Picture this: It’s 2019 and Harriet Tubman is growing up in Harlem. That’s exactly what you get with “Tubman,” a one-woman show about what life would be like for Harriet Tubman in the 21st century. If you’re looking for one of the most unique plays in Pittsburgh you’ve come to the right place.“Tubman” makes a stop at the August Wilson Center for two shows on Feb 20 and 21. It’s different, it’s thought provoking, it’s fresh — the fascinating concept is written and performed by creator Lacresha Berry.
Berry is no stranger to putting on one act plays. This is her third one-woman show, which has traveled across the country the past two years, from San Diego to NYC. She’s does a lot of things–singer/songwriter, poet, actress, educator–just to name a few.
On her website (berryandcompanynyc.com), Berry talks about why she decided on writing a one-woman show about Harriet Tubman. She had learned about the historical figure in high school and college, but once she began researching for the play she found there was so much more to the story.
“I knew she was a famous conductor on the underground railroad but I didn’t know she was a mother, wife, scout, spy, and fighter for the lives of elderly people,” Berry says.
This led to Berry finding the idea that would center around her new play.
“I have been researching her life for the past year or so and discovering her many sides compelled me to take on her invigorating story,” Berry says. “Learning about Harriet’s many roles and complex layers adds to the story of her illustrious life. She’s not a monolith like I once imagined. Hearing only about her strength is merely one-sided.”
Once she learned more about Tubman, she wanted young people to understand how important this story was, relating it to a new generation.“I took matters into my own hands and developed a unique perspective as a teacher in Harlem,” Berry says. “How would the youth hear this story in a new and modern way?”
There’s so many interesting questions to consider: “What would life be like for Tubman today?” “Would the struggles be the same?” “What would happen if a young woman like Harriet became a leader in this new world?” “ Would she know her power?” The show looks at the battle of race, gender, and equality, with a focus on the mistreatment of black girls in schools, as Tubman grows up in Harlem. It’s 90 minutes of poetry, monologue, and revolutionary music–painting the picture of the story. This Pittsburgh play is one you can’t miss.
Berry mentions why the historical aspect will resonate with youth. “The issues that plagued her, still plague us today.”
When: Feb 20- 1pm and Feb 21- 8pm
Where: August Wilson Center
Tickets- $23-$33 Buy them here