Jun. 23 - Jul. 08, 2023
In this world-premiere production, playwright Jarrett King (A War of the Worlds, The Possible, Perfect Profile) shines a spotlight on one of history’s most overlooked and underappreciated folk heroes, Henry Box Brown. Born into slavery, Brown is best known for mailing himself to freedom from Virginia to Pennsylvania in a box three feet long and two feet wide. This harrowing journey—undertaken after his wife, Nancy, was sold to a far off plantation—saw Brown arriving in the north a free man, and becoming equally well known for his abolitionist lectures as his work as one of America’s earliest professional magicians.
Box, one of few theatrical explorations of Brown’s life, will focus on his journey as a magician and lecturer in England, where he relocated after the passing of the Fugitive Slave Act in the United States. There, Brown married Jane, a white English teacher, and found great success in the seemingly more progressive British society. Though, as Box depicts, Henry was not free from the threat of recapture, nor thoughts of Nancy, whom he never saw again.
Through extensive use of magic, and adapting portions of Brown’s act to the stage, Box imagines an unwritten chapter in his story—one in which Nancy finds Brown in England, and he encounters portions of his own history that he has worked hard to distance himself from. With two wives, and two lives, hanging in the balance, will Henry Box Brown once again pull off the impossible?
Directed by Simone Alexander
by Jarrett King
Penfold Theatre Company
June 23 - July 08, 2023
unspecified in Texas
Somewhere, TX, 00000
June 23 – July 8, 2023 on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Sundays at 5:00 pm.
Performances will be at Ground Floor Theatre, 979 Springdale Rd #122, Austin, TX 78702.