater or better than. "Marvtastic" describes the 2019 NBTF. This historic event illuminates the powerful theatrical spirit and extraordinary talent of performers, designers, directors, producers and technicians from across the country and abroad.

During six life-impacting days, you will experience electrifying performances, informative workshops, riveting films and insightful spoken word poetry that will open your eyes to the beauty and depth of African American artistic endeavors. Every evening culminates with a Celebrity Reception, Midnight Readers' Theatre and late night Words and Verses.

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