Watch Roger Guenveur Smith's Riveting Performance in 'Frederick Douglass NOW'
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Watch Roger Guenveur Smith's Riveting Performance in 'Frederick Douglass NOW'

Frederick Douglass NOW

I was pleased to find this online while researching something else entirely. 

Roger Guenveur Smith’s "Frederick Douglass NOW" – a monologue performance inspired by the life and work of abolitionist Frederick Douglass.

A work that Smith has performed for about 20 years now, speaking of contemporary remixes of styles and stories, it comprises of edited piece of Douglass’ 19th Century texts, mixed into Smith’s own original writing, to produce what I’d describe as an edgy, stylistic, jazz-infused narrative mash-up that could very well be the blueprint for a potentially exciting feature-length screenplay.

Originally commissioned at the La MaMa Experimental Theater Club in New York, Smith has performed "Frederick Douglass NOW" at prestigious venues around the globe, drawing praise along the way.

It’s what you could call a beast of a performance, with some excellent writing; and is worth watching if you’ve never seen it.

Thankfully, I found this 2011 performance of it at Wellesley College’s Newhouse Center. The performance itself is about an hour long, and is followed by a wonderful conversation/Q&A with the actor immediately afterward. Something to add to you weekend watch list…

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