Phillis In Boston
Join Revolutionary Spaces for the debut of Phillis in Boston, an original new play dramatizing a key moment in the life of both the nation and the celebrated poet Phillis Wheatley, enslaved author of the landmark book “Reflections on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral.” Published in London in 1773, it was the first known book of poetry by an English-speaking person of African descent and the third book published by an American woman.
Written by award-winning British-Nigerian playwright and screenwriter Ade Solanke and directed by Regge Life, an Emmy-nominated producer, director, and writer, Phillis in Boston explores the multiple struggles for freedom underway in Boston shortly after Wheatley returned in 1773 from a whirlwind visit to London. Emancipated shortly after her return, she rejoins the African American community in New England as they engage in the work of creating a free society: questioning the slave-owning colonists’ true understanding of liberty, strategizing for the abolition of slavery, and debating which side to support in the ensuing revolutionary struggle.
The play celebrates friendship, love, community, and joy by centering Wheatley’s relationships with her friend and confidant Obour Tanner, her husband-to-be John Peters, and the dynamic abolitionist Prince Hall. Phillis in Boston examines slavery in New England through the lens of Wheatley’s complex relationship with her enslaver Susanna Wheatley, who supported Wheatley’s literary ambitions even as she kept her in bondage.
Phillis in Boston will be performed as a unique site-specific one-act play at the Old South Meeting House in Boston, where Wheatley and other revolutionaries were congregants. Built in 1729, Old South Meeting House was the largest indoor gathering space in colonial Boston as well as the location of raucous community meetings that took place in the run-up to the Boston Tea Party.
Phillis in Boston runs through Sunday, December 3, 2023. For performance dates and times and to purchase Premium and Standard tickets for Youth and Adults, visit https://revolutionaryspaces.org/explore/upcoming-programs/phillis-in-boston/. Groups of 10 or more people are eligible for a 30% discount! Simply add all the tickets for your group to your cart and a 30% discount will automatically be applied at checkout. Become a Revolutionary Spaces Member to enjoy additional discounts. Learn more at: https://revolutionaryspaces.org/support/membership/
Phillis In Boston is made possible through the generous support of the Cabot Family Charitable Trust, New England Women’s Club Fund at The Boston Foundation, and Boston Tea Party 250th Anniversary Commemoration Transformational Partner Meet Boston.