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BARE THEATRE GIVES VOICE TO FORMER NC SLAVES
Critically-acclaimed original drama based on WPA slave narratives tours to Hope Plantation
Let Them Be Heard is an original collection of slave narratives taken directly from the recorded testimonies of North Carolina men and women who grew up under slavery. Between 1936 – 1938, the Works Progress Administration hired out-of-work writers to go into the field and interview the last survivors of American slavery, over 70 years after the end of The Civil War. Over 2,300 narratives were documented during this time, and of these 176 came from North Carolina.
Although known for its highly energetic, accessible productions of William Shakespeare’s plays, Bare Theatre explores these largely forgotten stories that are by turns surprising, humorous, heartbreaking, and poetic.
The play is a one-hour walking tour that moves through the historic site, encountering the characters along the way.
“Bare Theatre and Historic Stagville have given voice to a few among many and must continue speaking; to continue to let them be heard.” – Spencer Powell, CVNC.org
“☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ – Let Them Be Heard remains a singularly moving tribute to the resilience and conscience of a host of witnesses no longer with us.” – Byron Woods, INDYweek
Let Them Be Heard…is a powerful testament to survival and endurance – not only of bodies, but spirits, wisdom, and humor, hate and love.” – Kate Dobbs Ariail, CVNC.org
These memories are shot through with heart-rending and throat-tightening moments.”
– Roy C. Dicks, The News & Observer
The production originated at Historic Stagville in Durham, on the site of what was once one of the largest plantations in the South, with over 900 slaves. Actors portray the men and women whose stories they tell as memories, looking back on slavery. They converse directly with the audience in historic structures such as the original slave quarters at Historic Stagville.
At Hope Plantation, where slave quarters no longer remain, the actors will tell these stories in “the big house” – parts of which were off-limits to slaves before the war. The focus of these stories will be the relationships between slave and master, black and white.
Past audiences have found this collection to be surprising, revealing conditions and aspects of life that are left unconsidered in many movies or television treatments of slavery. At the end of each tour there will be a talkback session for audiences to provide feedback and ask questions about the history of the slave narratives and Hope Plantation, and about the play itself.
Walking tours gather at 3:30pm, 4:30pm, and 5:30pm
Seating is limited to only 20 seats per performance.
PLEASE CALL 252-794-3140 to make your reservation.