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Incidents In the Life of a Slave Girl

solo performance · saucer & cup productions · Ages 12+ · one person show · United States of America

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Review by MORNA MURPHY MARTELL

June 10, 2017 not born yesterday

What I liked

Cherita Armstrong brings this true story of Harriet Jacobs, a real woman living under horrendous circumstances, to life with poignancy and even some bitter humor. She reveals the horrors of slavery as seen by Harriet as she matures from threatened teenager to rebellious motherhood. She also impersonates others, including her arrogant and punitive master, so that we are witnesses to the random cruelty of this system that persisted lawfully for over 200 years. Plaudits to the actress for bringing us a woman of simple dignity and honest emotion who, through her suffering, triumphs over her enemy.

What I didn't like

I recall from reading Harriet’s memoir that shortly before she escaped, when she met with her young son (who would have been about 10), he told her he always knew where she was. This explained so much about the boy’s actions that she had observed from her hiding place. I was disappointed when this was omitted from her description of their last meeting as to me it was probably the most emotionally moving moment in the book.

My overall impression

In this dramatic play with songs we meet a woman of great courage and integrity who shares with us her story of how she gained freedom from slavery by imprisoning herself.

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