Psalmayene 24

An Eloquent Fugitive Slave Flees to Ireland

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An Eloquent Fugitive Slave Flees to Ireland

by Psalmayene 24

One Act Drama, Short Play

Inspired by his 1845 trip to Ireland. AN ELOQUENT FUGITIVE SLAVE FLEES TO IRELAND is a fictionized account of Frederick Douglass’ voyage across the Atlantic Ocean on the steamship
Cambria. Exploring themes of racism, sexism, and freedom, AN ELOQUENT FUGITIVE SLAVE FLEES TO IRELAND uses dialogue sprinkled with rap to give enhanced contemporary resonance to a largely unknown page of Frederick Douglass’

“Boasts a crisp dramatic gambit that makes slavery tangible...bursting
into hip-hop that’s impressively fresh and funny.”
—Nelson Pressley, Washington Post

“Solid and compelling.”
—Pamela Roberts, Broadway World

“Deserves to be seen and supported by all who value the power of theater
to bring awareness to movements everywhere that are fighting for social justice and social change.”
—Ramona Harper, DC Theater Arts

Production notes:

(3W, 5M or 1W, 4M)*
FREDERICK DOUGLASS: The legendary African-American freedom fighter, writer, and orator. Intelligent, dignified, courageous, compassionate. Philosophical and practical in equal measure.
Approximately 27 years old.
ROSCOE WHITE: A clockmaker from Georgia. Opportunistic, simpleminded, unrepentant racist. White, 30 years old, male.
CAPTAIN Q: British captain of the Cambria. Dependable, commanding, kind, upstanding. White, 50 years old, male.
SUSAN CAHILL: A scrappy, sensitive, and feisty New Yorker. Works at a circus. White, 25 years old, female.
PASSENGER #1 & #3: African-American female ensemble member. Can be voiceovers.
PASSENGER #2: African-American male ensemble member. Can be voiceover.
PASSENGER #3: White female ensemble member. Can be voiceover.
HAZARD: Roscoe’s like-minded Georgia crony. Violent and morally bankrupt. White, 27 years old, male.
*Casting Note
This play may be performed with a cast of five men and three women or a cast of four men and one woman. For the latter cast version, Passengers #1, #2, and #3 can be done as voice-overs.
Aboard the steamship Cambria traveling from Boston, Massachusetts to Dublin, Ireland. Somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean.

August, 1845


Psalmayene 24

Psalmayene 24 (a.k.a. Gregory Morrison) is an award-winning playwright, director, and actor. Psalm—as his colleagues call him—is currently The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Playwright in Residence at Mosaic Theater. He is the writer and lyricist of THE BLACKEST BATTLE (Theater Alliance) and the writer, director, and lyricist of the film THE FREEWHEELIN’ INSURGENTS (Arena Stage).

Directing credits include FLOW by Will Power (Studio Theatre), NECESSARY SACRIFICES: A RADIO PLAY by Richard Hellesen (Ford’s Theatre), PASS OVER by Antoinette Nwandu (Studio Theatre), NATIVE SON by Nambi E. Kelley (Mosaic Theater), and WORD BECOMES FLESH—recipient of five 2017 Helen Hayes Awards, including Outstanding Direction of a Play—by Marc Bamuthi Joseph (Theater Alliance).

Psalm is currently the host of “Psalm’s Salon at Studio”. Produced by Studio Theatre, “Psalm’s Salon” is an interview-based series that celebrates and examines culture through a Black lens. He is one of the writers of Arena Stage’s ... [FULL BIO]