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The Freedom Trail

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Theatrical profile of Harriet Tubman on offer from Leslie McCurdy

What: The Spirit of Harriet Tubman

Where: Millennium Place, a presentation from the WCAC

When: April 5, 7 p.m.

The spirit of Harriet Tubman could not be suppressed.

Tubman was born around 1820 in Maryland, during the slavery era. Eventually she escaped to freedom, and was responsible for helping other slaves escape north to Canada along "the underground railway." Known as "the Moses of her people," Tubman has since been recognized as a major 19 th -century social activist.

Leslie McCurdy, a Windsor, Ontario native, has been performing her one-woman show, The Spirit of Harriet Tubman, for young audiences in schools, as well as larger theatre audiences.

McCurdy, an actor and teacher, takes audiences on a journey with a cross-cultural message. She weaves her thespian magic amid a minimally lit stage and with spoken word.

The play progresses from the actress portraying a six-year-old girl, hired out as a slave, to her life as a free, grown woman on her second marriage, something that was considered scandalous at the time.

McCurdy’s aim with the play is to highlight the persistence and determination of Tubman, a woman who dug inside herself to make a change for the community into which she was born.

McCurdy previously served as choreographic and teaching assistant to Judith Jamison of the Alvin Ailey Dance Company. Additional artistic credits include Billie Holiday, and the Acid Queen in Tommy, and she is currently performing Things My Fore-Sister Saw. A third play is also in development.

The Spirit of Harriet Tubman, recipient of the 2000 Mayor’s Award for ‘Outstanding Performing Artist in Windsor, is sponsored by Prologue to Performing Arts, a nonprofit organization based in Ontario.

For further reading to complement the play, see Kate McMullan’s The Story of Harriet Tubman, Judy Carlson’s Great Lives: Harriet Tubman, Call to Freedom, and Escape From Slavery from Four Winds Press.

The production follows up African American History month in February

Tickets are $23 day of the show, $18 in advance, and $40 for families. For more information call the Millennium Place box office at 604-935-8418.

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